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Super Rugby: Impressive Emirates Lions roar into semis

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The Emirates Lions qualified for a third successive Vodacom Super Rugby semi-final with their impressive 40-23 victory over the Jaguares on Saturday afternoon in Johannesburg. They will meet the Waratahs next Saturday at Emirates Airlines Park from 15h05 in one of the two semi-finals.

The Waratahs scored a dramatic 30-23 come-from-behind win over the Highlanders in Sydney to book their place in the last four after wiping out a halftime deficit of 23-6.

 

Earlier on Saturday morning, the Crusaders triumphed 40-10 over the Cell C Sharks in Christchurch to secure their home semi-final berth against the Hurricanes, who edged the Chiefs 32-31 on Friday.

Playing at home on the Highveld, the Emirates Lions outscored their Argentine opponents by four tries to two, while Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies contributed 20 points with the boot.

Jantjies delivered a flawless kicking display and converted the tries of Ruan Combrinck (wing), Harold Vorster (centre), Malcolm Marx (hooker) and Andries Coetzee (fullback), while also adding three penalties and a drop goal.

Their tight five, with hooker Marx in outstanding form, delivered an impressive display against the powerful Jaguares pack, which allowed them a solid platform to attack from. The Jaguares stormed back to within four points of their hosts at one stage (27-23) but the Gauteng side quickly shifted into a higher gear to take the game away from the visitors.

In the early morning game in Christchurch, the Cell C Sharks fought bravely after a poor start, which handed the Kiwi side the all-important momentum.

The Crusaders scored five tries through Bryn Hall, David Havili, Matt Todd, Braydon Ennor and Peter Samu while Richie Mo’unga slotted three conversions and also three penalties. Kobus van Wyk scored the Durbanites’ only try, with Robert du Preez adding the conversion and a penalty.

The Highlanders took firm control of the opening period and deserved their halftime lead over the Waratahs in Sydney. However, Bernard Foley scored two of the Waratahs’ three tries as they overturned a 17-point deficit for a dramatic 30-23 triumph.