Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Looking back: Super Rugby Unlocked Round 1

Looking back: Super Rugby Unlocked Round 1

David Kriel

We take a look back at the first weekend of Super Rugby Unlocked as the Sharks, Bulls and Cheetahs all bagged opening-day wins. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Sharks squeak home against Lions
Following their poor showing against the Bulls a fortnight ago, the Sharks did well to bounce back and beat the Lions 19-16 at Jonsson Kings Park on Friday. The performance, buoyed in part by a 14-point haul from Curwin Bosch, will do them a helluva lot of good as they head into their bye this weekend. The Lions, who face the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday, will search for improvement after recently losing out to the same opponents in Superhero Saturday.

Left-winger and Blitzbok stalwart Werner Kok broke the deadlock after some good work in field from Pepsi Buthelezi and Lukhanyo Am put him away for the five-pointer. The Sharks were 13-0 up after 31-minutes but the Lions slowly began to crawl back, with an Elton Jantjies crosskick setting up Jamba Ulengo for a first try. It wasn’t enough though and despite a late assault in the hosts’ red zone, the Durbanites held on for a three-point win.

Cheetahs put Pumas away in Bloem
The Cheetahs were far too good for the Pumas in their 53-31 win at the Toyota Stadium on Saturday. The hosts, boasting a backline containing the likes of Ruan Pienaar, Frans Steyn and Rosko Specman, were simply unrelenting and exhibited the typical running rugga with which the Franchise has always been synonymous. The Pumas showed some fight in the second-half and will look to come back stronger against the Griquas in Kimberley this weekend.

The Cheetahs were unplayable in the first-half, shooting out to a 41-3 lead after scoring six tries. They added two more in the second with Malcolm Jaer completing a hattrick, while the visitors managed to grab four themselves in what turned out to be something of a try fest.

Bulls see off tenacious Griquas
Jake White’s Bulls claimed a hard-fought 30-23 win over the Griquas at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday. The match proved to be anything but a walk in the park for the hosts, with the men from Kimberley coming mighty close to affecting a massive upset in the first round – even equalling their opponents for tries scored (three). They will look to take that momentum into their next fixture at home against the Pumas, while the Bulls travel to Bloemfontein to take on the Cheetahs.

The last time the Griquas had played a competitive game was 14-months earlier against the Lions in the Currie Cup semi-finals, and they should be proud of their strong performance in Pretoria versus the well-drilled Bulls. The visitors scored first through winger James Verity-Am but conceded on the stroke of halftime as the sides went into the shed locked at 10-points apiece. They went on to lead again at 18-10 after an Anthony Volmink try, but the hosts ultimately fought back to secure the win.

Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets.

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