Fans back to see Sharks, Lions make statements

The Emirates Lions surged to the top of the South African Shield in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship with a big victory in Cape Town, while the Cell C Sharks’ experienced Test players made a game-changing difference as they beat the Vodacom Bulls in Durban, on the weekend that fans finally returned to provincial rugby after a 20 month wait.

After the disruption of having two rounds of action postponed recently, the four local franchises relished the opportunity to get stuck in and although there were some early rustiness, the action took off in the second half in both matches.

In Durban, the Cell C Sharks “won” the second half of their clash by 21-3 as their scrum punished the Vodacom Bulls, setting the tone for what was essentially a rather one-sided 40 minutes.

And in Cape Town, the Emirates Lions added 24 points to their tally after the break while restricting their hosts to only seven, bagging a valuable four-try bonus-point in the process.

The Emirates Lions climbed to 10th spot on the overall standings, with 11 points from their five games, two clear of the Cell C Sharks, while the DHL Stormers (7) and Vodacom Bulls (5) bring up the rear. Leinster still lead the log with 29 points after seven games.

Determined Emirates Lions bury DHL Stormers in Cape Town

Francke Horn scored two tries as the Emirates Lions upset the DHL Stormers with a superb 37-19 victory in their Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.

While the hosts struggled to find their rhythm, the visitors from Gauteng scored when presented with opportunities, scoring two tries each side of half-time, while Fred Zeilinga also had a great day with the boot, contributing 17 points.

Scorers:

DHL Stormers 19 (12) – Tries: Stefan Ungerer, Seabelo Senatla, Andre-Hugo Venter. Conversions: Manie Libbok (2).

Emirates Lions 37 (13) – Tries: Francke Horn (2), Andre Warner, Vincent Tshituka. Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (4). Penalty goals: Zeilinga (3).

Cell C Sharks outmuscle Vodacom Bulls in Durban

The Cell C Sharks’ pack laid the foundation and Boeta Chamberlain kept the scoreboard ticking over as they beat the Vodacom Bulls by 30-16 in a typically tough Vodacom United Rugby Championship derby in Durban on Friday night.

Monstered in the scrum, the visitors to Jonsson Kings Park were on the backfoot for most of the game and in the end, that was probably the difference.

The Durbanites were on the front foot and used their opportunities, with Chamberlain slotting six penalty goals and a conversion for a personal haul of 20 points in the process.

Scorers:

Cell C Sharks 30 (9) – Tries: Lukhanyo Am, Kerron van Vuuren. Conversion: Boeta Chamberlain. Penalty goals: Chamberlain (6).

Vodacom Bulls 16 (13) – Try: David Kriel. Conversion: Morne Steyn. Penalty goals: Steyn (3).

Issued by SA Rugby Communications