This weekend’s super rugby results were a positive batch for most South African supporters, with the majority of the South African sides taking home convincing wins.
There were a few losses in the South African conference, with the underperforming Lions going down to the Western Force and the Cheetahs getting a lesson in rugby from the Stormers in a South African derby.
The Lions are slowly shifting more and more away from form, whereas the other South African sides seem to have caught a wake-up, albeit too late for many of them. The Bulls defeated the Brumbies convincingly, keeping their playoff hopes alive and giving their supporters something to cheer for and sending the Brumbies home to Australia with no wins from two after their tour of South Africa. The Sharks only strengthened their grip on the top of the table with a solid win over the Blues.
The Stormers convincingly downed the Cheetahs 33-0 in a one-sided encounter at Newlands on Saturday. They will, however, be concerned with the loss of their captain and Springbok centre, Jean De Villiers, to a knee injury. De Villiers is reportedly out of commission for up to eight weeks and will thus miss the remainder of his Super Fifteen season and also the June test with the Springboks. The Springboks will also be missing veteran Jaque Fourie and so will have to replace both their centre pair and their captain.
The Reds sat out this past weekend with a bye, giving them a chance to hopefully rest and strategise ahead of their game against the Highlanders. Only pride is on the line at this point for the struggling Reds team, but that will surely be enough to motivate them to put on a solid performance and salvage some of what is left of their season. They have, however, faced some stress in the form of their captain, James Horwill, who was recently fined A$2500 for misconduct when interviewed post-match after his sides game against the Rebels, where a decision by the referee and the TMO ended with a red card going to a Reds player and a resulting converted penalty which effectively lost the Reds the game. Horwill, and the Reds, can count themselves lucky that he did not recieve a suspension for the matter.
Round 15 results wrap-up:
Sharks 29-23 Blues
Waratahs 41-19 Rebels
Bulls 44-23 Brumbies
Crusaders 32-30 Highlanders
Hurricanes 45-8 Chiefs
Force 29-19 Lions
Stormers 33-0 Cheetahs