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Stormers beat Cheetahs ugly

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The Stormers edge the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein from a scrappy game that saw the game end with two red cards 40-34.

The game started with both teams giving the ball air and running it down the field. It was the Stormers that scored the first try with brilliant backline move to send Kolbe over and the lead of 7-0 after just 4 minutes.

The Cheetahs answered the way they know best in scoring their first try from a scrum set five meters out often Stormers line.

This made the score 7 all after just 8 minutes.

Senatla made his appearance quickly onto the field with SP Marias injuring himself with Kolbe moving from wing to fullback.

The Stormers then started to take full control and played in the Cheetahs half where WIllemse showed his class and scored the Stormers next try.

It took not long before they got to 26-10 after just 32 minutes.

The Cheetahs had enough ball but made mistakes on attack which the Stormers took as opportunities.

A yellow card to Marais did not help the Cheetahs cause as well.

The Cheetahs did put the pressure back on the Stormers and while they were controlling things Elstadt got yet another yellow card this season.

The Cheetahs took the advantage of the one man extra in the pack and drove over for their second try of the match.

The teams went into the break with the Stormers leading 26-17.

The second half was much even between the two teams but it was again the Stormers to extend the lead and had a lead of 33-17.

A yellow card to Du Toit for a high tackle brought the Cheetahs back in the game and they scored immediately through Swart who powered over the line.

The Cheetahs scored twice while Du Toit was off and took the lead 34-33.

It cost all that is the Stormers to work for another try to take the lead back to 40-34 with minutes to go.

The game ended with two red cards which put a damper on the end result but a win for the Stormers.

Scorers:

STORMERS

Tries: Sikhumbuzo Notshe(73′) Cheslin Kolbe(52′) Seabelo Senatla(31′) Cheslin Kolbe(28′) Damian Willemse(20′) Cheslin Kolbe(2′)

Penalties: Cheslin Kolbe(60′)

Cons: Cheslin Kolbe(75′) Cheslin Kolbe(53′) Cheslin Kolbe(29′) Cheslin Kolbe(21′) SP Marais(3′)

CHEETAHS

Tries: Raymond Rhule(61′) Clinton Swart(56′) Elandre Huggett(39′) Reniel Hugo(7′)

Penalties: Daniel Marais(48′) Daniel Marais(18′)

Cons: Daniel Marais(62′) Daniel Marais(57′) Daniel Marais(40′) Daniel Marais(8′)

 

Kings beat Jaguares in Buenes Aires

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The Southern King got another victory this time against the Jaguares on Saturday morning when they beat them 31-30 in Buenes Aires.

 

Makazole Mapimpi crossed twice while Luzuko Vulindlu and Wandile Mjekevu also scored tries, with Lionel Cronje kicking 11 points.

What will make this defeat hurt more for the Jaguares is that they scored five tries – through Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Emiliano Boffelli, Nicolás Sánchez and Joaquín Tuculet (2) – but their goal-kicking percentage finished at 25.

There was only six points separating the sides at the break after a fast-paced first 40 minutes which saw the Jaguares cross three times. In reply the Kings went over twice as they once again proved they are a team on an upward curve this season under head coach Deon Davids.

The visitors came out in determined mood but their early pressure didn’t result in points, in fact they were lucky not to concede from a counter attack that was sparked by Jaguares centre Bautista Ezcurra. In the end scrumhalf Martín Landajo lost the ball on the try-line.

That breakout seemed to lift the Jaguares though and after a spell of pressure they went wide right to where the busy Tuculet found flank Leguizamón, who barged over. Sánchez missed with his difficult conversion attempt so it was a 0-5 advantage for the hosts on 17 minutes.

It did not last long as after Tuculet strayed offside, a kick to the corner led to centre Vulindlu crashing over off a short ball for 7-5.

Sánchez did restore his side’s lead on 26 minutes, but again the Kings responded, with Mapimpi racing over following quick hands for 14-8.

At this point it was end-to-end rugby so it was no surprise when Tuculet’s smart grubber found Boffelli on the left wing to make it 14-13.

The Jaguares weren’t done and when Sánchez cut back against the traffic towards a ruck, he slipped through weak tackling for a 14-20 lead.

Just two minutes after the break the Jaguares moved further ahead when Sánchez’s grubber saw Tuculet gather before going over for the try. However, four minutes later the Kings added a penalty via Cronje’s boot, which cut that buffer down to eight points at 17-25 to the hosts.

Sánchez was struggling off the tee in the game and was at a worrying success rate off 33 percent on 57 minutes after another penalty miss.

The Kings made the flyhalf pay two minutes later as Vulindlu combined with Mapimpi to send the wing over on the left. With Cronje cooly slotting the conversion, suddenly the South African franchise were just one point behind at 24-25 and had their tails up in Buenos Aires.

Joaquín Díaz Bonilla replaced Sánchez soon after but even he couldn’t add points to their tally, missing his first attempt on 63 minutes.

The match was seemingly there for the taking for the Kings and when Mjekevu raced over thanks to a lovely pull-back pass from scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer they had a six-point cushion with just eight minutes to play. The Jaguares needed to find something special at this point.

And they came agonisingly close to rescuing the four points on 75 minutes as a lovely Bonilla cross-kick found Tuculet wide out for the try. But it was perhaps fitting that a missed conversion cost the Jaguares the lead and victory on a dismal night for their goal-kickers.

 

Scorers

Jaguares

Tries: Leguizamón, Boffelli, Sánchez, Tuculet (2)
Conversion: Sánchez
Penalty: Sánchez

Kings:

Tries: Mapimpi (2), Vulindlu, Mjekevu
Conversions: Cronje (4)
Penalty: Cronje

 

 

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Gelant hat-trick sink Sharks in Durban

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The Bulls outscored the Sharks to take their first win away from home when they beat them 30-17 on Friday night. Gelant scored a hat-trick of tries to sink the Sharks in the Shark-tank.

The Sharks and the Bulls started the return to Super Rugby after the June Internationals and kick off the last few rounds in Durban.

With the Sharks certain off a play-off spot and the Bulls just playing for pride it was a game to look forward to and more dangerous for the Sharks than the Bulls as the Bulls had nothing to lose.

Supporters from both side just wanted their sides to show some intend to run the ball and score tries and that is what the two teams tried to do on the night.

It was the Bulls with the better start showing a bit more in the first ten minutes of the match and scored the first try from a mistake from the Sharks at their own lineout.

This gave them a 5-0 early lead in the match.

The game then came to life with the Sharks replying with a try of their own through Thomas Du Toit. This gave them a 7-5 lead.

With the Sharks on the break-out the Bulls turned it around and score from the turnover to take back the lead 12-7 after 20 minutes.

The Bulls did not take long to extend the lead after a Sharks slotted a penalty over with Serfontein showing his class and sending his fullback over for the try.

The Sharks had their chances but Bulls defence hold them and some silly mistakes on attack prevent any points coming from it.

The Bulls kept the lead going into the break and great first half from the visitors.

The Sharks did not had a good start to the second half giving away allot of penalties and got a yellow card for repeated penalties against them.

