Lions weather storm, Bulls beat SA 'A' side and Australia get over the line against second-string French side.
Brave Bulls beat SA ‘A’
A determined Bulls side shocked SA ‘A’ 17-14 at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday. The result and performance will be somewhat worrying for Jacques Nienaber as his squad prepares for the Test series against the British & Irish Lions this weekend. SA ‘A’ (the Springboks in all but name) look undercooked ahead of this Saturday’s first Test and some players will need to raise their game substantially if they are to properly challenge the Lions. For Jake White’s Bulls, the result was rightly met with massive celebrations as South Africa’s No 1 franchise pulled off a stunning win, led by the shining Johan Goosen.
The match was a tough watch at times, with unforced errors aplenty. Still, first-half tries to Aphelele Fassi and Wandisile Simelane meant SA ‘A’ headed into the break with a handy 17-0 lead. They wouldn’t trouble the scoreline again, though, as two quick-fire Bulls tries — both orchestrated by the electric Goosen — as well as a late penalty by Chris Smith saw the Pretoria Boys claim an unlikely victory.
Lions slash Stormers
The British & Irish Lions recorded their fourth win on tour with a comprehensive 49-3 result over the Stormers at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday. Despite Tim Swiel kicking a penalty for the hosts to lead early on, the Lions proved far too strong and totally ripped John Dobson’s side apart. Adam Beard, Luke Cowan-Dickie and debutant Marcus Smith were all superb as the Lions crossed the whitewash seven times on their way to recording another comfortable win.
The game also saw the return of Alun Wyn Jones off the bench for the tourists, with the Wales great having been reinstated as tour captain after Connor Murray was relieved of the leadership position this past week. Coach Warren Gatland said Jones needed at least 20-minutes to be in contention for Test selection and it is likely that we will see the most-capped Test player of all time in action again this weekend.
14-man Australia down France to claim Test series
In a thriller of a Test match, Australia pulled off a 33-30 win over France in Brisbane to claim the series 2-1. Oz winger Marika Koroibete was controversially shown his marching orders for a dangerous hit early in the first half, but Dave Rennie’s side never gave in and dominated territory (67%) and possession (64%) on their way to sealing a famous result.
The hosts had taken the first Test 23-21 at the Suncorp before Fabian Galthie’s charges hit back to win the second 28-26 at AAMI Park.