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RUGBY WRAP: Stormers crowned URC champions; Saders outclass Blues; Tigers tame Saracens

Shaun Goosen looks back at what was a breathless weekend of rugby with no fewer than three major finals decided on Saturda – Super Rugby, the Premiership and the URC.

Stormers - URC Winners
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Shaun Goosen looks back at what was a breathless weekend of rugby with no fewer than three major finals decided on Saturday – Super Rugby, the Premiership and the URC.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

URC: Stormers edge Bulls in CT thriller

The Stormers beat the Bulls 18-13 in a thrilling United Rugby Championship final at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday to become the very first champions of the competition. John Dobson’s men, who headed into the match off the back of 10 straight wins, were outplayed in the first-half by a relentless Bulls outfit that scored early on through Harold Vorster and dominated territory. However, the hosts weathered the storm to trail by just 3-7 at the break.

The second half was almost an enitrely different ballgame and as the match opened up, the Stormers were able to create more opportunities and eventually scored tries through Evan Roos and Andre-Hugo Venter. The title is the Cape side’s first after falling to the same opposition in the Super Rugby final of 2010, and one that should signal the start of brighter things to come.

Saders just too good for Blues

The Blues had no answers for a Crusaders team at the top of their game in the latter’s 21-7 win in the Super Rugby Pacific final at Eden Park on Saturday. The result means a sixth-straight Super Rugby title in as many years for the Christchurch outfit since Scotty Robertson took over at the helm, a dynasty that looks set to continue given their performance on the weekend.

Tries to Bryn Hall and Sevu Reece, and 11-points off the boot of Richie Mo’unga was enough to see the Cantabrians home. Their 13-0 lead at halftime was always going to be a mountain to climb for the Blues, who were ultimately made to look like pedestrians on the night.

Burns’ late drop sinks Sarries

Replacement flyhalf Freddie Burns nailed a last-gasp drop goal to guide Leicester Tigers to a 15-12 win over Saracens in the Gallagher Premiership final on Saturday. Starting No 10 George Ford, who bagged 22 points in the semi-final win over Northampton, went off injured early on, but his deputy did a fine job in his absence to get the Tigers over the line.

Jasper Wiese was Man of the Match on the day, putting in a massive shift from the back of the scrum alongside fellow loosie try-scorer Hanro Liebenberg. The title is Leicester’s first since 2013 and marks a welcome return to glory for one of Europe’s most successful clubs.

Griquas and Pumas set for Currie Cup decider

The Griquas and Pumas will contest the Currie Cup final in Kimberley this weekend after both winning on the weekend. The former beat the Blue Bulls 30-19 at Loftus Versfeld on Friday to reach a first final since 1970. As for the Pumas, their 38-35 defeat of the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein marks their very first appearance in the title decider.

Rugby Stunners

Stormers claim URC crown

Thanks to a much-improved second-half showing the Stormers were able to outmatch the Bulls and win the inaugural United Rugby Championship title in Cape Town.

Kruis bows out in style

In what is set to be his last game of pro rugby, former Saracens, England and Lions second row George Kruis formed part of the Barbarians team that beat England 52-21 at Twickenham on Sunday, despite being reduced to 14 men. Kruis, an awesome servant of English rugby over the years, nailed three-conversions on the day, but this was the best of the lot.

Burns delivers Premiership for Tigers

Replacement flyhalf Freddie Burns showed massive cojones to nail this last-minute drop goal and win the Premiership for the Leicester Tigers against Sarries.

Razor Ray does it again

As has become tradition after a Crusaders Super Rugby final win, coach Scott “Razor” Robertson celebrated the only way he knows how.

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