10 June 2019, by: Quintin van Jaarsveld
SUPER RUGBY SA TEAM OF THE WEEK – ROUND 17
Round 17 of Super Rugby saw the Jaguares deservedly claim their maiden South African Conference title with a clinical 34-7 dismantling of the Sharks in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
The Stormers were the only South African side to come away with a win, however, they looked far from convincing and failed to secure an all-important bonus-point in their 31-18 victory over the Sunwolves at Newlands.
The Lions were less fortunate in their home fixture earlier in the day, going down 37-17 to the impressive Hurricanes. The Bulls, meanwhile, kicked off the round on Friday with a passionate performance in Dunedin, where they fought back to draw 24-all with the Highlanders, their second stalemate in New Zealand in as many weeks.
Here’s who caught our eye at the weekend.
Back in the form that made him a Springbok. His big boot came in very handy, and when he opted to run, he made great yardage (95m), beat the first man on three occasions and offloaded in the tackle. Unfortunate that his try was disallowed. Great on defence as well, making all six of his tackles and winning two turnovers.
The rookie can be more than satisfied with his performance. Stuck in a stale backline, he did all the basics well. Chased Jano Vermaak’s clever kick well, which was the spark that blazed Jaco Coetzee’s trail to the tryline, managed two clean breaks, showed a clean pair of heels to score in the corner and made all six tackles asked of him.
The veteran is making a late push for a Bok recall. Was full of running, eluding three tacklers in his 12 surges and ran a great line to take a ball from Elton Jantjies and link up with Aphiwe Dyantyi for the wing’s second try.
The best Bulls player in Dunedin. Strong and dangerous with ball-in-hand, making 39 metres, eight runs, a line break and beating three defenders. His break provided the momentum for Jason Jenkins to go over for a try from close range. Also made a backline-high eight hits and won a turnover.
Was at his brilliant best. Racked up a South African round-record 111 metres from 11 scorching runs, bagging a brace, making five clean breaks and leaving two defenders in his dust. His chip-and-chase try was a thing of beauty.
Elton Jantjies + Lionel Mapoe + Aphiwe Dyantyi = ??? pic.twitter.com/d1dkOsAJiF
— SuperSport? (@SuperSportTV) June 8, 2019
Made a world of difference. Marshalled his troops, kept the Highlanders guessing by making as many as 10 runs and tracked back to mop up kicks into the Bulls’ 22 under pressure.
Played a more probing role as usual which seemed to caught the ‘Canes by surprise as he beat three defenders and made 36 metres from his seven runs. Also chipped in with a breakdown penalty. Special mention must be made of Herschel Jantjies, who played brilliantly before limping off with an injury.
Like the Lions’ Tyrone Green and Sharks’ Makazole Mapimpi, his passion – perfectly summed by the first of his two tries – saw him stand head and shoulders above the rest at Newlands. Bled for his team, made 72 metres with 10 storming runs and earned two turnovers – the first close to the Stormers’ line early on.
The Stormers have defeated the Sunwolves at Newlands 31-18, failing to secure a bonus point. Jaco Coetzee scored a fantastic try where he sold not only Semisi Masirewa but also our cameraman a brilliant dummy ?#SuperRugby pic.twitter.com/MOyh1CVxQx — SuperSport? (@SuperSportTV) June 8, 2019