The Bulls extend the lead with a penalty to 20-10.

It was the Sharks that scored against the run of play after they caught the Bulls asleep with a quick lineout to make the lead only 3 points.

Serfontein was again in the frame sending Gelant over for his third try of the match and a 10-point lead for the Bulls leading the Sharks 27-17 after 60 minutes.

The Bulls extend their lead to 30-17 with a penalty as both teams made more mistakes on attack.

The Bulls kept the lead till the end and got their first away win this season.

Jan Serfontein was again outstanding and my Man of the Match.

Scorers:

Sharks – Tries: Thomas du Toit, Curwin Bosch. Conversions: Bosch (2). Penalty: Bosch.
Bulls – Tries: Nic de Jager, Warrrick Gelant (3). Conversion: Tian Schoeman (2). Penalties: Schoeman (2)

Hurricanes gets bonus point win over Force

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The Hurricanes made it nine wins in a row against the Force with a 34-12 bonus-point victory at nib Stadium in Perth on Saturday.

Hurricanes tries from Loni Uhila, Leni Apisai, Vince Aso, TJ Perenara and a Ngani Laumape brace proved too much for the Force, who scored through tries from Dane Haylett-Petty and Richard Hardwick.

The result means the Hurricanes consolidate second position in the New Zealand Conference as they edge closer to the play-offs while the Force miss an opportunity to go second in the Australian Conference and have been dealt another blow to their play-off hopes.

The Force, despite applying immense pressure on the Hurricanes try-line were denied time after time, as the away side managed to turn over the ball again and again. The Force should have had more points on the board as reward for their territorial dominance in the first-half.

But the ‘Canes showed what made them champions; an ability to mix attacking flair with a stingy uncompromising defence. This desperation on defence hasn’t been needed this season as they have blown teams out the water with their attack. Credit must go to the Force for bringing that out of the champions.

The result slightly flattered the Hurricanes who capitalised on their numerical advantage after a dubious yellow card was given to Dane Haylett-Petty.

The Hurricanes profited on an errant lineout from the Force to score the first try of the game. TJ Perenara pounced on the loose ball, and immediately gave the ball to Jordie Barrett who offloaded for Laumape who was not going to be stopped, all after just two minutes on the clock. Beauden Barrett converted.

Despite persistent pressure from the Force, the Hurricanes showed incredible defence on their own try-line in a game of physical attrition as both sides put their bodies on the line.

Despite the ‘Canes enjoying 13 percent of the territory in the first half, they scored their second after only spending a minute on the Force try-line. Uhila used his massive frame to bash over from close range with the try assist coming from TJ Perenara.

Shortly after the resumption of the second half, The Force responded with their first try of the game. After the Force won a lineout on the Hurricanes 22, Peter Grant kicked high and the bounce favoured Dane Haylett-Petty, who went over to score. Grant converted to bring the deficit back to seven.

A well-worked lineout set-piece move straight from the training ground saw substitute Apisai go over for the Hurricanes’ third try. Sam Lousi secured the lineout and the ball was switched blindside to Brad Shields which completely wrong-footed the Force defence and Apisai profited to crash over.

The Canes’ bonus-point try came from Super Rugby’s leading try-scorer Aso. Beauden Barrett decided to run it from his own line and then went wide to Perenara who sent a kick through. Aso was on hand to brilliantly collect the grubber and race through to cap off a brilliant counter-attack. Haylett-Petty was yellow-carded for cynical play and this cost the Force dearly as they conceded two tries in his absence.

Once again the Hurricanes ran it from their own line, Perenara kicking deep and although the Force regathered the ball, but threw an errant pass which Perenara picked up and dotted down.

Laumape bagged his brace as the ‘Canes scored their sixth – Nehe Milner-Skudder, his first game back from a prolonged lay-off, creating the try with a beautiful sidestep before running thirty metres and sending Laumape away.

For Force:
Tries: D Haylett-Petty, Hardwick
Con: Grant
Yellow Card: D Haylett-Petty

For Hurricanes:
Tries: Laumape 2, Uhila, Apisai, Aso, Perenara
Cons: B Barrett 2
Yellow Card: Laumape

Brumbies secure bonus point against Rebels

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The Brumbies secured first place in the Australian Conference with a 32-3 bonus-point victory over the Rebels in Canberra on Saturday.

It was a game in which the wet conditions made handling of the ball difficult and resulted in a number of unforced errors.

Tries from Jordan Smiler, Tevita Kuridrani, Wharenui Hawera and Nigel Ah Wong proved too much for the Rebels who have now gone tryless in four of their last six games.

The result means the Brumbies have an unassailable lead at the top of the Australian Conference with 33 points while the Rebels remain rooted to the bottom of the table on eight points.

The home side showed good ball retention and enjoyed the majority of the possession in the game and are guaranteed a place in the Super Rugby play-offs.

Wharenui Hawera gave the Brumbies a 3-0 lead, just reward for the pressure they put on the Rebels in the opening quarter. Reece Hodge responded with a penalty for the Rebels in the 25th minute to level matters at 3-3 in a low-scoring opening to the game.

After the Rebels were penalised for offside, Hawera added another three from the tee on the half-hour mark to put the home side 6-3 up.

Soon after, the first try of the game went to the Brumbies. After Marika Koroibete was dispossessed near his goal line, the Brumbies launched a counter-attack and won a penalty for offside. Speight took it quickly, pushing the ball wide and Smiler went over unopposed in the corner five minutes before half-time.

After the break, the Brumbies continued to apply pressure and build on their momentum. After good work from Joe Powell to force a knock-on off Amanaki Mafi at the back of a Rebels defensive scrum, the Brumbies had the put in at a five-metre attacking scrum.

Kuridrani crashed over from first phase ball after a good flat pass from Powell. No one was going to stop the Kuridrani train from that distance.

The Brumbies’ third try came from their own attacking lineout and Powell was quick to go wide. Hawera scythed through a gap and showed good reach to dot down in the 57th minute. He converted his own try to put the score at 25-3 to the Brumbies.

The bonus-point try for the Brumbies came just before the hooter. Hodge and Koroibete took the ball deep inside Brumbies territory and again they conceded a penalty to turn it over.

The Brumbies then lost the lineout, but got the ball back after a knock-on, a grubber kick bounced nicely for the Brumbies and Ah Wong went over to score.

The scorers:

For Brumbies:
Tries: Smiler, Kuridrani, Hawera, Ah Wong
Cons: Hawera 3
Pens: Hawera 2

For Rebels:
Pen: Hodge

Saders keep unbeaten record with drop goal

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Mitchell Hunt’s late drop goal secured a 25-22 win for the Crusaders over the Highlanders in a thrilling derby in Christchurch on Saturday.

As expected, this was an entertaining affair between two of the tournament’s in-form sides and the game was in the balance until the end before Hunt’s secured the result for his team with his snap-shot from 35 metres out with the final act of the match.

The result means the Crusaders have now won all 14 their matches in this year’s competition while it ends the Highlanders’ nine-match winnig streak.

Both sides deserve credit for making this the entertaining spectacle that it was although the Highlanders will be kicking themselves as they dominated for large periods especially during the second half.

