Handre Pollard was instrumental as the Bulls eased to a 30-12 Super Rugby victory over the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday, while the Stormers edged out the Sharks 16-11.
Duane Vermeulen and Warrick Gelant scored tries for the Bulls, but it was Pollard’s kicking precision which proved decisive.
The 24-year-old plundered 20 points with his boot to ensure that Carlu Sadie and Dylan Smith’s tries for the hosts, who have been runners-up in the past three Super Rugby finals, proved futile.
“It was a great team effort,” said Pollard.
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“I did not expect to win by such a wide margin given the Lions’ record against us [the Lions have won their last four meetings].
“Everyone contributed and I want to give special praise to Eli Snyman [who replaced injured captain Lood de Jager]. He had big shoes to fill and lasted the full 80 minutes.”
At Kings Park in Durban, meanwhile, the Stormers did just enough to inflict a first defeat of the season on the Sharks.
The Stormers got their reward for a bright start when full-back Damian Willemse intercepted to score the only try of the first half.
Sarel Petrus Marais added two penalties to extend the Stormers’ lead, but Lukhanyo Am set up a tense finale with a try for the Sharks.
A second penalty from Robert Du Preez reduced the Stormers’ lead to 13-11, but another Marais penalty ensured maximum points for the visitors.
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