The 18th week of 2011 Super 15 action kicked off this past Friday. 7 matches were played in the final round of the group stage of the tournament this weekend.
On Friday the Blues comfortably beat the Highlanders by 33 points to 16 in Auckland and the Rebels narrowly lost against the Western Force in Melbourne. On Saturday, The Reds beat the Chiefs by 19 points to 11 in Hamilton, the Crusaders beat the Hurricanes by 16 points to 9 in Wellington and the Waratahs comfortably beat the Brumbies by 41 points to 7 in Sydney.
The Bulls took on the Sharks this past weekend in Pretoria at Loftus Versfeld. The match was sold out. The Loftus crowd caught one of the most exciting matches of the 2011 Super 15 season. The atmosphere was electric. The Sharks dominated the first half of the match, but the Bulls managed to pull back. The Sharks were leading by 16 points to 6 (thanks to a try by captain Stefan Terblanche) at one stage. The Bulls wing, Gerhard van den Heever, scored a try (after accepting a pass from centre Wynand Olivier) just before the end of the first half, putting the half time score at 16 points to 13. The 2nd half of the match was very tense. The Sharks eventually scored a try in the 74th minute of the match. Lambie broke the Bulls defence and the Sharks backline fed the ball to Lwazi Mvovo who dove over the tryline in the corner. The Bulls replied a few minutes later with a try by Francois Hougaard, but it wasn’t enough. The Sharks won the match by 26 points to 23.
The Cheetahs took on the Stormers on their home ground in Bloemfontein on Saturday as well. The Stormers dominated the match. Gio Aplon, Juan De Jongh, Nick Koster and Bryan Habana scored the tries and Peter Grant kicked over 6 penalties and 3 conversions for the Stormers. The Cheetahs managed to score 4 tries. 3 of them were scored by Rayno Benjamin and the other one was scored by Davon Raubenheimer. Sias Ebersohn kicked over 4 conversions and 2 penalties for the Cheetahs. The Stormers won the match by 44 points to 34 points.
The 2011 Super 15 tournament enters its next stage this weekend. The Blues take on the Waratahs in Auckland at Eden Park on the 24th of June and the Crusaders take on the Sharks at Trafalgar Park in Nelson on the 25th of June. The winner of the match on the 24th of June takes on the Reds (who ended in first place on the Super 15 table) on the 2nd of July. The winner of the match on the 25th of June takes the Stormers (who ended in 2nd place on the Super 15 table) on the 2nd of July.
The Junk Mail team would like to take this opportunity to wish all the remaining teams in the competition good luck with their upcoming matches in the 2011 Super 15.
Also feel free to check out the following posts on the Junk Mail blog:
- 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup Match Schedule
- 8 Interesting Facts About the Digital Market in South Africa in 2011