CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - The Stormers’ unbeaten start to the Super Rugby season came to a limp end as they slumped to a 33-14 home defeat at the hands of the Auckland Blues in a scrappy game at Newlands on Saturday.
The Cape Town-based side were poor in every department as a brace of tries from English centre-turned-winger Joe Marchant, and another score from flanker Dalton Papali’i eased the Blues to a comfortable victory.
The Stormers remained top of the overall table with 17 points from five games, but lead the competitive South African conference by just a single point from the Durban-based Sharks.
The Sharks made it three wins from their four-match tour to Australasia as they defeated the Queensland Reds 33-23, sealing victory with an intercept try from skipper Lukhanyo Am.
In Pretoria, Jaguares wing Emiliano Boffelli scored two tries as the Argentine side defeated the Bulls 39-24, the home team slipping to a fourth straight loss this season.
The Melbourne Rebels completed a first ever victory in Dunedin when they held off the Otago Highlanders to record a 28-22 success on Friday.
The Australian team raced into a 21-0 lead, profiting from two intercept tries for winger Andrew Kellaway, to record their second win of the season and condemn the Highlanders to a third defeat in four games.
The home side’s evening worsened considerably when captain James Lentjes was stretchered off with a broken leg after being cleaned out at a ruck.
“Jimmy’s (leg is) broken so I imagine it will be a season (ending injury),” Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger told reporters.
“They took him off to hospital. They had him here for about 15 minutes just trying to settle him and then off to hospital.”
The New South Wales Waratahs took advantage of a sloppy start from South Africa’s Lions to claim a first victory of the 2020 campaign, running out 29-17 winners in Parramatta.
Prop Angus Bell, and flankers Lachlan Swinton and Jack Dempsey, cross for tries inside the opening 17 minutes, before wing James Ramm and prop Tetera Faulkner added two more in the second half.
South African winger Kobus van Wyk scored a hat-trick on debut for the Wellington Hurricanes as they overwhelmed the Sunwolves from Japan with a 62-15 bonus-point victory in Napier.
Fullback Chase Tiatia also bagged a brace as the home team ran in 10 tries, with the toothless Sunwolves having now conceded 126 points in their last two matches.
Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond