This week was by far the most disappointing (with me being a huge Stormers Supporter).
Stormers lost top spot on the SA conference to the Bulls. Before I go more into that lets go through each fixture of the past weekend:
Highlanders 48 – Sharks 15
Not much to say for this fixture as the result speaks for itself. Dominant display by the Highlanders running seven tries past a woeful Sharks team. Effectively ending any chance they had to qualify for the playoffs. Sharks remain 4th in SA conference while Highlanders stay 3rd in New Zealand but 5th on the overall log.
Waratahs 13 – Brumbies 10
Defending champions the Waratahs winning this grudge match by a narrow margin. Great defense was key to their victory over the Brumbies. Closing the gap to one point over the Brumbies in Austrailian conference with a game in hand. The Waratahs look like they can defend their title.
Blues 41 – Force 24
Blues thumping the Force in this one but coming at a price with serious injuries to All Blacks Jerome Kaino and Charles Piutau. Blues only scoring their 2nd victory for the season. Force losing streak continues, losing 10 matches in a row. Blues remain bottom of New Zealand conference and Force bottom of Australian Conference.
Hurricanes 29 – Crusaders 23
Hurricanes blowing the Crusaders away with 4 tries to 2 in this clash. Hurricanes taking a huge step towards taking the New Zealand Conference. They remain top of the conference with a 5 point gap and a game in hand over the Chiefs. While Crusaders remain 4th, making it very difficult for them to make the playoffs.
Rebels 16 – Chiefs 15
One of the shocks of the week. Rebels maintaining their slim hopes of making the playoffs by pulling off one of the biggest upsets, in my mind, this weekend. Rebels denting the hopes of The Chiefs winning the New Zealand Conference. Chiefs remain 2nd on the New Zealand Conference while Rebels remain 3rd in Australian conference.
Cheetahs 25 – Stormers 17
What can I say about this? Disappointing day at the office for the Stormers. Credit to the young Cheetahs side for playing their hearts out for the victory. Cheetahs started like a house on fire with two tries, which was caused by weak defence by the Stormers, leading 18-3 halfway through the 2nd half. Stormers fought back with a try of their own before halftime, score at the break was 18-10 to the Cheetahs. Stormers scored another try after the break, making it a nail biting end. Then came the crazy drama as Kurt Coleman missed 4 penalties, which could have effectively sealed the match for the Cape Town side, and the Cheetahs scored a try to take the lead at 25-17. Tight game even though the Stormers lost by 8 points. Lots to think about for Alistair Coetzee and the boys after this performance. Cheetahs remain bottom of the SA conference, and Stormers slip to 2nd.
Bulls 35 – Lions 33
Match had spectators and supporters sitting on the edge of their seats right till the end. Eventually the Bulls prevailing 35-33. Bulls scoring a great victory before going on tour. The Bulls reclaim top spot in SA conference while Lions remain 3rd. Keeping the Conference super tight.
This is how things stand after round 12:
Combined Conferences Log
|11||Cell C Sharks||11||4||0||7||216||289||-73||5||21|
South African Conference
|4||Cell C Sharks||11||4||0||7||216||289||-73||5||21|
New Zealand Conference