Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Past weekend saw interesting results for Super 14

By Ilhaam Hoosain
22 April 2008

The weekend's results have thrown the race for playoff places in the 2008 Super 14 wide open.

Four of the top six teams before the start of round 10 were beaten, allowing some of the challengers to make up. The results included defeats for the top two teams, the Crusaders and the Sharks who, after nine rounds of play, remained unbeaten.

The Crusaders slumped to their first loss of the 2008 campaign, going down 5-18 against the Chiefs combination. The Chiefs’ win was inspired by flyhalf Stephen Donald, who controlled the game, preventing the Crusaders from stamping their usual authority. Despite loss the Crusaders remain six points clear at the top of the standings.

The Sharks’ first defeat came when the Brumbies beat them 21-27 in Canberra. Their first defeat of the season reduces their lead to just one point and piles on the pressure for their final two tour games against the Waratahs and the Crusaders. The win moves the Brumbies one place up the log to eighth.

The Waratahs moved from fourth to third place with a 26-3 bonus point win over the Lions, while the Stormers beat fellow challengers,the Hurricanes at Newlands to move into fourth place ahead of the Chiefs.

The Stormers, who started the day in seventh position, dominated the first half with the Hurricanes to change sides at 10-0. The Stormers defence was tested in the final 10 minutes but held firm to deny the Hurricanes a bonus point.

The Western Force suffered after they were beaten 29-12 by the Reds, their third loss in four matches. The result sees them slip from 6th to 9th position.

The Bulls bounced back from their bad run of form with a 47-17 win over the Highlanders at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. In better form, the Bulls ran in six tries to lift themselves out of the bottom three.


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