Only the Hollywoodbets Sharks were unable to build on their first victory of the tournament last week in their local derby against the high-flying Vodacom Bulls, with the KwaZulu-Natalians going down 44-10 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
The result saw the hosts remain in third position on the table after seven rounds, while the Durbanites find themselves closer to the foot of the log in 15th position with only one win to their name so far in the competition.
The Emirates Lions, in turn, registered an impressive 49-24 victory against a spirited Dragons outfit at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg, while the DHL Stormers returned to their winning ways in SA after four defeats on the trot on tour with a morale-boosting 31-7 victory against Zebre Parma in Stellenbosch.
These results saw the Emirates Lions maintain their ninth place on the log – although they managed to close the points gap and are currently tied on 19 points with the eighth-placed Connacht.
The DHL Stormers jumped up one position into 10th place – a reversal of their recent trajectory and one they will be determined to build on in the coming weeks and months.
Vodacom Bulls outplay Hollywoodbets Sharks to earn third home win in a row
The Vodacom Bulls produced a clinical performance against the Hollywoodbets Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday outscoring the visitors six tries to only one penalty try and penalty goal by the visitors, converting a 27-3 halftime lead into comfortable 44-10 victory.
Such was the effectiveness of the home team’s attack, they banked their four-try bonus point on the stroke of halftime through Akker van der Merwe, following a double by Stedman Gans within nine minutes, and a try by Springbok winger Kurt-Lee Arendse. They added two more in the second half – which saw Van der Merwe bank his second of the match.
The Hollywoodbets Sharks put the first points on the board in the match compliments of a penalty goal by Curwin Bosch, but they struggled to convert their superior territory and possession, as well as a few point-scoring chances into points, which came at the cost of the defeat.
Vodacom Bulls 44 (27) - Tries: Stedman Gans (2), Akker van der Merwe (2), Kurt-Lee Arendse, Elrigh Louw. Conversions: Johan Goosen (4). Penalty goals: Goosen (2).
Hollywoodbets Sharks 10 (3) - Penalty Try. Penalty Goal: Curwin Bosch.
Emirates Lions overcome red card to defeat to Dragons
The Emirates Lions showed true grit and determination in their Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash against the Dragons in Johannesburg after playing with 14 men from the 25th minute to outplay the Welsh side 49-24.
The win was their third in their last four outings in the competition as they have threatened to claim a top eight place. The first half was a fairly tight affair, but two tries by the Johannesburgers’ to one by the opposition and a conversion and two penalty goals by Sanele Nohamba saw them enter the sheds 18-10 ahead at the break despite the loss of lock Ruben Schoeman for a charge down gone wrong.
They found their rhythm in the second half, and the Dragons being reduced to 14 men for the second time in the match assisted their cause, which saw them cross the chalk four times in the second stanza, with Quan Horn and Edwill van der Merwe bagging a brace each.
The Dragons fought back with intent in the second half, but the big difference between the sides at the end of the day was the Emirates Lions’ ability to convert their chances into points.
Emirates Lions 49 (18) - Tries: Quan Horn (2), Edwill van der Merwe (2), Morne van den Berg, Henco van Wyk. Conversions: Sanele Nohamba (5). Penalty goals: Nohamba (3).
Dragons 24 (10) - Tries: Harrison Keddle, Ashton Hewitt, Bradley Roberts. Conversions: Will Reed (3). Penalty goal: Reed.
DHL Stormers back to winning ways with victory over Zebre
The DHL Stormers ensured that they put the disappointment of their Vodacom URC tour behind them on Saturday as they defeated Zebre Parma 31-7 at the Danie Craven Stadium, scoring five tries to one from the Italians.
The first half proved to be competitive as both teams threw everything at one another on attack and defence, but few points were scored with the hosts taking a 12-7 lead thanks to tries by Springbok Evan Roos, Ruhan Nel and a conversion by Rugby World-Cup winning Springbok Manie Libbok to only one converted try by the visitors.
The Capetonians, however, hit their straps in the second half, creating point-scoring opportunities and converting them, which saw Courtnall Skosan, Leolin Zas and RWC winner, Damian Willemse, touch down.
Zebre Parma tried hard to keep themselves in the match but rarely threatened, as mistakes combined with the solid DHL Stormers defence kept them at bay.
DHL Stormers 31 (12) - Tries: Evan Roos, Ruhan Nel, Courtnall Skosan, Leolin Zas, Damian Willemse. Conversions: Manie Libbok (3).
Zebre Parma 7 (7) - Try: Alessandro Fusco; Conversion: Giovanni Montemauri.
Munster 40-29 Glasgow Warriors
Cardiff 23-29 Scarlets
Ulster 24-27 Edinburgh
Connacht 22-24 Leinster
Benetton 18-13 Ospreys