Vodacom Super Rugby Round 17 Review
July 16, 2017
The Emirates Lions defeated the Cell C Sharks 27-10 on Saturday in Durban to clinch overall top spot on the Vodacom Super Rugby table, meaning the two sides will meet each again next week in Johannesburg in one of four quarterfinal fixtures.

The DHL Stormers were too strong for the Vodacom Bulls and triumphed 41-33 in an exciting Saturday afternoon encounter at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, while the Toyota Cheetahs bowed out with a 21-20 win over the Southern Kings in their Friday night clash in Port Elizabeth.

With the final round of regular fixtures now completed, the final standings as well as the eight quarterfinalists were confirmed on Saturday evening.

The Emirates Lions, Crusaders, DHL Stormers and Brumbies won through to the playoffs as respective conference winners, while the Hurricanes, Chiefs, Highlanders and Cell C Sharks each booked their spot in the playoffs as the four wildcard qualifiers.

In next weekend’s quarterfinal action, the Brumbies welcome the Hurricanes on Friday, 21 July at 11h35 (SA time), while the Saturday line-up sees the Crusaders hosting the Highlanders (09h35), the Emirates Lions entertain the Cell C Sharks (14h30) and the DHL Stormers are at home to the Chiefs (17h00).

Following the Crusaders’ 31-22 loss to the Hurricanes earlier on Saturday, the Emirates Lions had the advantage of knowing that a win in Durban in the very last fixture of regular league action would secure them outright first place on the overall table.

They had to work hard for their 27-10 win, meaning that they are in line to host the 2017 final should they manage to win their next two matches in the knockout stage.

In the earlier Saturday fixture at Loftus, the DHL Stormers had a narrow 22-21 lead at the break but went on to outscore their hosts by six tries to five.

Cheslin Kolbe, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Dillyn Leyds, Siya Kolisi, Damian Willemse and Seabelo Senatla all scored for the Cape team while the Pretoria side’s tries came through Jason Jenkins, Duncan Matthews, Piet van Zyl and Jesse Kriel (2).

The Toyota Cheetahs bowed out with a gritty comeback victory over the Southern Kings on Friday night in Port Elizabeth. The Bloemfontein outfit won 21-20 after trailing 12-3 at half-time. They scored their tries through Clinton Swart and Raymond Rhule, while Makazole Mapimpi, Wandile Mjekevu and Lubabalo Mtyanda crossed the line for the Kings.

Southern Kings 20, Toyota Cheetahs 21


Southern Kings 20 - Tries: Makazole Mapimpi, Wandile Mjekevu, Lubabalo Mtyanda; Conversion: Lionel Cronje; Penalty: Cronje.
Toyota Cheetahs 21 - Tries: Clinton Swart, Raymond Rhule; Conversion: Niel Marais; Penalties: Fred Zeilinga (2), Marais.

Vodacom Bulls 33, DHL Stormers 41


Vodacom Bulls 33 - Tries: Jason Jenkins, Duncan Matthews, Jesse Kriel (2), Piet van Zyl; Conversions: Tian Schoeman (4).
DHL Stormers 41 - Tries: Cheslin Kolbe, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Dillyn Leyds, Siya Kolisi, Damian Willemse, Seabelo Senatla; Conversions: Willemse (3), Kolbe. Penalty: Willemse.

Cell C Sharks 10, Emirates Lions 27


Cell C Sharks 10 - Try: Kobus van Wyk; Conversion: Garth April; Penalty: April.
Emirates Lions 27 - Tries: Malcolm Marx, Andries Coetzee, Jaco Kriel; Penalties: Elton Jantjies (4).

Other Round 17 Results:

Friday, July 14

Highlanders 40, Reds 17
Rebels 29, Jaguares 32

Saturday, July 15

Sunwolves 48, Blues 21
Chiefs 28, Brumbies 10
Hurricanes 31, Crusaders 22
Force 40, Waratahs 11

Vodacom Super Rugby
Saturday, July 22 2017
14:30 - Emirates Lions vs Cell C Sharks
Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Friday, July 28 2017
00:00 - Winner QF1 vs Winner QF2
Saturday, July 29 2017
00:00 - Winner QF3 vs Winner QF4
Saturday, August 05 2017
00:00 - Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2
The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
Saturday, August 19 2017
17:05 - South Africa vs Argentina
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, PE
Saturday, August 26 2017
21:40 - Argentina vs South Africa
Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, Salta
Saturday, September 09 2017
12:05 - Australia vs South Africa
NIB Stadium, Perth
Saturday, September 16 2017
09:35 - New Zealand vs South Africa
QBE Stadium, Albany, North Harbour
Saturday, September 30 2017
17:05 - South Africa vs Australia
Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Saturday, October 07 2017
17:05 - South Africa vs New Zealand
DHL Newlands, Cape Town

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