Speedster Senatla strikes as Stormers top Super Rugby table
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Cape Town (AFP)
Speedster Seabelo Senatla scored a superb try for the Western Stormers as they ground out a 13-0 win over the Northern Bulls Saturday to top the Super Rugby table.
Slick handling set up the winger to race clear for a 50th-minute score that proved the last of a dour South African showdown at Newlands stadium in Cape Town.
Victory lifted the Stormers to nine points, one more than the Waikato Chiefs of New Zealand and the ACT Brumbies of Australia after two rounds.
The Stormers succeeded despite the absence of World Cup-winning Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi and Bongi Mbonambi, who was also part of the team that beat England in the final.
Kolisi will be sidelined for up to 12 weeks and Mbonambi could miss the rest of the season after both were injured in a triumph over the Wellington Hurricanes last weekend.
The Bulls spent long periods of the second half deep in the Stormers' territory, but their predictability and heroic defending by the home side kept them scoreless.
"South African derbies are always going to be physical affairs and there was not much between the teams tonight," said acting Stormers skipper and prop Steven Kitshoff.
"Seabelo scored a beautiful try to give us some breathing space and then we had to defend brilliantly to keep the Bulls out."
Fly-half Damian Willemse kicked a penalty to give the Stormers an early lead that widened before half-time via a pushover try claimed by hooker Scarra Ntubeni and centre Jamie Roberts.
- Skosan scores key try -
Meanwhile, Golden Lions winger Courtnall Skosan scored the match-winning try in a 27-20 victory over the Queensland Reds after an error-riddled match in Johannesburg.
The former Springbok struck on 68 minutes, evading two Australians to dot down after a 21-phase attack at Ellis Park.
Lions captain and fly-half Elton Jantjies converted for a four-point advantage as the lead changed for the fifth time in the match.
Jantjies added a penalty four minutes from time to complete the scoring and give his team their first win after an opening round hiding by the Argentine Jaguares last weekend.
It was the second successive loss for the Reds, who fell narrowly to the Brumbies in Canberra last weekend.
The Lions struggled in the line-outs and took a hammering from the visitors at the scrums until the entire front row was changed midway through the second half.
Even when the Reds were reduced to 13 men for five minutes after props Taniela Tupou and Josh Nasser received yellow cards, the lacklustre home team failed to take advantage.
The Lions trailed three times during the opening half on a sodden pitch after torrential overnight rain before a try from flanker Marnus Schoeman gave them a 17-13 half-time lead.
Live-wire scrum-half Tate McDermott put the Brisbane outfit ahead again by diving over between the posts on 62 minutes and full-back Bryce Hegarty converted.
Falling behind again stung the Lions into action and they were rewarded when a patient, multi-phase attack ended with Skosan scoring.
Winger Tyrone Green (two), Schoeman and Skosan scored tries for the Lions and Jantjies kicked two conversions and a penalty from five shots at goal.
Winger Jock Campbell and McDermott were the Reds' try scorers and Hegarty slotted two conversions and two penalties.
© 2020 AFP