Four from four yet again, with 19 log points out of a possible 20 tell the story of yet another amazing weekend of rugby for the four South African teams in the third round of the United Rugby Championship.
Like last weekend, all four SA teams were on the winning side over the last few days and as a result, the Bulls (second on 14 points from three games), Stormers (fourth on 10 points from two games), Sharks (fifth on nine points from two games) and the Lions (seventh on nine points from three games) all occupy spots in the top-eight on the standings.
In fact, it was only the Sharks that failed to get a four-try bonus point this weekend, after they were made to work very hard in Wales on Saturday evening.
The local action started on Friday night, when the Vodacom Bulls kept their composure to beat Connacht by 28-14 for their third straight win, and second successive bonus-point victory.
The South African momentum was maintained in Cardiff, where the Emirates Lions completed a Welsh double by defeating Cardiff by 31-18, with the men from Johannesburg securing the bonus-point try late in the match.
Not to be outdone by their countrymen from the north, the DHL Stormers withstood a strong start by Edinburgh to secure another local full-house of log points, with Junior Springbok speedster Suleiman Hartzenberg scoring a second half double as the Capetonians won by 34-18 in a repeat of last season’s quarter-final.
In the final match of the weekend, the Cell C Sharks showed big character to fight back from 19-6 down to score two late converted tries as they made it yet another perfect round for the South African teams with a 20-19 win over the Dragons in Wales on Saturday evening.
The Sharks clinched their second win in as many matches when they defeated the Dragons 20-19 in their Vodacom United Rugby Championship match at Rodney Parade in Newport on Saturday night.
However, it wasn't easy and the Cell C Sharks had to fight back with two converted tries in the last 18 minutes to come away with the win in Wales.
The home side, coming from an away win against a strong Munster side last weekend, showed their intent by winning the first lineout on a Cell C Sharks throw-in and had the best of the first 40 minutes.
Dragons 19 (12) – Try: Elliott Dee. Conversion: Will Reed. Penalty goals: Reed (4).
Sharks 20 (6) – Tries: Grant Williams, Thaakir Abrahams. Conversions: Boeta Chamberlain (2). Penalty goals: Chamberlain (2).
The Stormers, defending champions in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, survived a strong start by Edinburgh to secure their second victory in as many matches in the competition with a 34-18 bonus-point win at the Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.
The first half was hard-fought as Edinburgh dominated the first 30 minutes, but they were only able to cross the tryline once with SA-born Scotland prop Pierre Schoeman diving over from a pick and go to add to an early penalty goal by flyhalf Blair Kinghorn.
A strong fightback by the DHL Stormers in the last 10 minutes of the half, however, saw Springbok utility forward Deon Fourie cross the chalk on the stroke of halftime from a rolling maul, and the successful conversion left them trailing by only 10-7 at the break.
The hosts broke away in the second half with Joseph Dweba (hooker) scoring before Suleiman Hartzenberg (wing) crossed for a brace tries to add to two penalty goals by Manie Libbok (flyhalf), while they limited the visitors to another try and penalty goal for the well-deserved win.
Stormers 34 (7) – Tries: Deon Fourie, Joseph Dweba, Suleiman Hartzenberg (2). Conversions: Manie Libbok (4). Penalty goals: Libbok (2).
Edinburgh 18 (10) – Tries: Pierre Schoeman, Dave Cherry. Conversion: Blair Kinghorn. Penalty goals: Kinghorn (2).
The Lions completed a magnificent Welsh double with bonus point victory 31-18 (halftime 10-13) over Cardiff Rugby in a United Rugby Championship match at the Cardiff Arms Park on Friday night.
They followed up last week’s 28-27 victory over the Ospreys with a dominant second half performance – scoring 21 points to 5 – in windy and sometimes wet conditions to set their VURC II campaign on fire.
A powerful maul and scrum, determined defence and some hard running by their backs had Cardiff punch drunk and ready to throw in the towel by the time Quan Horn on the left wing claimed the bonus point try with two minutes remaining, winning the race to a kick ahead and touching down.
Cardiff Rugby 18 (13) – Tries: James Botham, Shane Lewis-Hughes. Conversion: Jarrod Evans. Penalty goals: Evans (2)
Lions 31 (10) – Tries: PJ Botha, Morne van den Berg, Quan Horn, Penalty try. Conversions: Gianni Lombard (3). Penalty goal: Lombard.
The Bulls recorded their third win in as many weeks of the new Vodacom United Rugby Championship season when they defeated Irish visitors Connacht by 28-14 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday evening.
The men in blue managed to score a well-deserved bonus-point victory on home soil, with Zak Burger grabbing two five-pointers in the process, while the defeat was a second successive loss for the Irish province following last weekend’s loss to DHL Stormers in Stellenbosch.
Last season's runners up scored three converted tries to open up a comfortable 21-0 halftime advantage and they added a fourth converted try early in the second half, while Connacht pulled back two tries in the last quarter of the game.
Bulls 28 (21) – Tries: Kurt-Lee Arendse, Zak Burger (2), Marcell Coetzee. Conversions: Johan Goosen (4).
Connacht 14 (0) – Tries: Jack Aungier, David Hawkshaw. Conversions: Hawkshaw (2).