Shaun Goosen looks back at all of the rugby action that took place this past weekend.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Cheetahs claim narrow win, Lions outplay Sharks in Currie Cup
The Cheetahs claimed their first win since the final round of Super Rugby Unlocked when they pipped the Pumas 35-31 at the Mbombela Stadium on Friday. The hosts’ rolling maul was operating hugely effectively and earned them several scores, however, it was the defending champions who managed to overturn a 10-point second-half deficit to come away with the victory.
Meanwhile, the Lions comfortably saw off the Sharks 27-12 at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday. With the log-leading Bulls’ matchup against the Griquas having been cancelled due to a Covid outbreak, the second-placed Durbanites had a fantastic opportunity to close the gap on the standings. The Lions had other ideas though, and produced a commanding display to win a fourth match in succession and overtake the Sharks on the log. Former Sharks MVP Willem Alberts was outstanding for the hosts.
Mighty Munster shock Clermont at Stade Michelin in Champions Cup
Munster overturned a 19-point deficit to become just the second-ever side to beat Clermont Auvergne at the Stade Marcel Michelin in the Champions Cup. Despite trailing 28-9 after just 24-minutes, Johann van Graan’s men powered back to claim one of the greatest European results in their history, with CJ Stander putting on a Man of the Match display from No 8. The Red Army find themselves in fourth place in Pool B, trailing Lyon, Racing 92 and Toulouse by two points.
Elsewhere, Wasps earned their second bonus-point win after seeing off 14-man Montpellier 33-14 to keep them level on points in Pool A with Leinster, who saw off Northampton. There were also victories for Gloucester, Edinburgh, Bordeaux, Racing 92 and Bristol.
Covid-19 leaves Round Two in tatters
Two Champions Cup matches from each pool and four in total were cancelled this past week after Covid-19 outbreaks wreaked havoc in Europe. Holders Exeter Chiefs had several positive cases come back, which saw their match with Toulouse this past weekend called off and the French outfit awarded a 28-0 bonus-point win. Glasgow Warriors, who were last week trounced 42-0 by the Chiefs, were then forced to cancel their fixture with Lyon having recently having come into contact with Rob Baxter’s side. Lyon were also awarded a 28-0 victory – something Glasgow are now looking to officially complain about.
Toulon and Bath also returned positive cases and too had to settle for bonus-point losses against Scarlets and La Rochelle respectively after their games were cancelled.
Let’s hope for that bloody vaccine soon then.
Written by Shaun Goosen.