Jarman’s Pick of the Week
My pick of the week this week has to go to a game I actually attended this past weekend and before I get into the game, I just want to speak about my experience with the uBumbo crew. They met up at around 1pm in the afternoon and “gees” was the order of the day and they have it in bucket loads. They had voted for a vibe master just before kickoff of the super rugby clash at Newlands between the Stormers and the Bulls and Epic North VS South Derby game. The vibe master got the songs going from our tent at the brewery just next to the stadium and we were off, singing and clapping our way into the stadium creating an amazing vibe on the railway stand at Newlands and that vibe would continue right up to and past the final whistle.
The Stormers took an early lead in this one with some beautiful handling from forwards and backs alike. We saw winger Sergeal Peterson go over in the corner for the hosts first try of the game and with flyhalf Jean-luc Du Plessis nailing his conversion it meant the home team was up 7-0.
The Bulls were clawing their way back into the contest and when the Stormers handed them an opportunity for points in the 22nd minute Handre Pollard made no mistake 7-3. Just 6 minutes later and the home side would stretch their advantage out to 11 points through some absolutely brilliant play from 2 of the back 3 of the Stormers; first Damian Willemse showed some silky footwork to find some space from an aimless kick by the Bulls. Willemse then found Seabelo Senatla on his inside and the SA sevens speedster showed all his skills and strength with pace and a magical step to beat Pollard who was the last defender, 14-3 to the home side who came to play in this one.
The Bulls replied with 2 more penalty conversions in the first half from Pollard to keep the Stormers within touching distance 14-9 at half time in this tightly contested derby game.
The 2nd half began with the visitors scoring their first try of the game after great work in the build up with Bok center Jessie Kriel heavily involved in the build -up and with Ivan van Zyl going over close to the posts, giving Pollard an easy conversion to see the away side into the lead for the first time in the match. Score; 16-14 now to the Bulls with 43 minutes played.
Their lead would however would be short lived as just 13 minutes later replacement flyhalf Josh Stander slotted home a penalty to make it 17-16 to the home team after 53 minutes.
The home team would be next to score as they looked to see this game out and in the 60th minute the Bulls were forced into another aimless kick by the pressure of the Stormers kick chase. The Bulls kicked the ball straight down the throat of Dillyn Leyds, who needs no second invitation to counter attack. Leyds cruised through a broken line of Bulls defenders to end up just meters short of the line but showing a great presence of mind, he popped the ball up for Herschel Jantjies to go over untouched.
Stander nailed the resulting conversion and the home team taking control of this one with an 8 point lead with 20 minutes to play 24-16.
The Stormers would control the game for the remainder of this one until after the hooter when they decided to try run the ball out from their own line looking for that ever illusive bonus point try, however it was not to be as the Bulls would first force a turnover and a penalty and then with a little chip kick from Handre Pollard Manie Libbok, was in under the posts to make it 24-23 to the Stormers and ending off a great clash at Newlands with the home side just shading this one in the end.
Sharks VS Waratahs
The Sharks were looking for a response after a home defeat the week before to the Reds, while the Waratahs were looking to continue momentum gained in their home victory against the Rebels. The first half was tight affair with the home Waratahs and the Sharks sharing a try a piece with Jake Gordon going over for the Tahs and the big man Dan Du Preez going over for the Sharks. The first half ended with both teams exchanging penalties and that meant the score was 10-10 at half time. The Sharks were now looking to attack in the second half to get an away win.
The Sharks scored first in the second half through Andre Esterhuizen in the 52nd minute and with Curwin Bosch adding the conversion. 2 more penalties meant the Sharks took control in the second half. The home team would score in the end though with Bernard Foley going over in the 80th minute to make it 23-15 to the Sharks which was a great away victory for them.
Crusaders VS Lions
The Lions went to the home of the table topping Crusaders looking for another tour win but they would have to be at their best as the hosts had only lost one game all season so far.
The home team dominated from the start and within 10 minutes went 10-0 up through a try from Braydon Ennor and a conversion and a penalty from Richie Mo’unga. The Lions scored next with a penalty of their own from flyhalf Elton Jantjies but the home team piled on the pressure scoring another try before half time from Sevu Reece to make it 17-3 at half time to the Saders.
The second half began as the first half did, with the home team again in the ascendancy and scoring and converting 2 tries in the opening 11 minutes of the second half; George Bridge grabbing a quick fire brace. The Lions defense not up to the task in this one. The Lions managed to get onto the score sheet again through Ruan Combrinck to give themselves a skim glimmer of hope but those hopes were well and truly dashed when the Crusaders again crossed the whitewash for the 5th time in the game. It was Sevu Reece getting his brace for the home team as they ran out comfortable victors 36-10 in this one. More head scratching for the Lions whose defense looked shaky at best.