The men from Dunedin had the bulk of the the possession during the first half but the Crusaders made better use of their chances and led 19-10 at the break thanks to tries from Mitchell Drummond, Seta Tamanivalu and Heiden Bedwell-Curtis with Richard Buckman crossing the whitewash for the Highlanders during this period.

The tournament’s pacesetters made a terrific start and scored their opening try as early as the third minute when Drummond rounded off several waves of attack after George Bridge, Richie Mo’Unga and Matt Todd were all stopped just short of the try-line in the build-up.

The Crusaders continued to attack and 10 minutes later they extended their lead when a superb line break from Ryan Crotty was rounded off by Seta Tamanivalu after gathering a perfectly-weighted long pass fom Jack Goodhue.

The Highlanders tried to take the Crusaders on at their own game but could not match the intensity and execution displayed by the seven-time champions during the opening quarter.

However, the Crusaders were dealt a blow in the 26th minute when Bedwell-Curtis received a yellow card for a cynical foul on defence, deep inside his 22, after referee Glen Jackson had given the home side several warnings for similar indiscretions before that.

Five minutes later, the Highlanders opened their account when Ben Smith joined the line inside the Crusaders’ 22 and offloaded to Buckman, who crossed for an easy five-pointer.

Marty Banks slotted the conversion and added a penalty in the 37th minute which meant the match was evenly poised with the Crusaders leading 12-10.

The Crusaders responed in style, however, and two minutes after returninig from his stint in the sin bin, Bedwell-Curtis ran onto an inside pass from Jack Goodhue before crossing for his side’s third try just before half-time.

The Highlanders came out firing in the second half and two minutes after the restart Aaron Smith crossed the whitewash but his effort was ruled out after television replays revealed that Rob Thompson stepped into touch in the build-up.

Five minutes later, Crotty lost the ball in contact and the Highlanders launched a counter attack with Malakai Fekitoa kicking into space and Bridge failed to gather. Waisake Naholo kicked ahead and beat the cover defence before diving onto the ball behind the Crusaders’ try-line.

Five minutes later, Naholo crossed for his second try after intercepting a long pass from Codie Taylor just inside the Crusaders half. That gave the visitors the lead for the first time and they continued to dominate for the rest of the half although – crucially – they could not extend their lead.

Despite trailing on the scoreboard, the Crusaders did not panic and Hunt drew them level via a penalty in the 77th minute. The seven-time champions finished stronger and were awarded a penalty in the final minute which Hunt pushed wide of the posts.

Despite that missed opportunity, the Crusaders continued to attack and after taking the ball through 20 phases, the ball came out to Hunt who secured the result for his side with his stunning drop goal at the end.

The scorers:

For Crusaders:
Tries:
Drummond, Tamanivalu, Bedwill-Curtis
Cons: Mo’unga 2
Pen: Hunt
Drop goal: Hunt
Yellow Card: Bedwell-Curtis

For Highlanders:
Tries: Buckman, Naholo 2
Cons: Banks 2
Pen: Banks

Blues win against Reds

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Stephen Perofeta’s late try was enough for the Blues to come out on top of a see-sawing encounter with the Reds, winning 34-29 in Apia.

The talented replacement number ten was the Blues’ fifth try-scorer on the night and for long periods Tana Umaga’s side looked the better team on the field, leading 20-12 at the break after tries from Rene Ranger, Rieko Ioane and Kara Pryor.

To their credit the Reds never gave up, their forward power creating four tries including two for Taniela ‘Tongan Thor’ Tupou as Quade Cooper’s boot kept them in the hunt.

But scores from lock Gerard Cowley-Tuioti and then Perofeta guaranteed a seventh win of the season for the Blues, who could have had more tries were it not for four on the night being ruled out by the officials.

In front of a disappointly low crowd in the Samoan capital due to ticket prices, those in attendance certainly enjoyed a tighter spectacle than many were predicting after the opening minutes.

It was a blistering start for the Blues, with Ranger stepping his way through the Reds’ defence all too easily after the Reds had been turned over at the scrum, scoring in the second minute.

The second score wasn’t far away either, TJ Faiane’s smart pass releasing Pryor before the final pass put Rieko Ioane over in the corner. Piers Francis couldn’t convert, but the Blues held a comfortable lead at 12-0.

The Reds needed a response, not helped by the loss of captain Samu Kerevi to an ankle injury, but tighthead prop Tupou scored his first try when he burrowed over from close-range.

A scrappy period of play followed before Pryor scored the Blues’ third try, going over off the back of a rolling maul.

To their credit the Reds responded swiftly, with hooker Andrew Ready in for Wallabies captian Stephen Moore powering his way over off the back of another effective driving maul from the Reds, one of their best weapons in recent weeks.

Cooper converted but it was Francis who had the final say of the first half, knocking over a long-range penalty to give the Blues a 20-12 advantage.

A rare three-pointer from Cooper kicked off the second half to put the Reds within range of the lead, and they grabbed it thanks to their third try of the match from replacement forward Adam Korczyk, Cooper banishing the memory of his early miss off the tee to land the conversion and make it 22-20.

In-form lock Cowley-Tuioti went over in response for the Blues, switching the lead back their way after Francis converted, but the Reds were making progress up front, Tupou showing off the power that made him a star at schoolboy level as the ‘Tongan Thor’ to grab a second try.

With that effort the Reds led 29-27, as the Blues had a third possible try of the match ruled out by the TMO, at the start of tense final ten minutes.

Having been the better side for most of the match a defeat would have been unthinkable for the Blues, and with seven minutes left they retook the lead once more through the highly-rated Perofeta on debut.

Melani Nanai was released into open space and despite coming up short of the line after backing himself to beat the last man, Perofeta was there in support for the score.

Perofeta converted his own score to give the Blues a 34-29 lead in the closing stages as the Blues ran down the clock, pleasing the local crowd, with the Reds unable to find the winning score.

The scorers:

For Blues:
Tries: Ranger, R Ioane, Pryor, Cowley-Tuioti, Perofeta
Cons: Francis, Perofeta 2
Pen: Francis

For Reds:
Tries: Tupou 2, Ready, Korczyk
Cons: Cooper 3
Pen: Cooper

14-man Lions get bonus point win over Kings

1

A 14-man Lions outfit continued their domination of the South African Group following a comfortable 54-10 triumph over the Kings.

Despite the loss of Robbie Coetzee for a knee to the head of Chris Cloete in the first half, the hosts scored eight tries as they easily dispatched their rivals.

Only two of those came before Coetzee’s recklessness, however, when Andries Ferreira and Courtnall Skosan touched down. Instead, the red card revitalised the Lions, who had lost their way after a positive start, with Kwagga Smith (twice), Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen, Faf de Klerk and Andries Coetzee completing the win.

Luzuko Vulindlu scored a consolation for the Africa 2 Conference’s bottom placed team but it was the hosts that went away with a tenth win in a row.

The Kings’ impressive resurgence had seen them secure three victories in succession before their home defeat to the Brumbies but, against the second best team in the competition, they were unable to make it four in five.

