Super Rugby Unlocked is a competition that is being played between seven of South Africa’s top professional rugby sides from 10 October to 21 November 2020.
Teams play each other once, home or away. The top-placed team at the end of that seven-week round-robin will be awarded the Super Rugby Unlocked title.
Super Rugby Unlocked: Round four
Lions 61-31 Griquas
The Lions registered their first win of the campaign when they defeated visiting Griquas 61-31 after leading 28-3 at halftime in Johannesburg on Friday.
It was a triumphant homecoming for the Joburg home side who took any sniff of victory away from the plucky visitors with two quick tries at the end.
After scoring only three points in a disappointing first-half display, the Kimberley side gave a far better account of themselves in the second half to score four converted tries.
Lions outside centre Wandisile Simelane gave an impressive display in midfield, and the No 13 had a hand in three of his team’s four first-half tries.
He capped an outstanding performance with a fine solo try deep in the second half. Skipper and flyhalf Elton Jantjies was equally impressive with his ball contribution and kicking off the tee, which saw him missing only one of his nine conversions attempts.
Lions 61 (28) – Tries: Courtnall Skosan (3), Dan Kriel, Stean Pienaar, MJ Pelser, Jaco Visagie; Wandisile Simelane, Reinhard Nothnagel; Conversions: Elton Jantjies (8)
Griquas 31 (3) – Tries: Zak Burger, Hendrik Luus, James Verity-Amm; Tinus de Beer, Conversions: George Whitehead (4); Penalty goal: Whitehead.
Pumas 19-42 Sharks
The Sharks returned to winning ways on Saturday afternoon with a convincing 42-19 victory over the Pumas in their round four clash played in Nelspruit.
The coastal side lost their previous encounter to the Bulls in Pretoria, but on this occasion, they were quick out of the blocks and outscored the home side by four tries to one on their way to a 28-7 halftime lead.
They would eventually outscore the home side by six tries to three, with flyhalf Curwin Bosch delivering a flawless kicking display to convert all six tries.
Unlike last weekend, when they were accurate and clinical for large parts of the game against the Stormers, the Pumas struggled to create any significant passages of play early on. When they did manage to get some momentum, they spoilt it with handling errors. However, the home side did manage to make inroads towards the end of the first half.
Pumas 19 (7) – Try: Francois Kleinhans, Erich Cronje (2). Conversions: Theo Boshoff (2)
Sharks 42 (28) – Tries: Manie Libbok, Madosh Tambwe, Dan Jooste, Sbu Nkosi, Kerron van Vuuren (2). Conversions: Curwin Bosch (6)
The Bulls delivered thunderbolt and lightning on the field at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday evening, and when real inclement weather did force an early end to their derby clash against the DHL Stormers, the home side were leading 39-6 after 63 minutes.
The match was subsequently called completed after no rugby was possible for the 30 minutes following the decision by referee AJ Jacobs to call the teams off the field, with the Vodacom Bulls – having posted five unanswered tries past their Cape visitors – declared as winners.
The men from Pretoria confirmed their top spot on the log after by bagging another bonus point victory to edge them ahead of the pack.
For this commanding, albeit strange victory, credit must go to veteran flyhalf, Morné Steyn, who delivered a masterclass in attacking play and tactical kicking. Steyn, bolstered by his rampant pack, had his backline firing on all cylinders.
Bulls 39 (32) – Tries: Johan Grobbelaar, Stedman Gans (2), Ivan van Zyl, Runa Nortje. Conversions: More Steyn (4). Penalty Goals: Steyn (2)
Stormers 6 (6) – Penalty Goals: Damian Willemse (2).