Few few surprises in Round 9 was the order of the day with the Jaguares that came back against the Rebels to take a away win and the Bulls that outplayed the Sharks in the wet.
Not many would have picked these two teams to take wins but both fully deserved the wins.
Here is the current standings…
The Hurricanes confirm that that they are the best team in New Zealand at the moment as they beat the Chiefs 25-13 on Friday.
The Hurricanes put together brilliant second half to get over the Chiefs hurdle.
The first half was a close affair as we expected between these two top sides and it was great defence from the Hurricanes that eventually pulled them through.
It was Ben Lam again that got over for the Hurricanes in the first half as the try-scoring machine got his ninth try of the season.
It was not just the Hurricanes with great defence but the Chiefs also stood up.
The Chiefs only points in the first half came from a couple of penalty kicks.
Barrett was again the man that turned the game for the Hurricanes as he score a solo try and then send Laumape over with a perfect cross-kick.
Those two brilliant plays from Barrett gave the Hurricanes a 22-6 lead which was just too much for the Chiefs to catch u to.
The Chiefs did score a try through Boshier but that was not enough to give the Hurricanes another great win.
Hurricanes – Tries: Ben Lam, Beauden Barrett, Ngani Laumape. Conversions: Jordie Barrett (2). Penalties: Jordie Barrett (2)
Chiefs – Try: Lachlan Boshier. Conversion: Damian McKenzie. Penalties: Damian McKenzie (2).
The Blues finally got back to winning ways when they beat the Sunwolves 24-10 on Saturday.
The Blues had to come back from a five point half time lead by the Sunwolves to turn things around for the struggling New Zealand Franchise.
Both teams have been poor to say the least this year and it was expected from the Blues to take the win but they had to work for it.
The quality of these two teams have not been good this year and the match did not change that as well.
The Sunwolves got into a 10-5 lead and the warning signs started to show for the Blues.
The Blues got an early yellow card for a high tackle from Tuipulo.
The Sunwolves defence was good on the day as they tried to get their first win of the season.
An early lead of 10-0 gave them the believe that they can get that first win of the season and confidance to keep putting in the hits.
It looked like the Sunwolves ran out of steam in the second half as they started to miss tackles to let the Blues back into the game.
It was not a good quality match but one that the Blues would be happy to get a win at last.
Sunwolves – Try: Timothy Lafaele. Conversion: Hayden Parker. Penalty: Yu Tamura.
Blues – Tries: Jordan Hyland (2), Akira Ioane, Dalton Papali’i. Conversions: Stephen Perofeta (2).
The Rebels have now gone two weeks without a lost and they will be careful not to start doing as they did in the past with good starts and then just fade away.
All credit to the Jaguares who never gave up and surprise most with a great second half to take a win on their first match on tour.
The Jaguares were 14-3 behind at halftime lead but it was a second half fightback that surprised the Rebels.
The Jaguares were first on the board with a penalty but the Rebels got through the defence.
The Rebels draw some confidence from the score with more ball in hand which resulted in their second try of the match.
The Jaguares struggle on attack with most of the possession in the first half.
They came close at the end of the half but they just could not get through.
The second half was much of the same with the Jaguares with most of the ball bit the Rebels were the team crossing the whitewash.
The Jaguares eventually got through with Cancelliere and it was at this stage that the moment changed.
Rebels also got a yellow card which gave the Rebels the advantage as the rain poured down on the players.
The Jaguares then used this advantage to send Moyano over.
The Rebels had all the changes to take a win but the Jaguares hold on to take the win.
Rebels – Tries: Billy Meakes, Marika Koroibete, Dane Haylett-Petty. Conversions: Jack Debreczeni (2). Penalty: Debreczeni.
Jaguares – Tries: Sebastian Cancelliere, Ramiro Moyano, Bautista Ezcurra. Conversions: Nicolás Sánchez (2). Penalties: Sánchez (2).
The Highlanders was just too good for the inconsistent Brumbies when they beat them 43-17 on Saturday.
It was the the Highlanders 10th win at home and it also kept the Highlanders in the run against the other New Zealand teams.
The Brumbies were still in touch with the Highlanders early in the second half but they just could not get pass the Highlanders defence.
The Highlanders also got a try while they had Sopoaga off with a yellow card.
Ben Smith was again brilliant for the Highlanders on attack and were the Highlanders star player of the day.
The Highlanders was just too good for this Brumbies team
Highlanders – Tries: Lima Sopoaga, Ben Smith (2), Waisake Naholo, Shannon Frizell, Fletcher Smith. Conversions: Sopoaga (4), Ben Smith. Penalty: Sopoaga.
Brumbies – Tries: Isi Naisarani, Joe Powell. Conversions: Wharenui Hawera (2). Penalty: Hawera.
The Waratahs have completely outplayed the Reds to take a great 37-17 win over the Reds.
The Tahs have been going well in the last couple of weeks and are getting closer to the Rebels at the top of the Aussie log.
The Tahs went into the lead with two penalties to get on the board.
The Reds were trying to play positive rugby but one needs to sometimes slow it down and get points on the board before you go full out.
The Waratahs was just too good for the Reds.
Waratahs – Tries: Jake Gordon, Taqele Naiyaravoro (2), Harry Johnson-Holmes. Conversions: Bernard Foley (4). Penalties: Foley (3).
Reds – Try: Filipo Daugunu. Conversion: Jono Lance. Penalties: Lance (3).
The Bulls outplayed a out-of-sorts Sharks in Durban on Saturday to get a full points.
The Sharks was outsmart and outplayed by a Bulls team who is playing with allot of confidence.
There was allot that was said about the match-ups between Pollard versus Du Preez and Gelant versus Bosch and the Bulls but at the end the Sharks could not match them.
Pollard played another match which would make Springbok coach Erasmus very happy.
Gelant was the star of the match and played one of the best games we have seen in a long time.
His defence was as great as his attacking play and he produced a all round performance from fullback.
The Sharks problems start upfront with the Bulls winning the small battles on the ground and their lineouts was poor.
The scrums were even but the Sharks can not afford the play average rugby and think they will win.
The Bulls are starting to look like a well coached side and credit must be given to the coaching staff and players who execute the game-plan to perfection.
The Sharks did not help themselves with poor decision making and they were poor in their last line of defence.
Were the Sharks bullied the Hurricanes last week in the contact situations the tables were overturned by the Bulls in this match.
Gelant scored three tries in the match but it was the foundation that gave the backs to changes they got in the match.
The Sharks have again slump after good showing the the last two matches and are leaving supporters yet again with more questions than answers.
Sharks – Try: André Esterhuizen. Conversion: Rob du Preez. Penalty: Du Preez.
Bulls – Tries: Warrick Gelant (3), Adriaan Strauss, penalty try, Johnny Kötze. Conversions: Handré Pollard (3), Manie Libbok.
Here is next week schedule…
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