Without the excellent Lionel Cronjé at stand-off, the visitors struggled for continuity in the early stages and the Lions benefited from that front-foot ball.

Ackermann’s men dominated and proceeded to put the Port Elizabeth-based outfit under pressure at the maul. It eventually led to a yellow card for Irné Herbst and, without one of their crucial cogs in the lineout drive, the away side succumbed as Ferreira touched down.

In many respects, that score was atypical of the free-flowing hosts, but they soon displayed the full range of their capabilities by constructing a wonderful try.

Two mainstays of their side came to the fore when Elton Jantjies produced an inch-perfect cross-field kick for new Springbok captain Warren Whiteley to collect.

Whiteley had little time and space to work with but the number eight managed to get his off-load away to Skosan, who crossed the whitewash unopposed.

Pieter-Steyn de Wet then reduced the arrears for the Kings before a moment of stupidity from hooker Coetzee saw the Lions down to 14 men after his knee connected with Cloete’s head.

The flanker was also sent from the field, although he only received a yellow card for two separate offences leading up to Coetzee’s indiscretion.

That should have enabled the visitors a way back into the contest but Ackermann’s team dealt with the setback impeccably.

Tries for Smith and Marx either side of the interval effectively ended the match as a contest before excellent hands allowed Van Rooyen to touch down.

The Lions were rampant and a wonderful run by Marx gave Smith his second try. The replacement hooker went on a barnstorming charge down the right, off-loaded to Coetzee whose pass to the blindside allowed him to cross the line.

By this point only 55 minutes had elapsed but Vulindlu briefly stemmed the haemorrhaging by touching down for the Kings. However, the hosts had the final word via De Klerk and Coetzee as they went away with a dominant victory.

The scorers:

For Lions:
Tries: 
Ferreira, Skosan, Smith 2, Marx, Van Rooyen, De Klerk, A Coetzee
Cons: Jantjies 5, A Coetzee 2
Red Card: R Coetzee

For Kings:
Try: 
Vulindlu
Con: De Wet
Pen: De Wet
Yellow Cards: Herbst, Cloete

Brumbies end tour with win over Jaguares

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The Brumbies finished their tour in with another win this time over the Jaguares when they beat them 39-15 on Saturday night.

The men from Canberra were keen to build on last weekend’s win over the Kings in Port Elizabeth and were full value for their win, eventually outscoring their hosts by six tries to two.

An impressive first half performance laid the foundation to the Brumbies’ win with brace of tries from Tom Banks and another five-pointer from Sam Carter helping them to a 20-10 lead at half-time with the Jaguares’ only try of the half scored by Tomás Lavanini.

The home side’s discipline let them down badly and they committed a plethora of unforced errors which helped the Brumbies’ cause.

The Brumbies win extends their lead t the top of the Australian Conference table and they now have a nine-point lead over their closest rivals, the Waratahs.

Meanwhile, the Jaguares are still in third spot in the Africa 2 Conference standings, 18 points adrift of the second-placed Sharks.

The Jaguares took an early lead thanks to a third minute penalty from Nicolás Sánchez before the Brumbies struck back 10 minutes later when Sam Carter crossed for the opening try off a driving maul deep inside the home side’s 22.

The Jaguares did not take long to reply – Lavanini barging over from close quarters and with Sánchez off the field for a Head Injury Assessment, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias added the extras which gave the home side a narrow 8-7 lead by the 20th minute.

The rest of the halkf belonged to the Brumbies and Banks in particular as he crossed for two deserved tries during a five-minute period.

His firsr five-pointer came in the 25th minute when he joined the line at pace and gathered a pass from Wharenui Hawera before dotting down.

Shortly afterwards, Batista Ezcurra dropped a high ball close to his 10-metre line which Chris Alcock picked up. The flanker did well to deliver a perfectly-weighted chip kick which Banks gathered before diving over in the right-hand corner.

Just before half-time, the Jaguares suffered a further blow when their captain, Agustin Creevy, was yellow carded for cynical play on defence deep inside his half.

The second half came alive in the 56th minute when Joe Powell offloaded to Henry Speight, who burst through a gaping hole in the Jaguares’ defence before crossing for their fifth try.

The Brumbies continued to attack in the final quarter and two tries in quick succession from replacement back Andrew Muirhead sealed their win although the Jaguares added some respectabilty to the score when Guido Petti scored their second try shortly before full-time.

The scorers:

For Jaguares:
Tries:
Lavanini, Petti
Con: Iglesias
Pen: Sánchez
Yellow Card: Creevy

For Brumbies:
Tries:
Carter, Banks 2, Speight, Muirhead 2
Cons: Hawera 3
Pen: Hawera

Sharks to strong for Stormers

5

The Sharks got an important win against the Stormers on Saturday when they beat them 22-10

The Sharks was allover the Stormers in the first ten minutes of the match playing a running game putting the ball through the phases and gotten rewarded with a penalty and a try.

The Stormers did start to come back in the game and had a few opertunities but were held off the Sharks line with great defence.

With so much ball in the middl part of that first half the Stormers would have been very dissapointed not to get any points as the went into the last 10 minutes still with no score.

The Sharks were able to get back into the Stormers half and after stealing a Stormers lineout got the ball over the line for their second try and a lead at halftime of 15-0.

The Stormes got on the board in the 44 minute of the game after a penalty from SP Marais which made the Sharks lead 15-3.

The Stormers were also the first to score the first try of the second half and pulled the lead of the Sharks back to 15-10.

Nkosi then run straight through the Stormers backline as he socred the Sharks third try of the match and the lead of 22-10.

The Stormers were quickly back on attack but some brilliant defence from the Sharks kept themout of scoring a try.

The Stormers backline had so much ball but seemed to have no plan that just shifting the ball through the hands which the Sharks easily defended against.

The Sharks at the end were just to good on the night and had an important win over the Stormers.

Scorers:

Sharks – Tries: Johan Deysel. Stephan Lewis, S’bu Nkosi. Conversions: Garth April (2). Penalty: April.
Stormers – Try: SP Marais. Conversion: Marais. Penalty: SP Marais.

Hurricanes secure bonus point win against Bulls

0

The Hurricanes secured a bonus point win at Loftus on Saterday when they beat the Bulls 34-20.

The Bulls had the worst start to the match they could have imagen with Barrett splitting their defence to score under the poles for the first try of the match and a lead of 7-0.

The Bulls did not look bad on attack and a perfect chip kick was gather by Duncan Matthews on debut to score the Bulls first try and level the score at 7 all.

The Bulls had chances in the Hurricanes twenty-two but poor passing left them shy of scoring another try.

The Hurricanes again from a set-piece split the Bulls defence and scored an easy try to take the lead 14-7 after 20 min.

The Bulls slotted over a few penalties to take their score to 13, trailing just with 1 point but that was short lived with the Hurricanes scoring their third try.

The end of the half was a disappointment for the Bulls with them on attack giving the ball away and the Hurricanes working their way down the field and score in injury time to take a 24-13 lead.

The first 17 minutes of the second half was hard to watch as both teams made too many mistakes and could not get phases together for extended periods of time.

