What we’ve learned

Five lessons from the 16th round of Vodacom Super Rugby, according to SIMON BORCHARDT.

Seabelo Senatla can spark the Stormers' attack
The Stormers secured a bonus point for scoring four tries for just the second time this season on Saturday, when they thrashed the Cheetahs at Newlands. Senatla, the Blitzboks star, had a lot to do with that, scoring two tries and helping the Cape franchise to counter-attack, something they haven't done much of this season. Senatla has missed the vast majority of this Super Rugby campaign because of his sevens duties, but may yet do enough for the Stormers to force himself into Springbok contention.

Jaco Kriel is Bok material
The Lions openside flank had a blinder against the Waratahs at Ellis Park and was unlucky to miss out on the Man of the Match award. The stats tell the story: Kriel made 86 running metres from nine carries, two clean breaks and beat seven defenders. He also made 18 tackles (missing none) and forced five turnovers. Kriel went on the Boks' end-of-year tour in 2014 without playing a game and was a surprise omission from the recent training squads. Based on Saturday's display, he will wear the green and gold sooner rather than later.

The Bulls still lack imagination on attack
Before the Bulls left for their Australasian tour, Victor Matfield said they would require an attacking mindset to be successful. Yet in Canberra on Friday they were once again predictable with ball in hand and over-relied on the driving maul. The Bulls made just 67 passes in the match (compared to their opponents' 130) and the Brumbies' defence was rarely tested. If the Bulls are to end their 10-match losing streak overseas, against the Rebels in Melbourne, Handré Pollard needs to take charge and get the backline going, as he's done with the Springboks before. The Bulls forwards also need to work harder and attack the advantage line with greater intent.

Don't take the law into your own hands
The Rebels may well have beaten the Sharks at Kings Park if prop Laurie Weeks hadn't been red-carded in the 29th minute. Weeks responded to a slap on the back of the head from Sharks prop Jannie du Plessis with four punches, and left referee Jaco van Heerden with no choice but to send him off. With Du Plessis only being yellow-carded for his role in the incident, the visitors were forced to play the entire second half with 14 men against 15 and did well to finish within four points of their opponents. But they must have left the stadium wondering what might have been had Weeks kept his cool. 

You can score a try with your chest
The Highlanders were leading 11-3 with a minute remaining in the first half when Chiefs flyhalf Marty McKenzie's grubber into the deadball area was grounded by his brother, Damian. TV replays showed that the fullback's hands had not touched the ball and that he had used his chest to ground it, with the ball spitting out because of the downward pressure applied. Yet Kiwi TMO Glenn Newman said McKenzie had not been in control of the ball and knocked it on, even though a player cannot knock on if the ball comes off his chest. Law 22 b) in the Laws of the Game of Rugby Union states that 'a player grounds the ball when it is on the ground in the in-goal [area] and the player presses down on it with a hand or hands, arm or arms, or the front of the player's body from waist to neck inclusive'. Perhaps someone can provide Newman with a copy.

Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

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