Lions get the upper hand in Australia

SATISFIED WITH HIS TEAM: Emirates Lions head coach, Johan Ackermann, returned a satisfied coach after his team bagged wins on the trot in Australia.

Emirates Lions made a clean sweep of their tour down under in the Vodacom Super Rugby fixture.

The local franchise scored the only try of the match and had to show plenty of determination on defence for their 13-6 success over the Brumbies in Canberra on May 12 to ensure they completed their three-match tour of Australia unbeaten.

The Highveld side stacked up their fifth away win in a row. They also stretched their lead in the Africa Conference 2 standings to 46 points. The Sharks are second on 33 and the Jaguares third (24).

The DHL Stormers, who had a bye this weekend, are the leading Africa Conference 1 side on 26 points.

The Southern Kings edged the Cell C Sharks 35-32 in their thrilling coastal derby played in front of an ecstatic crowd at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday evening, to make it three Vodacom Super Rugby wins in a row for the first time.

Alshaun Bock was a late replacement for injured wing Wandile Mjekevu and the competition’s oldest rookie scored two tries as the Kings clinched a memorable win for their first triumph over a South African team. His Man of the Match performance guided the Eastern Cape side to their fourth win of this year’s campaign.

The Durban visitors suffered an early setback when they lost their playmaker and skipper, Pat Lambie, who left the field in the first half after an accidental head blow.

A thunderstorm made for difficult handling conditions at Loftus Versfeld, where the Vodacom Bulls hosted the Highlanders in the early Saturday afternoon fixture. The Highlanders pipped the Pretoria side 17-10 in this heavy tussle courtesy of Malakai Fekitoa’s winning try four minutes from the end.

The Toyota Cheetahs started their tour of New Zealand with a 50-32 defeat to the Blues in Auckland on Friday. The Free State side played their part in this entertaining match. They will be looking to improve their defence in their remaining two away matches.

In the last fixture of the weekend, staged on Saturday night (SA time) in Buenos Aires, the Western Force scored a gutsy 16-6 win over the Jaguares.

Other round 12 results are:

May 13

Crusaders 20, Hurricanes 12

Rebels 24, Reds 29

Jaguares 6, Force 16

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Annette van Schalkwyk

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