Simon

Five Super Rugby talking points (Round 3)


SIMON BORCHARDT looks at five talking points from the past weekend's Super Rugby matches.


Stormers leave it late
When Elton Jantjies kicked a 78th-minute penalty goal to give the Lions a 30-26 lead at Ellis Park, it looked to have secured a memorable comeback win. However, the Stormers attacked from a scrum inside their half and showed great composure to take play through six phases, before Sergeal Petersen collected a looping pass and put Ruhan Nel away for the match-winning try.



Kitshoff cooks for Stormers
Jantjies was named Man of the Match at Ellis Park but it could easily have gone to Steven Kitshoff. The Stormers loosehead prop dominated both Jannie du Plessis and Carlu Sadie at scrum time, made two crucial turnovers that Richie McCaw would have been proud of, and completed eight of his nine tackles. Kitshoff also seems to be relishing the captaincy in the absence of the injured Siya Kolisi.

WATCH: Lions vs Stormers highlights

Sharks keep losing key players
The Sharks were already without winger Sbu Nkosi (injury) and flyhalf Curwin Bosch (family bereavement) for Saturday's match against the Hurricanes in Wellington, before having prop Thomas du Toit ruled out just before kick-off due to illness. So the last thing coach Sean Everitt needed was to lose both winger Makazole Mapimpi and flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain to head knocks in the first quarter of the match. That saw Jeremy Ward, a centre, replace Mapimpi and Nohamba, who's settled at scrumhalf, come on for Chamberlain. That disruption certainly didn't help the Sharks' cause.

WATCH: Hurricanes vs Sharks highlights

Sharks slip up in key areas
The Sharks also had themselves to blame for their 38-22 defeat. The visitors' defence was porous, most notably when Ben Lam scored his two tries, and they ended up missing 20 tackles (from 86 attempts). The visitors also lost six of their own lineouts and conceded 13 turnovers.

Dane's dirty play
With just over three minutes of the match remaining, Sharks replacement flyhalf Sanele Nohamba was tackled inside his 22 and lying in a defenceless position on the ground when replacement Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles recklessly dived into him. Having made contact with Nohamba's head and neck area, the All Black should have received a red card, or at the very least a yellow. New Zealand referee Ben O'Keeffe opted for neither.



Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix
dono