South Africans toast record breaking weekend over Kiwi sides
sarugby.co.za and James Mortimer 12 Mar 2013 Getty Images
In Auckland, on a sunny Sunday afternoon the visiting Bulls shocked the previously undefeated Blues team with a great mix of attacking rugby, accurate tactical kicking and some very physical line-out drives to claim their first ever win at Eden Park (28-21). The Bulls, who remain unbeaten after three matches came inches from scoring a bonus point try, while a late try by Rene Ranger gave the hosts a losing bonus point.
Earlier during the weekend, on Saturday afternoon, the Stormers got their first win of the season when they beat the defending Super Rugby champions, the Chiefs, by 36-34 in Cape Town, despite “losing” the try-count by three to four.
It was the first time in almost four years that the Stormers conceded four tries at home. The last time this happened, was on 3 May 2009, incidentally also against the Chiefs, but on that occasion the Capetonians lost 14-28.
The Cheetahs started the sweep early Saturday morning South African time, when the team from Central South Africa beat the Highlanders 36-17 after leading 30-7 at the break at Rugby Park.
The 17-point win margin was the Cheetahs’ biggest ever over a New Zealand team at any venue. They have only won seven from 35 clashes against Kiwi sides (26 defeats and two draws) and the previous biggest victory was by 28-12 on 6 March 2010 against the Hurricanes in Bloemfontein.
The last time South African teams recorded three wins on a single weekend against New Zealand sides, was on 24/25 April 2009, but all three wins were at home – the Toyota Cheetahs beat the Crusaders in Bloemfontein (20-13), the Vodacom Bulls beat the Chiefs in Pretoria (33-27) and the DHL Stormers beat the Highlanders in Cape Town (18-11).
It also happened on 16/17 February 2007, when the Sharks beat the Highlanders in Durban (23-16), the MTN Lions beat the Crusaders in Johannesburg (9-3) and the DHL Stormers beat the Chiefs in Cape Town (21-16).
The first and only other time the South African teams won home and abroad was on 13/14 April 2001. On that weekend, the MTN Lions beat the Blues in Whangarei (26-23), the Sharks beat the Chiefs in Taupo (24-8) and the DHL Stormers were too strong for the Crusaders in Cape Town (49-28).