The DHL Stormers moved to the top of the Vodacom Super Rugby log as the Cell C Sharks recorded their first win of 2015 on Saturday.
And while the coastal sides impressed, for the two teams from Gauteng, the Vodacom Bulls and Emirates Lions, round two was as forgettable as the opening round.
The Capetonians had to work hard to fend off a spirited Blues side at DHL Newlands (27-16) before the KwaZulu-Natalians proved too strong for their visitors from Johannesburg on a soaking wet Growthpoint Kings Park (29-12).
On Friday evening, the Vodacom Bulls lost their second successive match of the new season when they went down by 17-13 to the Hurricanes at Loftus Versfeld.
The Toyota Cheetahs had a bye.
Vodacom Bulls 13 (10) Hurricanes 17 (9)
The Vodacom Bulls lost their second successive home match when the Hurricanes caused a minor upset by winning 17-13 at Loftus Versfeld on Friday evening.
The last time the three-time champions lost consecutive matches at home was in rounds two and three in 2008. Incidentally, that was also the last year the ‘Canes won in Pretoria before this weekend.
The home team could not get into gear and were heavily penalised by referee Andre Lees. These and other errors proved very costly in the end.
Springbok flyhalf Handré Pollard scored all the Vodacom Bulls’ points through a try, conversion and two penalty goals.
- Vodacom Bulls – Try: Handré Pollard. Conversion: Pollard. Penalty goals: Pollard (2).
- Hurricanes – Try: Julian Savea. Penalty goals: Beauden Barrett (4).
DHL Stormers 27 (18) Blues 16 (6)
It wasn’t pretty, but the DHL Stormers won’t complain too much as they won their second match of the season against a 14-man Blues team by 27-16 at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors from Auckland were reduced to 14 men when lock Hayden Triggs was red-carded for punching in the 25th minute. At the same time, All Black loose forward Steven Luatua left the field injured.
Although the DHL Stormers started with intent, they made too many errors and could not assert themselves on the visitors, despite having one extra man on the field. They scored two tries, both in the first half, and had to be content with three penalty goals in the second half.
The highlight of the match was probably the superb solo-try scored by Dillyn Leyds late in the first half. The two starting scrumhalves, Nic Groom and Jimmy Cowan, scored the only other tries of the match.
- DHL Stormers – Tries: Nic Groom, Dillyn Leyds. Conversion: Demetri Catrakilis. Penalty goals: Catrakilis (4), Kurt Coleman.
- Blues – Try: Jimmy Cowan. Conversion: Ihaia West. Penalty goals: West (3).
Cell C Sharks 29 (15) Emirates Lions 12 (6)
Springbok flank Marcell Coetzee scored twice in the second half as the Cell C Sharks got maximum points from their 29-12 win over the Emirates Lions in a very wet Durban on Saturday evening.
The home team probably played the conditions better and opted for the boot more often than not. Many of these cross-kicks and up-and-unders had the visitors under pressure and resulted in points for the Cell C Sharks.
The Durbanites also had the better of the forward exchanges, giving their halfbacks a good platform to kick from, with Springbok flyhalf Patrick Lambie using the boot very well.
Mistakes and ill-discipline by the Emirates Lions proved costly in the end as they left Durban with empty hands.
- Cell C Sharks – Tries: Cobus Reinach, Odwa Ndungane, Marcell Coetzee (2). Conversions: Pat Lambie (3). Penalty goal: Lambie.
- Emirates Lions – Penalty goals: Marnitz Boshoff (4).
Other results – Round 2:
- Chiefs 19 Brumbies 17
- Rebels 28 Waratahs 38
- Highlanders 20 Crusaders 26
- Reds 18 Force 6
Logs – after Round 2:
|1||DHL Stormers (SA leader)||2||2||0||0||56||33||23||0||8|
|2||Hurricanes (NZ leader)||2||2||0||0||39||21||18||0||8|
|3||Brumbies (Aus leader)||2||1||0||1||64||22||42||2||6|
|4||Chiefs (Wild card)||2||2||0||0||42||35||7||0||8|
|5||Cell C Sharks (Wild card)||2||1||0||1||58||47||11||2||6|
|6||Toyota Cheetahs (Wild card)||1||1||0||0||35||29||6||1||5|
South African Conference
|2||Cell C Sharks||2||1||0||1||58||47||11||2||6|
New Zealand Conference
Top scorers – after Round 2:
|Patrick Lambie||Cell C Sharks||1||5||6||0||33|
|Demetri Catrakilis||DHL Stormers||0||3||7||0||27|
|Handre Pollard||Vodacom Bulls||1||1||6||0||25|
|Marnitz Boshoff||Emirates Lions||0||0||5||0||15|
|Joe Pietersen||Toyota Cheetahs||0||2||3||0||13|