It was the Hurricanes that scored first with a penalty in the 58 min to take the lead to 27-13. The Hurricanes quickly extend the lead with yet another try from broken play.

The Bulls had so much possession and territory but could not turned it into points as their attack look average to say the least.

The Bulls did get over the Hurricanes line after 77 min and pulled the score back a bit with the Hurricanes lead only 34-20.

At the end the Hurricanes took the win with a much-needed bonus point as well.

The scorers:

For Bulls: 
Tries: 
Matthews, De Jager
Cons: Schoeman, Jantjies
Pens: Schoeman 2

For Hurricanes:
Tries:
 Barrett, Laumape, Goosen, Abbott, Apisai
Cons: Black 2, Barrett
Pen: Black

Bonus point win for unbeaten Crusaders over Rebels

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The unbeaten Crusaders marched on with yet another bonus point win over the Rebels on Saturday when they beat them comfortably 41-19.

No one really expect anything else than a huge win for the Crusaders against a struggeling Rebels side even if they were playing at home.

The Crusaders were first to put points on the board with a penalty but quickly turned that into a 10 point lead with the first try of the match.

They did not had it all their own way as the Rebels did held them with some desperate defence but with a man down the Crusaders got over for their second and the lad of 17-0 after 27 min.

Defending against Crusaders with 15 men is difficult enough so one would expect an onslaught when you have a man down.

The Crusaders scored their third try to take the score 24-0 after 31 min.

The Rebels got their first points on the board after a great try from the lineout to close the gap to 24-7 after 34 min.

The Crusaders quickly hit back and scored their forth try with great hands between forwards and backs and extend the lead again this time to 31-7 after 37 min.

This was also the score at the break.

The second half started well for the Rebels as they scored their second try and reduced the lead again this time to 31-14.

The Crusaders did not have to wait long for their first of the second half and extend the lead to 36-14 after 46 min.

The Rebels were next to score after a turnaround in their own half and scored a brilliant try. This mad ethe Crusaders lead only 36-19 after 60 min.

Tries were coming think and fast with the Crusaders getting another to take the lead to 41-19.

The scores stayed at that as both teams were not able to add any more points but it was yet another bonus point win for the Crusaders, still unbeaten.

Scorers:

Rebels 19 (7)

Tries: Marika Koroibete (2), Toby Smith

Conversions: Ben Volavola, Reece Hodge

Crusaders 41 (31)

Tries: Manasa Mataele, Jed Brown (2), Seta Tamanivalu, David Havili, Mitchell Drummond

Conversions: Richie Mo’unga (4)

Penalty: Mo’unga

Highlanders second half to good for Waratahs

0

The Highlanders ran away with the game in second half to take a crucial win against Waratahs at home when they beat them 44-28.

The Waratahs came of a great win last week against the Rebels and they were looking to take the momentum forward to this weekends match against the Highlanders.

At home the Highlanders are no pushover but and they showed that with putting the first points on the board and the first try of the match.

That gave them a 10-0 lead although there was some questions about that first try.

The Waratahs looked good with ball in hand throughout that frist half and took not long to break the Highlanders defence and scored their first try and points.

This made the lead for the Highlanders 10-7. Both teams had chances at the end of the half to score more points but it was the Waratahs that ended the strongerst with a try at the end of the half.

This gave them a 14-13 lead going into the break.

The Second half started with both teams running the ball at all opertunities and play going from end to end in the first 10 minutes of the half.

The Waratahs then lost a player to the bin for lifting a players feet and gave the Highlanders the chance to kick for the lineout and drive over for their second try.

This gave them the lead back 18-14 after 50 min.

With one man down the Waratahs were put under huge pressure and the Highlanders speed up the game to tae advantage of the extra man.

They scored their third try with the perfect kick and strecth the lead to 23-14 after 52 min.

The game stood a bit still for the next 15 minutes as the teams tried very hard to break each others defence.

The Highlanders were next to score and made their lead 30-14 but this was short lived with the Waratahs scoring one of their own and giving them a slimmer of a hope.

With the scores at 30-21 one would have think it would  be a close finish but the Highlanders had other ideas and scored two quick tries to quickly take the score to 44-21 a fter 75 min.

The Waratahs got a peanlty from a scrum and took it quickly to score their third try of the match and reduced the lead of the Highlanders to 44-28.

Scorers:

Highlanders 44 (13)

Tries: Richard Buckman, Liam Coltman, Tevita Li, Rob Thompson, Dan Lienert-Brown, Lima Sopoaga

Conversions: Marty Banks, Lima Sopoaga (3)

Penalties: Banks (2)

Waratahs 28 (14)

Tries: Israel Folau, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Jake Gordon (2)

Conversions: Bernard Foley (4)

Cheetahs break losing streak in Tokyo

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The Cheetahs broke their losing streak on Saturday when they beat the Sunwolves 47-7 on Tokyo.

The Cheetahs ran in a good few tries from Uzair Cassiem, Niel Jordaan, Niel Marais, Torsten Jaarsveld, Tian Meyer and Sergeal Petersen while the Sunwolves’ solitary try came from Sam Wykes.

It was good to see the Cheetahs dominating upfront which won them the game with great play from the strongmen for the Cheetahs.

For the Sunwolves it was the same old story where they just could not keep up with the tempo of the game and ran out of steam in the second half as well.

With an average of over 40 points per game the Sunwolves season is going downwards quickly and the much expected improvement not looking likely with just a few games to go.

The Cheetahs dominated the possession in the match and were good for the 14-0 lead at halftime.

After the break the Cheetahs scored a magnificent team try immediately after the resumption of the second-half. The Sunwolves kicked off and Petersen collected the ball. Petersen, Rhaymond Rhule and Clayton Blommetjies were all involved with some beautiful running and offloads as the ball found its way to Marais who capped off a wonderfully crafted move.

The Sunwolves showed some character to bounce back when they took the ball through six phases with good tight build-up from their forwards. Captain Wykes profited off a missed tackle to run over unopposed and dot down. Fly-half Yu Tamura added the extras to cut the deficit to 12 at 19-7.

In response the Cheetahs secured a lineout through Oupa Mohoje before taking the ball through seven phases. Once again, it was Cassiem who found himself in space on the right wing to dot down. That gave them a 26-7  lead in the 66th minute.

A few minutes later Van Jaarsveld got over after a superb line break from the industrious Jordaan, he offloaded off the ground and Jordaan burst over as the Sunwolves were powerless to stop a man of that size with that momentum. Marais added two as the Cheetahs made it 33-7.

The Cheetahs got their sixth try of the match with Van Jaarsveld creating a break and good work from Cassiem sent Meyer away to score.

After a great scrum for the forwards, it was good work from Blommetjies as he put the ball on the boot. Petersen showed searing pace to collect the ball and dot down. Francois Uys, a loose forward, kicked a great comversion from the touchline as the match ended 47-7.

This was a good way for the Cheetahs to end a horrible tour.

The scorers:

For Sunwolves:
Try: Wykes
Con: Tamura

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Cassiem 2, Jordaan, Marais, Van Jaarsveld, Meyer, Petersen
Cons: Marais 5, Uys

Force beat Reds in Brisbane

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The Force took a step forward with a good away win against the Reds on Friday when they beat them 40-26.

