The Emirates Lions were clinical in their 29-0 dismantling of the Waratahs in Sydney on Friday morning and in doing so, set a unique new South African Vodacom Super Rugby record – they became the first-ever SA side in the history of the competition to keep their opponents scoreless while on tour abroad – in 118 SA victories on foreign soil. It was also the Emirates Lions’ first-ever triumph in Sydney.
The Highvelders defended resolutely to keep the Waratahs from breaching their line in the opening quarter and they led 7-0 at halftime through a Madosh Tambwe try. They were able to wrap up matters after the interval thanks to tries from Kwagga Smith, Harold Vorster and Marnus Schoeman.
Experienced hooker Adriaan Strauss scored his fifth try of the season while further efforts from Jesse Kriel, Divan Rossouw and Andre Warner secured the Vodacom Bulls a well-deserved 28-10 bonus-point success over the Rebels in Pretoria.
John Mitchell’s side played some enterprising rugby at times to clinch their third consecutive win after leading 21-3 at the interval.
Saturday’s feature match in Durban between the two local coastal rivals delivered a typical hard-fought derby and it was a key moment halfway through the second half that helped the Cell C Sharks to finally gain the upper hand over their Cape rivals, who led 7-3 at the break.
Dewaldt Duvenge, the visitors’ scrumhalf, was yellow carded for an illegal knockdown and the home side took full advantage to level matters at 17-17, when loose forward Jean-Luc du Preez dotted down. Later, the big frame of Du Toit burst over the try line for the match-winning score.
In the other South African conference match played on Sunday in Canberra, the Jaguares won their second successive match on Australian soil by beating the Brumbies by 25-20.
Following the weekend’s action, the Emirates Lions increased their points tally at the summit of the South African conference table to 30 points after nine games. They are followed by the Vodacom Bulls on 19 (from eight games) and the Cell C Sharks (18 points).
Despite their Friday defeat, the Waratahs are still in front on the Australian log with 24 points, while their win over the Sunwolves enabled the Crusaders (24 points) to edge past the Hurricanes (on a bye) on the New Zealand table.