Super Rugby season suspended due to the coronavirus

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Super Rugby is suspended for the foreseeable future due to New Zealand’s response to the coronavirus, after the conclusion of matches in round seven this weekend. SANZAAR came to this decision on Saturday as a response to the New Zealand government, who have ordered all returning travellers to self-isolate, including Super Rugby players.

SANZAAR says they have no choice but to suspend the tournament that stretches from New Zealand all the way to Argentina.

Meanwhile, the Sharks beat the Stormers to stay top of the log, while there were heavy losses for the Lions and the Bulls.

As the form side in Super Rugby, the Sharks had a point to prove against their conference rivals, the high flying Aphelele Fassi opened the scoring. The response was swift from the men from the Cape, Herschel Jantjies got the try, which Damian Willemse converted to level the scores.

A drop kick from flyhalf, Curwin Bosch sent the Sharks into the sheds at halftime, 10-7 up against the Stormers.

Juarno Augustus was the creative force for the Stormers; he put Paul De Wet away for the Stormer’s second try, which was converted, as the men from the Cape snatched the lead in the second half. Bosch was impressive with the boot when he needed to be, he wrestled the lead back for the home side.

Makazole Mapimpi would have the final say to seal a 24-14 victory for the Sharks, and ensure they sit atop the Super Rugby standings, as the teams now wait to see what will happen as the tournament is suspended for the foreseeable future.

South African teams endured a horrendous round seven away from home. The Lions went down 43-10 to the Blues at Eden Park. The Blues scored six tries, five across the whitewash and one penalty try, to the one of the Lions after the home side led 22-10 at halftime.

It was a third loss on tour, fourth in a row, and fifth from six played for the hapless Lions, who are rock bottom of the South African conference and second last in the overall standings.

Even more shocking was the Bulls’ woeful display in Brisbane against the Reds. The Pretoria side was leading 17-0 more than halfway through the first half, when they went out pieces, to eventually lose 41-17.

The Reds scored six tries, to make sure they got a bonus point, while the Bulls got nothing. They are fourth in the South African conference and 11th overall.

Bulls captain Trevor Nyakane says they lost concentration.

“We started losing a bit of concentration and we didn’t look out for the pearl (ball) and that’s what happens in games like this of Super Rugby; if you don’t look after the pearl, you are going to stand behind the poles most of the time. I think at times we did create those opportunities but we didn’t capitalise on them.”

Also at Suncorp Stadium, the Crusaders annihilated the Sunwolves 49-14. Despite the New Zealanders having a player red carded, they scored seven tries to two to claim top spot in the Kiwi conference.