Every week we hope we will see more from the Australians but the first half was again dominated by handling errors, bad decision making and penalties as the Force and the Reds struggled against each other.

The Reds showed some great prosprect with ball in hand at first but just too many mistakes stopped their chances of scoring tries.

They were the first to put points on the ball with a great try in the corner with Cooper showing glipses of his magic.

This gave them a 5-0 lead but not much more in that first thrity minutes.

The Force were not playing well at all and the few chances they did get were not taken. They did manage a penalty to make the lead only 5-3.

The Force slowly got back into the game through mistakes by the Reds and took full advantage of that and scored their first try just before the break to take the lead to 13-5.

The second half saw a bit more action and some more tries with the Reds scoring two second half tries and the Force with one.

The Reds kept giving away points with penalties and after 55 min the Force were leading 23-19.

The two teams both started to ran the ball more and scored some tries a piece frirst the Reds through Moore and then the Force came back with one of their own to take a lead of 30-26 after 64 min.

The Force kept scoring and the Reds kept on making mistakes that cost them points.

With the game drawing to a close the Force scored another try and kicked a penalty to end with a great away win of 40-26.

The scorers:

For Reds:
Tries: Paia’aua, L Tui, Moore 2
Cons: Cooper 3
Yellow Cards: Frisby, Nabuli

For Force:
Tries: Haylett-Petty, Penalty try, Brache, Polota-Nau
Cons: Grant 3
Pens: Grant 4

Blues, Chiefs shares the spoils in 16 all draw

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The Blues and the Chiefs shared the spoils on Friday when they played to a 16 all draw.

A hard match we witness between the Blues and Chiefs on Friday with both teams having to adjust to the rain that came down.

The first half was very even as both teams had almost the same stats on possession and territory and it was the Blues that pulled away somewhat with the first try of the match in the 30th minute.

They took a nice lead of 10-3 and were able to extend that to 13-3 with a few minutes to go.

The Chiefs had a great try through Damian McKenzie who took a big hole in the Blues defence just before halftime to make the score 13-8 at the break.

The second half stated with the Blues extending the lead to 16-8 with a penalty. They game did become scrappy with the rain pouring down.

The Chiefs had a great try from a turnover to make the scores level at 16 all with just 15 minutes to go and both teams throwing everything at each other.

Both teams had opportunities to score in the final few minutes of the game but the weather was the ultimate winner at the end.

Just too many handling errors forced them to take home only a draw.

This is not a great result for the Chiefs nor the Blues as you look at the New Zealand logs and allot of demanding work for both teams to make sure they get to the play-offs.

Both teams will get two log points for the draw.

The scorers:

For Blues:
Try: R Ioane
Con: Francis
Pens: Francis 3

For Chiefs:
Tries: McKenzie, Faauli
Pens: McKenzie, Cruden

Tahs put 50 past Rebels

0

The Waratahs moved up to second spot in the Australian Conference after they beat the Rebels 50-23 at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

Nick Phipps, Dean Mumm, Ned Hanigan, Israel Folau (2), Michael Hooper, Damien Fitzpatrick and Bryce Hegarty’s tries sealed the maximum.

Amanaki Mafi and Jonah Placid (2) crossed for the Rebels, who remain on just one win this season, with only the Sunwolves on fewer points.

The ‘Tahs led 24-11 at the break and had the bonus point next to their name after scoring tries through Phipps, Mumm, Hanigan and Folau.

Not helping the Rebels’ cause was the sight of centre and captain Reece Hodge being stretchered off after just two minutes after he made a tackle on Folau. That was a blow to not just their midfield attacking options but also long-range goal-kicking as Sione Tuipulotu came on.

Four minutes later it was the Rebels who edged ahead via Volavola’s boot, but the Waratahs responded soon after when Foley’s run after good hands from Sekope Kepu and Tom Robertson led to the fly-half finding Phipps on his shoulder who crossed. Foley added the conversion.

7-3 became 7-6 on 11 minutes thanks to a Volavola penalty and there were several more offences from the ‘Tahs that followed, ultimately leading to hooker Tolu Latu being sent to the sin-bin for going off his feet. Referee Angus Gardner had no option as they had been warned.

The Rebels capitalised quickly when Mafi crossed from a quick tap to move 7-11 in front, with Volavola hitting the upright with his extras.

Fortunately for the Waratahs their discipline improved and on 31 minutes recycled ball went left to where Mumm finished off well for 12-11.

More joy was to come before the break too as quick hands found Hanigan for a run-in and then Taqele Naiyaravoro’s power led to Folau galloping over the whitewash. Suddenly the Waratahs had themselves a 13-point cushion which seemed highly unlikely after the first quarter.

The Rebels were forced to make a change at the break and it paid off on 49 minutes as Placid crossed wide out to cut the gap to seven.

That sparked both teams trading blows on the scoreboard as first the Waratahs hit back five minutes later when full-back Folau reached out for his second try of the game before Placid got his own double on the hour mark following a break from Mafi. That meant it was 29-23.

However, that was a close as the Rebels came as a lovely handling move down the left channel saw Hooper score for the ‘Tahs before hooker Fitzpatrick made it 43-23 with a try on 73 minutes and then Hegarty crossed late to put the seal on just their fourth win of the campaign.

The scorers:

For Waratahs:
Tries: Phipps, Mumm, Hanigan, Folau 2, Hooper, Fitzpatrick, Hegarty
Cons: Foley 5
Yellow Cards: Latu, Foley

For Rebels:
Tries: Mafi, Placid 2
Con: Volavola
Pens: Volavola 2

Thanks to 

Brumbies tame Kings

0

The Brumbies got the job done but were made to work very hard before securing a 19-10 victory over the Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The result is a momentous one for the two-time champions as it is the first time an Australian side wins a match in South Africa this year and it also ends the Kings’ three-match winning streak.

In a tight tussle, in which the result was in the balance until late in the final quarter, the Brumbies eventually got the rub of the green and outscored their hosts by three tries to one.

The Brumbies controlled the possession and territorial stakes but they could not capitalise on that dominance and squandered several point-scoring opportunities especially during the first half.

The Kings led 10-5 at the interval thanks to a penalty try and a Lionel Cronje penalty and the Brumbies’ only points of the half came courtesy of a Josh Mann-Rea try.

The result means the Brumbies extend their lead at the top of the Australian Conference standings while the Kings are still at the bottom of the Africa 2 Conference table.

The home side were fastest out of the blocks and were awarded their penalty try as early as the fourth minute.

This came after Makazole Mapimpi did well to kick the ball ahead and just before regathering in front of the Brumbies try-line, he was tackled by Tom Banks who was also yellow carded for his indiscretion.

The Kings continued to dominate and extended their lead in the 17th minute via Cronje’s penalty. But they suffered a setback shortly afterwards when Ross Geldenhuys was yellow carded for a cynical infringement on defence close to his try-line.

Two minutes later, the Brumbies reduced the deficit when Mann-Rea crashed over for their opening try from a line-out drive deep inside the Kings’ 22.

