FULL-TIME: Who and What Stole the Show – Super Rugby Week 12

Another crazy week of Super Rugby which saw two draws achieved. There was a “slow-mo” Duane Vermeulen long distance sprint, drama as the Sharks took it to the death in Christchurch and another display of centre-like skill from a Bulls lock. Here’s what caught the eye in Week 12 of Vodacom Super Rugby.


Sharks vs Crusaders
Few gave them any chance – of coming within 10 points of the Crusaders – yet the Sharks came within a whisker of upsetting the mighty men from Christchurch in their impenetrable lair. It started as a gallant defensive effort and ended in an heroic display of guts, determination and good old ticker as the Durbanites escaped from AMI stadium with a draw.


It wasn’t a classic build-up and beautiful skill but few moments had supporters out of their seats cheering quite like the Duane Vermeulen intercept and 60 meter dash to the line. The burly number eight got his big paws in the way of a Waratahs pass and pinned his ears back. The big unit didn’t quite have the pace in his legs and got hauled in 10 meters short. But whilst the pace eluded him his strength did not; he swatted off the desperate attempts of a tackle from Curtis Rona and flopped over the line in a moment of pure exhilarating ecstasy. Go you good thing, Captain America as he is aptly known these days!


His skills can put the majority of South African Super Rugby backline players to shame. RG Snyman has clearly taken some of John Mitchell’s teachings to heart and is playing a hands-through-the-tackle and keeping the ball alive brand of rugby which one usually only sees from Kiwi players like Brodie Retallick. Despite his attacking prowess the big man is still hard as nails in taking the ball up and making tackles as well, whilst his lineout work is exemplary. Snyman must now surely be one of the first names jotted down by Coach Rassie Erasmus.


1. Lizo Gqoboka (Bulls)
Can we just keep him here every week? Everyone knows what he does as ball carriers but the Bulls scrum also absolutely obliterated the Waratahs upfront. The red head impressed against the Jaguares.

2. Akker van der Merwe (Sharks)
Wasn’t expecting to play as much of the game as he did but gave his full 120% as always. Not as busy as ball carrier but worked hard on defense and was never far from disrupting the ruck area as well. Jaco Visagie also put in a solid day’s work.

3. Trevor Nyakane (Bulls)
The Bulls frontrow toyed with their Aussie opponents. Wilco Louw also had a good outing in Buenos Aires.

4. Ruben van Heerden (Sharks)
Playing against the Crusaders you now you are going to be tasked with making your tackles if you want to keep them at bay to any sort of degree. For the second week in a row Van Heerden impressed as the lock made 19 tackles (missing none) and worked his socks off.

5. RG Snyman (Bulls)
Player of the week – see above.

6. Marco van Staden (Bulls)
A constant nuisance at the breakdown, Van Staden also carried the ball strongly making 70 meters with his 12 carries.

7. Cobus Wiese (Stormers)
Tackled himself to a standstill yet still put in a number of good carries against the tough Argies. Jean-luc was solid as well.

8. Dan du Preez (Sharks)
Vermeulen put in a run to remember (see Try of the Week) yet Dan was a big part of the resilient Sharks’ effort. He mixed 17 tackles with three defenders beaten from his ten strong runs.

9. Herschel Jantjies (Stormers)
A good outing for the youngster against the Argentines. Not a lot of other number nines have stuck their hands up thus far this season. Remember this name, Herschel Jantjies!

10. Curwin Bosch (Sharks)
Polished showing from the young pivot. The Sharks backs weren’t exactly carving up their Kiwi hosts but he controlled matters well and kicked crucial goals. Pollard didn’t have his best day out against the Tahs.

11. Rosko Specman (Bulls)
Back in the lineup Rosko looked a constant threat when he got his hands on the ball.

12. Johnny Kotze (Bulls)
Given an opportunity to start in his more favoured position, Kotze had a busy performance often looking dangerous with ball in hand and providing power carries in mid-field.

13. Dylan Sage (Bulls)
The former sevens star was a late inclusion but he certainly didn’t look out of place.

14. Sibusiso Nkosi (Sharks)
Not his busiest day due to the Sharks being starved of possession but the winger looked dangerous every time he did get his hands on the ball.

15. Warrick Gelant (Bulls)
Solid, sharp effort from Gelant at the back for the Bulls even though he only played 60 minutes due to illness.

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