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Super Rugby Round 3 Roundup; Emirates Lions reign supreme in Loftus derby

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The Emirates Lions surged into a nine point lead on the South African Conference log with their comfortable 49-35 bonus-point triumph over neighbours the Vodacom Bulls on Saturday evening in Pretoria.  Warren Whiteley and his team led 21-14 at halftime in this absorbing Round 3 Vodacom Super Rugby derby.

Meanwhile, the Cell C Sharks are still searching for their first win of the season following their 24-24 draw with the Waratahs in their early afternoon clash in Durban. The visitors snatched a converted try in the last minute to deny the home side a win.


In Christchurch the DHL Stormers never recovered from a poor start and although they fought back bravely after the break, the Cape side lost their second away match 45-28 to the Crusaders.

In the last fixture of the weekend the Jaguares went down 34-9 to the Hurricanes with the New Zealand outfit leading 12-6 at halftime.

So, after another weekend of exciting Vodacom Super Rugby action and many high-scoring ties, the Emirates Lions are leading the SA Conference and also the overall standings with three wins from three and handy haul of 14 league points in the bag.

The DHL Stormers are second on the SA log with five points, followed by the Vodacom Bulls (4 points), Cell C Sharks (3) and the Jaguares (0).

The past weekend delivered another full round of exciting rugby action.

At Loftus it was the Emirates Lions tight five who stole the show with their very effective, industrial performance against the new-look Vodacom Bulls. The visitors surprised the hosts with their forward approach and strong dominance, which led to four tries by the tight five plus a penalty try for the illegal collapse of another menacing maul.

To compound matters for the Pretoria side, they also had to play a portion of the second half with 13 men because of the yellow cards showed to replacements Conrad van Vuuren and Nick de Jager.

The Cell C Sharks and the Waratahs went into the break with the scores tied at 10-10 at Kings Park. Despite two excellent tries by Springbok midfielder Lukhanyo Am and another by flyhalf Robert du Preez, the Durbanites could not find a way to clinch a much needed win.

Replacement Mitch Short grabbed a late try and flyhalf Bernard Foley slotted the difficult conversion to force the draw. Both sides picked up two points for the stalemate.

The Crusaders stormed into a 21-0 lead inside 20 minutes in Christchurch, pouncing on several lineout mistakes from the Cape visitors. Although the DHL Stormers played much better in the second half, they went down 45-28 to the defending champions.

Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit left the field early with a bump to the head, adding to Cape team’s list of injuries.

In next week’s Round 4 action, the DHL Stormers play in the last match of their Australasian tour in Dunedin against the Highlanders on Friday morning (SA time). The Vodacom Bulls kick off their overseas leg at the Reds in the early Saturday morning clash while the Emirates Lions return to Johannesburg to host the Blues.

The Jaguares and the Waratahs will wrap up the Round 4 action late next Saturday night in Buenos Aires.