The Brumbies upped the ante on attack after that score and two minutes before half-time Rory Arnold crossed the whitewash but his effort was disallowed after television replays revealed that Sam Carter’s final pass was forward.

The second half was an attritional affair and although both sides tried gallantly to gain the upperhand, we had to wait until the 64th minute for the first points of the half.

This came when Aidan Tou gathered a Joe Powell grubber kick superbly before diving over the whitewash. Wharenui Hawera added the extras which meant the Brumbies held the lead for the first time with the score at 12-10.

The men from Canberra continued to attack in the game’s closing stages and their efforts were rewarded in the 70th minute when Tevita Kuridrani stabbed through a teasing grubber kick before Banks grounded the ball behind the home side’s try-line.

The Kings tried gallantly to reduce the deficit but were kept at bay by a resilient defensive effort from their visitors.

The scorers:

For Kings:
Try:
Penalty Try
Pen: Cronje
Yellow Card: Geldenhuys

For Brumbies:
Tries:
Mann-Rea, Toua, Banks
Cons: Hawera 2
Yellow Card: Banks

Thanks to

 

Lions make statement against Bulls

3

The Lions made a statement of intent when they beat the Bulls 51-14 in their South African derby in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The home side were full value for their win and their free-flowing and fast paced style of play proved a real handful for the Bulls and the Lions eventually outscored their visitors by seven tries to two.

The Lions were superb in the opening half and a brace of tries from Ruan Combrinck and further five-pointers from Kwagga Smith, Ruan Dreyer and Warren Whiteley as well as excellent goalkicking from Elton Jantjies gave them a 39-14 lead at half-time, with the visitors’ points registered via converted tries by Jan Serfontein and Jesse Kriel.

The result means the Lions consolidate their position at the top of the Africa Conference 2 table while the Bulls are still second in the Africa Conference 1 standings albeit way off the pace set by the Stormers.

The Lions were forced into a late change when Sylvain Mahuza was forced to withdraw due to injury but his replacement, Combrinck, made an immediate impact when he scored the game’s opening try as early as the second minute.

The Springbok flyer ran onto a Andries Coetzee pass, midway between the halfway mark and the Bulls’ 22, and delivered a chip kick over the head of Kriel before regathering and diving over.

It did not take long for the visitors to respond and they did so in style when Francois Brummer threw an inside pass to debutant Sibahle Maxwane who beat a couple of defenders before offloading to Serfontein who scored under the posts.

Jantjies added two penalties which meant the Lions led 13-7 midway through the half but the hosts soon doubled their lead courtesy of impressive tries from Smith and Dreyer.

The latter one was particularly impressive as the burly prop showed the cover defence a clean pair of heels after running onto a fine pass from Franco Mostert on the edge of the Bulls’ 22.

The Bulls appeared shellshocked by that opening salvo from the home side but to their credit they struck back via a try by Kriel, who shrugged of challenges from Courtnall Skosan and Smith before powering his way over the try-line.

The Lions struck back on the half-hour mark when Whiteley charged down an attempted clearance kick from Rudy Paige – at a lineout close to the Bulls’ tryline – before diving onto the ball as it rolled over the whitewash.

On the stroke of half-time, Combrinck got over for his second try after stepping past a couple of defenders deep inside the Bulls’ 22 and with the score 39-14, the Lions were in control of proceedings as the teams changed ends at the interval.

The second half was a more subdued affair although the hosts increased their lead three minutes after the restart when Franco Mostert got over for their sixth try.

This after Skosan gathered an inch perfect crossfield kick from Jantjies before offloading to Malcolm Marx who managed to free his arms to get a pass out Whiteley who was stopped just short of the tryline.

The ball was recycled quickly, however, and Mostert barged over from close quarters.

The rest of the half saw plenty of end-to-end action as both sides ran from all areas of the field but both sides battled to score further points.

Just before full-time, the Lions launched one last attack and Lionel Mapoe rounded off a flowing move which Jantjies converted to add the final nail to the Bulls’ coffin.

The scorers:

For Lions:
Tries:
Combrinck 2, Smith, Dreyer, Whiteley, Mostert, Mapoe
Cons: Jantjies 5
Pens: Jantjies 2

For Bulls:
Tries:
Serfontein, Kriel
Cons: Brummer 2

Thanks to

Highlanders to good for Force

0

The Highlanders recorded the biggest ever win in their Super Rugby history with 55-6 victory over the Force in Perth on Saturday.

The result represents their highest ever points total outside of New Zealand and means the Highlanders move within two points of the third-placed Chiefs in the New Zealand Conference.

The Highlanders are now on 41 points with the Chiefs and Hurricanes on 43 points but the latter leading because of a superior points difference.

Tries from Tevita Li, Patrick Osborne, Rob Thompson (2), Dillon Hunt, Richard Buckman and Aki Seiuli (2) for the Highlanders meant the Force missed a chance to jump to second on the Australia Conference.

It was a solid performance from the away side and shows their strength in depth as they left Aaron Smith, Waisake Naholo and a fit-again Lima Sopoaga out of the starting lineup.

It is their sixth win in a row against Australian opposition and the Aussie sides have still failed to win against a New Zealand outfit in Super Rugby this season.

The Highlanders have now made it eight wins in a row and are miles ahead of the competition along with the other New Zealand sides barring the Blues.

Li definitely looked as if he had something to prove and was keen to involve himself by coming off the right wing, enjoying a good game in place of the suspended Naholo.

Marty Banks, as usual, gave a masterclass in kicking from the tee while the Highlanders ran in seven tries to the Force’s nil.

It was a cagey opening twenty minutes as both sides kept it tight. A Banks penalty was the only real action of the first quarter.

But the Highlanders began to assert their dominance more and more. Good hands from Malakai Fekitoa and Matt Faddes created the space for Li on the right wing to dot down. Banks converted to make the score 10-0 in the Highlanders’ favour after 21 minutes.

After the Highlanders were punished for being offside, Force scrum-half Ian Prior added the three points from the tee.

Prior soon added another three to cut the deficit to four after his forwards won a morale-boosting scrum-penalty.

From an attacking scrum the Highlanders went for the try-line but Bill Meakes stole it on the ground for the Force. But in his attempt to get the ball away, his errant pass was pounced on by Seiuli who cruised over from close range and could barely believe his luck.

Semisi Masirewa was then sin-binned for a deliberate knockdown by referee Shuhei Kubo before the sides went into the interval with the Force 17-6 down.

Shortly after the interval, Osborne sold the Force defence with a dummy before showing searing pace to run through under the posts from his own try-line. Banks converted to make the score 24-6.

Richie Arnold was then given a yellow card for a shoulder charge on Banks long after the fly-half had passed the ball.

The Highlanders just kept getting over the advantage-line before Seiuli bumped off Force scrum-half Kayne Hammington to grab his second.

Li then turned provider when he sucked in three defenders out on the right by stepping inside and then produced a sublime basketball pass for Thompson to cruise through and dot down in the 60th minute. Banks added a wonderful conversion from out on the touchline to make it 38-6

Thompson then turned provider himself after scything through the Force defence and offloading for Hunt to cruise in under the posts.

