Aphiwe Dyantyi grabbed a brilliant brace as the Lions ran in seven tries to bounce back from a 10-point deficit and beat the Jaguares, while the Bulls left it late to overcome the Hurricanes.
The South Americans raced into an early lead in Johannesburg when Emiliano Boffelli went over in the third minute. Nicolas Sanchez converted the try and sent over a penalty to leave the hosts chasing the game with only 18 minutes on the clock.
Dyantyi’s fine footwork allowed him to launch the Lions’ fightback with a try nine minutes later and they put themselves in front at the break through a penalty try and an Andries Coetzee score.
The second half looked set to be a one-sided affair when Rohan Janse van Rensburg rounded off a neat passing move with a 64th-minute try, but Bautista Delguy – who gifted the Lions their first-half penalty try – went over twice in three minutes to give Jaguares late hope of a positive result.
But Warren Whiteley spared the home crowd a nervous finish when he collected Elton Jantjies’ pass and jinked his way through the Jaguares defence to cap off a 47-27 victory with a seventh try.
— Emirates Lions (@LionsRugbyCo) February 24, 2018
In Pretoria, Handre Pollard’s two penalties were the difference between the Bulls and the Hurricanes at the break at Loftus Versfield, after first-half tries from John-Ben Kotze and Lodewyk de Jager were cancelled out by the Hurricanes’ Ricky Riccitelli and Wes Goosen.
A turgid second-half turned on the referee’s decision to rule out a TJ Perenara try and, even though Beauden Barrett went over just before the hour mark to become the youngest player reach 1,000 points in Super Rugby, Pierre Schoeman’s touched down nine minutes from time to ensure the home side earned maximum points.
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) February 24, 2018
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