RUGBY NEWS - Ruhan Nel scored a crucial try for the second straight weekend as the Western Stormers ground out a 17-7 win over the Jaguares on Saturday to lead Super Rugby.
The outside centre, who notched a post-hooter winning try against the Golden Lions last Saturday, struck on 53 minutes in Cape Town to give the home side a 15-point advantage.
Nel sold a dummy and scored after pressure from the South Africans created a gap in the Argentines' defence at a wet and murky Newlands stadium.
Fly-half Damian Willemse converted for a 17-0 lead that gave the hosts breathing space ahead of a comeback by the visitors which yielded a try from number eight Rodrigo Bruni.
Jaguares fly-half Domingo Miotti converted and the Buenos Aires outfit thought they had scored again when wing Sebastian Cancelliere went over only for the try to be disallowed.
The sixth-placed South Americans finished strongly but could not score the try or penalty that would have secured a losing bonus point.
Scrum-half Herschel Jantjies scored the other try for the winners after an interception and Willemse kicked a penalty and two conversions for the Stormers, who led 3-0 at half-time.
After conceding three early scrum penalties, the Jaguares replaced tighthead prop Santiago Medrano with Joel Sclavi on 29 minutes.
Sclavi stabilised the scrum, taking away the only obvious advantage either side enjoyed in a dour tussle.
The Stormers are the only side with a perfect record after four rounds having beaten the Wellington Hurricanes, Northern Bulls and Lions previously.
They have 17 points to lead defending champions the Canterbury Crusaders by three and the ACT Brumbies by four.
Stormers' Jamie Roberts, the Wales and British and Irish Lions centre, was voted man of the match and said his new team have reached "about 60 percent of their potential".
Black grabs win for Blues
"We are building and improving and did well to win this evening against a very good Jaguares team that had a defence that was very difficult to penetrate," he said.
"Our forwards put in a massive shift and it was wonderful to see the pride with which we defended in the closing stages."
Meanwhile, fly-half Otere Black kicked a medium-range, post-hooter penalty to earn the Auckland Blues a 23-21 victory over the Bulls in a scrappy Pretoria match.
Torrential rain before and during the clash cut up the Loftus Versfeld stadium pitch and contributed to a game that offered little entertainment.
The New Zealanders outscored the South Africans by three tries to two and the Blues' third was the best of a clash between clubs who have won the competition three times each.
Substitute back Matt Duffie soared to catch a high cross kick under pressure near the touchline and sent full-back Stephen Perofeta in to score.
That score gave the Blues a six-point second-half lead that was surrendered when Jeandre Rudolph barged over following a scrum and substitute fly-half Manie Libbok converted.
The Bulls defended their one-point advantage for seven minutes before Black snatched victory for the Blues.
Bulls lock Andries Ferreira and centre Burger Odendaal and Blues scrum-half Jonathan Ruru and number eight Hoskins Sotutu were yellow-carded in a niggly match.
Wing Mark Telea, loose forward Tom Robinson and Perofeta scored tries for the Blues and Black slotted a conversion and two penalties.
Fly-half Morne Steyn scored a try and kicked three penalties for the Bulls, whose other points came from the Rudolph try and Libbok conversion.
Victory lifted the Blues two places to seventh while the Bulls remain second last with only one point.