Cheetahs keep SA flag flying in tough weekend of Super Rugby

2013-03-18 00:00

The Sharks and Bulls were both handed their first defeats of the season, and given a lesson in the art of try-scoring when they were heavily beaten by the Brumbies and the Crusaders in the weekend’s fourth round of Super Rugby.

With the Stormers having their bye and the Kings losing to the Chiefs, it was left to the Cheetahs to fly the South African flag with their Friday 27-26 win over the Waratahs in Sydney.

The Sharks were never in the race at King’s Park as the Brumbies, stronger, faster and slicker, hogged over 70% of possession and territory and ran in four tries for the bonus point in the first half-hour.

The Brumbies played textbook modern rugby, using their big men to hit the gainline, easily retaining possession and then recycling it quickly to stretch the Sharks defence and then outflank them for their impressive tries.

The Brumbies, coached by South African Jake White, have a strong Samoan representation in Joe Tomane, Fotu Auelua, Christian Lealiifano, Scott Sio and Matt Toomua and they bashed holes in the Sharks’ defence.

The 115kg Auelua, used in the Willem Alberts role, was particularly effective and he was named man of the match. But captain Ben Mowen also enjoyed running through and over Sharks while his fellow-flank George Smith picked up the pieces around the breakdown.

Toomua, Henry Speight (from a tighthead as the Sharks scrum disintegrated), Tomane and Jesse Mogg all crossed before half time and the contest was over.

The Sharks trailed 26-3 at the break and did improve in the second half when their replacements Pieter-Steph du Toit, Kyle Cooper and Wiehahan Herbst made an impact and Ryan Kankowski scored their only try.

But the Brumbies lost some of their sting after making a number of significant changes in personnel (even replacing Auelua) after the break and they tired in the early evening heat.

White was delighted with his team’s showing against a Sharks side crowded with Springboks.

“The first half in particular was very pleasing,” said White. “We used our chances and played to our strengths in defence and attack,” White said.

“The Sharks are a good side, so to come away from Durban with a bonus point is mission accomplished. It was a massive win.

“As a coach you’ve got to be happy with a result like that.

“Fotu had a big game. He led from the front and worked hard to get us over the advantage line. But it’s tough to single out guys when the team played so well as a unit.”

The Bulls went down 41-19 to the Crusaders in Christchurch where they have always struggled and have only picked up one losing bonus point (in 2009) in eight visits.

The Bulls could not match the commitment and organisation of the Crusaders and they were comprehensively outplayed. The Bulls scored their only try in the 67th minute when Deon Stegmann was driven over from a maul while the Crusaders had already scored five tries of their own.

The Force upset the Reds in Brisbane as five of the six away teams recorded victories with the Bulls the only exception.

Saturday’s scores and scorers:

Sharks 10 – Try: Ryan Kankowski. Conversion: Pat Lambie. Penalty goal: Lambie. Brumbies 29 – Tries: Henry Speight, Jesse Mogg, Joseph Tomane, Matt Toomua. Conversions: Christian Lealiifano (3). Penalty goal: Lealiifano.

Crusaders 41– Tries: Johnny McNicholl, Kieran Read, Robert Fruean, Tom Marshall, Willi Heinz, Wyatt Crockett. Conversions: Dan Carter (4). Penalty goal: Carter. Bulls 19 – Try: Deon Stegmann. Conversion: Morné Steyn. Penalty goals: Steyn (4).

Reds 12– Penalties: Quade Cooper (4). Force 19 – Tries: Alfie Mafi. Conversions: Sias Ebersohn (1). Penalties: Sias Ebersohn (4)

Played Friday

Highlanders 19 Hurricanes 23

Waratahs 26 Cheetahs 27

Kings 24 Chiefs 35

Byes: Blues (NZL), Rebels (AUS), Stormers (RSA)

This weekend’s fixtures (home team first, SA time)


Chiefs v Highlanders 8.35am


Crusaders v Kings 8.35am.

Reds v Bulls 10.40am

Force v Cheetahs 12.45pm

Sharks v Rebels 5.05pm

Stormers v Brumbies 7.10pm


Waratahs v Blues 7.05am

Bye: Hurricanes



Brumbies 4 4 0 0 118 35 83 14 2 3 23

Chiefs 4 3 0 1 155 90 65 18 8 5 17

Bulls 4 3 0 1 108 105 3 9 12 1 13

Blues 3 2 0 1 89 63 26 11 5 3 15

Reds 5 3 0 2 84 85 -1 7 6 1 13

Sharks 4 3 0 1 72 69 3 3 7 0 12

Crusaders 3 1 0 2 84 82 2 10 8 3 11

Hurricanes 4 2 0 2 84 99 -15 7 11 1 9

Cheetahs 4 2 0 2 88 119 -31 9 13 1 9

Stormers 3 1 0 2 59 71 -12 5 5 1 9

Force 4 1 0 3 78 100 -22 8 9 1 9

Rebels 4 1 0 3 82 107 -25 7 12 1 9

Waratahs 4 1 0 3 80 113 -33 7 12 1 9

S. Kings 3 1 0 2 58 66 -8 4 6 0 8

Highlanders 3 0 0 3 65 100 -35 7 10 1 5

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.