Super Rugby

5 talking points: Super Rugby Week 15

Herschel Jantjies (Gallo Images)
Herschel Jantjies (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Sport24's Herman Mostert highlights FIVE talking points after Week 15 of the 2019 Super Rugby competition:  

1. Powerful Kuridrani floors Bulls

Barn-storming Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani scored a hat-trick as the Brumbies claimed a 22-10 bonus-point win over the Bulls in Canberra on Friday.

The ease with which the Brumbies scored from first phase should be of concern for the Bulls coaching staff.

The Bulls also appeared to struggle without captain and pivot Handre Pollard, while stand-in captain Duane Vermeulen's arm injury no doubt also played a part in their demise.

Luckily Vermeulen calmed fears over the injury when he said on Instagram that it was not as bad as initially feared.

2. Senatla marginally offside

Early in their game against the Highlanders at Newlands, Stormers winger Seabelo Senatla thought he had scored the first try after gathering a clever chip kick in behind the Highlanders defence from centre Damian de Allende.

However, the try was cancelled after it was determined that Senatla was in front of De Allende when the latter kicked.

In my view the correct decision was made, with replays confirming that Senatla was slightly in front of De Allende.

But the concerning part was that television match official Willie Vos seemingly wanted to award the try, after telling Australian referee Stuart Berry that there was "no compelling evidence" that Senatla was in front of De Allende.

Luckily sanity prevailed as Berry asked for a second look on the big screen before cancelling the try.

3. Yellow or red for tip tackle?

Another talking point from the first half at Newlands was when Highlanders fullback Matt Faddes received a yellow card for a tip tackle on De Allende.

According to SANZAAR's official website, Faddes "turned De Allende past the horizontal point and dropped him on his head", but the referee opted against giving a red card.

In-studio SuperSport pundit Nick Mallett said he agreed with the decision to only send Faddes off for 10 minutes.

"My view was the referee got it right. It was without force... he did land on the back of his neck, he was rolled over his knee... but it has to be with force and on the back of the head and in my opinion there wasn't force."

I'll agree with Mallett that there wasn't much force in the tackle but I'm not sure whether that is what the laws dictate... it was a clear tip tackle, past the horizontal, with a player landing on his head...

We've certainly witnessed many red cards for similar incidents in the past.

4. Jantjies red hot in Stormers No 9 jumper

Stormers scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies' star continues to shine brightly after another impressive display in their 34-22 win over the Highlanders.

Jantjies scored the game's first try when he ran a smart angle after a sniping break from Senatla.

The accuracy and speed with which he clears the rucks have caught the eye and it's perhaps no wonder Stormers coach Robbie Fleck boldly claimed earlier in the season that Jantjies was the in-form scrumhalf in South Africa.

Against the Highlanders, Jantjies tested himself against arguably the world's best No 9 in Aaron Smith and this experience would have done the Stormers No 9 a world of good.

5. Intercept tries prove difference at Kings Park

The pleasing aspect from Saturday's South African derby between the Sharks and Lions was that there was plenty of enterprise from both teams.

Yes, there were a few too many handling errors, but this game was not the worst advertisement for South African rugby.

After trailing 14-0 in the first half, the Lions did well to claw their way back to level pegging, but two intercept tries from the hosts proved vital in the final outcome.

The second intercept from Makazole Mapimi was game-defining.

The Lions, trailing 17-14 at that stage, were hot on the attack near the Sharks tryline when flyhalf Elton Jantjies' floated pass found the Sharks winger instead of his own, with Mapimpi sprinting 95m to score.

From there the Lions were forced back into catch-up mode and never really got back into the contest.

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