Shaun Goosen takes a look back at this past weekend’s rugby action from around the globe.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Big wins for Sharks, Stormers and Cheetahs in Preparation Series
Siya Kolisi bagged a try and put in a solid all-round shift in the Sharks’ 45-12 thumping of the Bulls at a wet Kings Park on Saturday. The Durbanites scored seven tries to two to defeat the side that pipped them in January’s Currie Cup final and are looking very impressive ahead of the upcoming Rainbow Cup. The Preparation Series matches may effectively be friendlies, but there’s no doubt the game time is mighty important for the local sides as they gear up for the 24 April kick-off of the northern/southern tournament.
Elsewhere, the Griquas narrowly saw off the Pumas 23-22 at Tafel Lager Park, while the Stormers scored a big 44-12 win over the Lions at Cape Town Stadium. On Sunday, the Cheetahs managed to cross the whitewash 11-times on their way to a resounding 71-12 win over the hapless EP Elephants at Toyota Stadium.
Scots beat French, Wales crowned Six Nations champions
Duhan van der Merwe’s second try after the final hooter gave Scotland a nail-biting 27-23 win over France at the Stade de France on Friday. Many were expecting the French to go on and claim the four-try, 21-point victory that would have sealed them the title, but it was not to be as Gregor Townsend’s side recorded a remarkable victory which could mark the beginning of a special period for this group of Scotsmen. Additionally, van der Merwe’s escapades during the encounter led to him breaking a 21-year tournament record held by one Brian O’Driscoll, with the George-born winger ending up having beaten 31-defenders — one more than the great Irishman.
Perhaps more significantly, though, the win also handed Wales a second championship in three years, with skipper Alun Wyn Jones earning his fifth crown.
Leinster make it four Pro14 titles on the bounce
Leinster claimed a comfortable 16-6 win over Munster at the RDS Arena on Saturday for a fourth-successive Pro14 title. Despite being without the services of injured duo James Ryan and Garry Ringrose, Leo Cullen’s men were in complete control for virtually the entire contest. Such is their unreal depth that they even had the luxury of naming club and Ireland captain Johnny Sexton on the bench.
Despite a good first-half, Munster ultimately fell to their bitter rivals for a sixth time in succession with CJ Stander making his final appearance of the competition.
Written by Shaun Goosen.