Super 14 Rugby

Tries scarce on bleak weekend for SA sides

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On another bleak weekend for South Africa’s Super 14 teams that saw defending champions Bulls annihilated 40-8 by the lowly Reds, the dearth of tries by South African sides was again highlighted.


Only eight tries in total were scored by the five South African franchises in their five outings this weekend.


Four of those, which included a penalty try, were scored by the Stormers who have now won two from two in New Zealand after an impressive 35-26 win over the Chiefs in Hamilton.


The win came on the back of a good all-round performance with the loose forward trio of Luke Watson, Francois Louw and Schalk Burger outstanding at the breakdown. The Stormers have now moved into seventh place on the log.


The fact that the unbeaten Sharks scored only one try in their 16-8 win over the plucky and somewhat unlucky Lions at Ellis Park, saw the Crusaders open a three-point lead on the log after their 55-7 walloping of the Cheetahs.


The visitors rested eight of their top players for a match they obviously didn’t think they could win.


But Crusaders, also without six of their best, showed no mercy and a lot of class as they trounced the Bloemfontein franchise, scoring nine tries.


Crusaders now have 24 log points after five rounds, one off the maximum and have now amassed 194 points in five outings.


They next host the Waratahs, who had the weekend off. The Reds claimed their first bonus point victory in four years with a 40-8 demolition of the woeful defending champions Bulls in Brisbane.


This surprise win comes after last year’s 92-3 win by the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.


Wallaby Matt Giteau inspired the Western Force to their first-ever victory in New Zealand with a surprise win over the three-time champion Blues.


After 17-7 halftime deficit, the Force clawed their way back into the match with 20 unanswered second-half points to win 27-17. It was Blues’ the second successive defeat.


The Hurricanes leapfrogged the Blues into third spot after their fourth successive win when they outplayed the Brumbies 33-15 smashing in Canberra.


*** South African sides have now scored 44 tries in their combined 25 matches, and have conceded 68. The Cheetahs, with 12 tries, are still leading the South African try-race.


The Sharks have scored 10 tries in their five matches, the Cheetahs nine, the Lions eight and the Bulls a lowly five.


The Bulls have conceded 19 tries – the second-most after the Cheetahs’ 22.


Crusaders, with 27 tries, have scored the most tries, while the five conceded by the Sharks is the best in the competition.


Sapa  –Super14.com  

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