Top 10 Rainbow Cup SA Tries
Rugby lovers have been left with a proverbial pot of gold at the end of the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA tournament in the form of an array of awesome tries, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.
With the tournament proper concluding at the weekend and just the North v South final between the Bulls and Benetton left to be played in Treviso this Saturday, relive the most memorable moments in our selection of the top 10 tries:
10: Catch Me If You Can
Stormers wing Edwill van der Merwe left the Lions thunderstruck with an electrifying piece of individual brilliance at Ellis Park. Fed the ball by Damian Willemse after the fullback had acrobatically fielded an up-and-under, Van der Merwe beat two defenders in a flash and left EW Viljoen for dead to score a magnificent maiden try.
9: Terrific Tambwe
The Bulls turned defence into attack in a flash against the Stormers in Cape Town with red-hot right-wing Madosh Tambwe finishing in style, streaking down the touchline, swerving past two defenders and punctuating the pearler with a picture-perfect dive.
8: Boeta You Beauty
At Ellis Park, a cyborg-like Boeta Chamberlain took a quick scan of the field and deftly dinked the ball over the disorganised Lions defence with his educated boot. The replacement Sharks flyhalf received a perfect bounce, stepped Rabz Maxwane and offloaded over the head of Morné van den Berg for fullback Anthony Volmink to dot down.
7: Viljoen Lights Lions’ Fuse
In the showdown with the Sharks in Durban, Lions fullback EW Viljoen sparked a try from inside his own half with a nifty break and offload to MJ Pelser. The openside flank surged ahead, sucked in the last defender and sent scrumhalf André Warner over unopposed.
6: Great First Impression
You only get one chance to make a good first impression and the Stormers did just that when they served up a stunning tournament-opening try at Cape Town Stadium. Outside centre Ruhan Nel was the instigator as he cut inside two Sharks defenders and pulled in two more before offloading to fullback Damian Willemse, who flicked the ball to scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies to round off.
The tournament introduced the wider South African rugby supporters’ base to the razzmatazz Rabz Maxwane is fond of on the field. The most memorable example came in the Jukskei derby in Johannesburg, where the Lions wing swerved past Duane Vermeulen before chipping, collecting the ball and cashing in to help the hosts break their duck and hand the Bulls their only loss.
4: Back With A Bang
In his first match back for the Sharks following a sabbatical in Japan, Makazole Mapimpi made an immediate impact as he sat down Courtnall Skosan to burst through the Lions’ line at Ellis Park. The flyer linked up with scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse, who coolly and classily popped the ball to eighthman Phepsi Buthelezi to score.
3: Domino Effect
Hard-working Lions wing Rabz Maxwane set off a seamless chain of events at Ellis Park when he beat Stormers No.10 Abner van Reenan in the air to regain scrumhalf’s André Warner’s pinpoint box kick. From there, brilliant handling – none better than star flank Vincent Tshituka’s tremendous offload – saw flying fullback EW Viljoen beat the cover defender to go over in the corner.
2: Shark Sushi
With the visitors’ backs against the wall after getting off to a slow start at Kings Park, Stormers speedster Edwill van der Merwe – our Player of the Tournament – sparked them into life when he sliced and diced the Sharks with a scintillating run from inside his own half, which saw him blitz three defenders to dot down under the posts.
1: Lethal Lions At Their Best
The Lions dropped jaws when they unlocked the Stormers’ defence in spectacular fashion from a lineout just outside of their 22 at Ellis Park. Inventive and oh so skillful, scrumhalf André Warner re-gathered his own perfectly weighted chip and found rookie flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse in support, who flung a world-class offload to ever-present flank MJ Pelser, who cantered in.