Ferguson has brain haem­or­rhage op The Storm­ers’ vic­tory shows they are not dead yet

Sunday Times - - Sport - By CRAIG RAY By KHANYISO TSHWAKU

● Leg­endary for­mer Manch­ester United man­ager Alex Ferguson has un­der­gone emer­gency surgery for a brain haem­or­rhage, his old club an­nounced yes­ter­day.

“Sir Alex Ferguson has un­der­gone emer­gency surgery to­day for a brain haem­or­rhage,” said a United state­ment.

“The pro­ce­dure has gone very well but he needs a pe­riod of in­ten­sive care to op­ti­mise his re­cov­ery. His fam­ily re­quest pri­vacy.”

Ferguson’s son, Dar­ren, man­ager of thirdtier club Don­caster, missed his side’s match against Wi­gan yes­ter­day. at New­lands

● This was like north/south der­bies of yes­ter­year with test match-like in­ten­sity and a crack­ling at­mos­phere that showed Su­per Rugby, and the Storm­ers, are not dead yet thanks to a 29-17 win.

Storm­ers cap­tain Siya Kolisi said he would only cel­e­brate his 100th cap with a win, and his team duly de­liv­ered thanks to heroic de­fence and a pack that mowed down the Bulls’ eight.

Not even a yel­low card for hooker Ra­mone Sa­muels, who oth­er­wise had an im­pres­sive game, was enough to de­rail the Storm­ers. They scored four tries to the Bulls’ two and kept flick­er­ing play-off hopes alive.

The Storm­ers made over 150 tack­les with 93% com­ple­tion, which also kept the Bulls with­out a bonus point, which could be cru­cial in the play-off race.

Storm­ers coach Rob­bie Fleck has asked his team for a fast start af­ter re­cent de­feats were largely the fault of start­ing slowly.

The play­ers duly de­liv­ered with lock Chris van Zyl barg­ing over in the sec­ond minute only for the score to be dis­al­lowed be­cause of a for­ward pass from scrumhalf De­waldt Du­ve­nage.

But the Storm­ers scrum drove the Bulls off their own ball close to their line. Du­ve­nage found fly­half Damian Willemse, who ghosted out­side Jesse Kriel to score.

Willemse con­verted and seven min­utes later the Storm­ers crossed the line again. This time there was no ghost­ing, only power as mag­nif­i­cent tight­head Wilco Louw took the ball at pace and scat­tered Bulls tack­lers.

The nar­row Storm­ers de­fence was stretched at times but the Bulls’ lone firsthalf try came from a more di­rect route.

Lock Lood de Jager ran a straight line onto Han­dre Pol­lard’s beau­ti­fully ar­rowed pass.

Pol­lard added a long-range penalty six min­utes be­fore the break.

The vis­i­tors hit the front for the first time early in the sec­ond half when flank Ja­son Jenk­ins ran a good line to score.

But full­back SP Marais rounded off the Storm­ers’ third try from the restart.

The Storm­ers have sel­dom de­fended as well this sea­son and af­ter re­pelling wave af­ter wave of Bulls at­tacks, they fi­nally put day­light be­tween the sides when Sa­muels fin­ished off an­other well worked move. at Kings Park Sta­dium

● How the Sharks sud­denly front up against New Zealand sides and are ab­sent against the oth­ers will re­main one of the great 2018 Su­per Rugby mys­ter­ies.

They recorded a com­mand­ing 38-12 win against a dogged, less chaotic but jaded High­landers unit yes­ter­day.

It was clear Aaron Mauger’s charges picked the Bulls match as the one to win and though they re­mained com­pet­i­tive, a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive win was a bridge to far.

The Sharks play a power-packed brand of rugby that not only works against New Zealand foes but has pre­ci­sion and en­ter­prise miss­ing against South African and Aus­tralian foes. They’ve beaten two and nar­rowly lost to the Hur­ri­canes.

With this tri­umph their fourth of the sea­son and their first con­sec­u­tive win, their tim­ing was im­pec­ca­ble.

The South African con­fer­ence re­sem­bles Jo­han­nes­burg’s N1 in rush-hour traf­fic; one slip and the team be­low you gets ahead.

The five points ac­crued from eas­ily the Sharks’ best home show­ing of the sea­son that saw them mus­cle their way to third place on the South African con­fer­ence, a point be­hind the Jaguares and eight off the con­fer­ence-lead­ing Li­ons.

While the Li­ons find dif­fer­ent ways to dis­ap­point each week on tour, it looks like the South African wild-card con­fer­ence will be de­cided in the fi­nal round.

The Sharks scored two good first-half tries to earn a 10-point lead through Akker van der Merwe and Maka­zole Mapimpi.

Loose-for­ward Dil­lon Hunt scored the High­landers’ sole first-half try in the 27th minute when he peeled away from a rolling maul.

Phys­i­cal­ity was mar­ried with panache in the sec­ond half with su­perb tries from Daniel du Preez (45th), S’bu­siso Nkosi (62nd) and Robert du Preez (68th).

The hu­mid­ity that's dogged the Sharks at home all sea­son was nowhere to be found and the passes that didn’t stick in ear­lier matches were find­ing their tar­gets.

They fired on all cylin­ders for the bet­ter part of the cool evening but had a slight lapse in con­cen­tra­tion when they al­lowed Tei­ho­rangi Walden to score in the 74th minute. By then, the black horse had long bolted and tram­pled over its neon-coloured ob­sta­cle.

Is­mail el Haddad of Wy­dad Ath­letic cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing the equaliser dur­ing the CAF Cham­pi­ons League match against Sun­downs at Lu­cas Moripe Sta­dium in Pre­to­ria yes­ter­day.

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