Jarman’s pick of the week
With only 3 of the South African sides playing this week because of the Lions having a bye week choosing a game of the week was tough because both games were honestly tough to watch. However I sided with the local derby the Sharks vs Bulls cash of the super heroes at Kings Park in Durban.
The Bulls looking to come back from a massive defeat the previous week travelled to a Sharks outfit that managed to outplay their tourists in the same week. With not much action in the first half it would be the visiting Bulls who would take an early lead through the reliable boot of Handre Pollard in the 2nd minute of the game. The Bulls as they have done this season starting well. The Sharks would reply through their kicker in the 5th minute, Robert Du Preez making no mistake from the kicking tee. The final points of the half would again come from that man Pollard in the 28th minute. These last points were disappointing for spectators at the stadium.
The second half would start much brighter for the home side with great work being done by Tendai Mtawarira going over the advantage line to put the Sharks on the front foot in the first minute of the second half. After that some slick handling from Robert to find space for Luke Stringer to put Dan Du Preez into space for the first try of the game and the Sharks took a slim 8-6 lead in the 41st minute.
The Bulls would reply 11 minutes later when inside center Burger Odendaal broke through a weak tackle from Sharks flyhalf Robert Du Preez to set up his partner at center Jesse Kriel for an easy run. One under the poles the score now 13-8 to the visiting Bulls and this game looking as if it might just become a good one to watch.
The next highlight however was something we don’t want to see in rugby. One in which both props from the opposing team were sent off for getting into a scuffle close to the Bulls try line. Both Aker Van Der Merwe and Schalk Brits should be ashamed of that display and could face further sanctions as the powers that be will look to stamp that sort of thing out of the game of rugby.
Back to the action and the Sharks would be next to score a penalty from their flyhalf in the 61st minute. This meant they were now just 2 points behind at 13-11 to the Bulls. The home team were not done yet as they looked to have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the 71st minute scoring a try through their powerful number 12 Andre Esterhuizen, but Robert Du Preez unable to convert the try, left the game very much in the balance going into the last few minutes. The Sharks would live to regret the missed kicks in the game as they gave away a penalty right in front of the posts in the 78th minute, Pollard made no such error with his kick as he duly slotted it home for the Bulls to win this local derby 19-16.
Stormers vs Blues
The Stormers looking to bounce back from defeat the week before travelled to a Blues side needing a win as well. The Stormers made some early head way but unable to breach a stern Blues defense they only came away with 6 points from their excursions into Blue territory before the Blues cracked open the Stormers defense in the 30th minute with a try from Taniela Telea after a well worked set piece move from the Blues on the half way line. 7-6 Blues. They would add another 3 points to make it 10-6 at half time. The Stormers mistakes kept them from making a meaningful impact on the score line.
The second half was more of the same with Stormers promising much but ultimately failing to deliver and would only score 3 points in the second half. The Blues however ran in two tries to finish the tourists off and came out winners in this one 24-9 despite having a man red carded for the last ten minutes of the game. Stormers left to ponder the “ifs” of this game as they had multiple opportunities but ultimately could break the Blues defense.