The seventh Highlanders try came from a long pass from Bill Meakes that saw Richard Buckman intercept and run the distance to score. That was Meakes’ second intercept pass of the night.

The Highlanders had an attacking scrum in the Force 22 metre line in the final play of the game. The Force stole it and went wide but they dropped the ball and Rob Thompson pounced to score his second of the game.

The scorers:

For Force:
Pens: Prior 2
Yellow Cards: Masirewa, Arnold

For Highlanders:
Tries: Li, Seiuli 2, Osborne, Thompson 2, Hunt, Buckman
Cons: Banks 5
Pen: Banks

Thanks to 

Hurricanes put 60 past Cheetahs

0

The Cheetahs crushed to another huge defeat when the Hurricanes bet them 61-7 on Saturday

The Cheetahs hold the Hurricanes well in the first 15 minutes but after trying to play within their own twenty-two the Hurricanes got over for their first try.

It took not long for them to speed up the game and scored their second try when they found the holes in the Cheetahs defence.

This gave them a 14-0 lead after 20 min.

The Cheetahs did hit back midway through the first half with a try of their own to get on the board and make the lead of the Hurricanes only 14-7.

With both teams trying to run the ball the Hurricanes had the better of the possession and scored their third try on the stroke of halftime to take a 21-7 lead at the break

The Hurricanes just dominated play in the second half and run in three quick tries as the Cheetahs defence were being stretch with one man less on the field.

This gave the Hurricanes a 42-7 lead after 60 min.

Although the Cheetahs tried as they could on attack their defence was yet again just not good enough and they let through more tries to give the Hurricanes a 61-7 win.

The scorers:

For Hurricanes:
Tries: Fifita, Aso 3, Savea, Perenara, Lam, Apisai
Cons: Barrett 5, Black 3

For Cheetahs:
Try: Zeilinga
Con: Zeilinga
Yellow Card: Hugget

Stormers fight back to win against Blues

3

Stormers came back to put a gutsy performance in the second half to win the game against the Blues on Friday 30-22

With both team gunning for a win the game started a bit slow and not one team really taking control.

It was the Stormers who scored the first points through a penalty to take a lead of 3-0 after 4 min. They had the territory for the better part of the 10 minutes but could not get passed the Blues defence.

The Blues also lost a player with a yellow card after giving too many penalties away in their own twenty-two but kept the Stormers out.

Good decision making gave the Blues better control of the game and started to play in the right areas of the field.

The game then made a full 180 with Eben Etzebeth being stupid and pushing players after the whistle which earned him a yellow card.

This allowed the Blues and extra man and they took full advantage and scored two tries while Etzebeth were off the field to take a lead of 12-3 after 36 min

The Stormers did get back into the game when Etzebeth returned and were able to score a their first try just as the hooter sounded for halftime.

This made the halftime score 12-10 for the Blues with both teams having to come out much better than what they have produced in the first half.

The Blues started well and quickly moved back into the Stormers half as they easily got over for their third try of the match.

This gave them a 19-10 lead.

With the Stormers with more ball in hand they got to the Blues twenty-two and kept them pinned down there. They finally got over after a kick penalty from Leyds.

This gave the Stormers a 20-19 lead.

Diffie then dived on Kolbe while he was on the ground with his knees and got his second yellow card which then made it a red.

This gave the Blues fourteen players for the rest of the game and still chasing the game.

We then had some more controversy with referee Van Heerden awarding a try to the Stormers with the help of his TMO. De Allende clearly had a double movement before Notshe went from his knees to score the try.

This gave the Stormers a 27-19 lead with 10 minutes to go

The Blues did hit back with a penalty to make the score 27-22 with 7 minutes to go.

The Stormers with an extra man made the most of the ball and kept the pressure on the Blues to take a hard-fought win of 30-22.

Stormers

Tries: Siya Kolisi, Dillyn Leyds, Sikhumbuzo Notshe

Conversions: SP Marais (3)

Penalties: SP Marais (3)

Blues

Tries: George Moala, James Parsons, Blake Gibson

Conversions: Piers Francis (2)

Penalty: Bryn Gatland

Sader still unbeaten after win over Chiefs

0

The Crusaders have kept their unbeaten record in tack after beating the Ciefs in Fiji on Friday with 31-24.

It was again a great performance from the Super Rugby leaders as they showed again their dominance in the competition this year. The Chiefs had their changes but at the end of the game two poor lineouts stop them from stealing a draw out of the match.

The Chiefs led at the break with 17-13 which was a closely contested match as we expected between these to top teams in the competition.

With the late withdraw of Matt Todd the Crusaders scored three tries through Bedwell-Curtis, Havili and Funnel while they added two conversions and four penalties through the boot of  Mo’unga.

The Chiefs replied with four tries of their own with Nnai-Williams, Lowe, Hames and Cruden going over the whitewash. Cruden boot let him down on the night and his general play was not as good as we used to and maybe the difference.

With this win the Crusaders took another four points on the log and 11 points clear of the second place New Zealand team.

The scorers:

For Chiefs:
Tries: Nanai-Williams, Lowe, Hames, Cruden
Cons: Cruden 2, McKenzie

For Crusaders:
Tries: Bedwell-Curtis, Havili, Funnell
Cons: Mo’unga 2
Pens: Mo’unga 4

Force beat poor Jaguares

0

The Force picked up only their third victory of the season on Saturday as they shocked the Jaguares, winning 16-6 at Vélez Sarsfield.

Victory remarkably gives the Force renewed hope in the Australian Conference as they are now six points off the pace-setting Brumbies.

Tries came from wing Alex Newsome and replacement lock Isireli Naisarani while Ian Prior kicked two penalties to beat a poor Jaguares.

After last week’s 46-39 win over the Sunwolves, to witness a first-half that saw just three points scored was a shock in Buenos Aires.

Those points came via a Prior penalty as the Force held their own against an international-filled home side, who made too many mistakes.

The Jaguares did look to flex their muscles early on with a line-out drive but good defensive work from the Force foiled their first attempt.

The Force then grew into the game, taking an attacking scrum five metres out. However number eight Richard Hardwick fumbled over the line, much to his dismay, as this time it was the Jaguares who dodged a bullet. So with 20 minutes gone there was still no score to speak of.

A yellow card for Force lock Richie Arnold for tackling Batista Ezcurra early – coming after Tomás Lezana’s strong run – hinted that the drought might be nearing its end for the Jaguares. But again the line-out drive didn’t work and the Force repelled them with somewhat ease.

In fact the Australians would go down to the other end of the field and nail a penalty after a ruck offence on 36 minutes, making it 3-0, before Jaguares full-back Joaquín Tuculet came close to scoring a try on the left wing in the last play but for centre Curtis Rona’s fine tackle.

The second 40 began in controversial fashion as half-time replacement James Verity-Amm, who came on for Lance, was denied a try after referee Ben O’Keefe adjudged Tetera Faulkner to have blocked Tuculet as he was attempting to regather his own kick earlier in the play.

Undeterred the Force almost crossed again three minutes later when Hardwick went close, being tackled and then held up over the line.

The Jaguares responded and finally put points to their name on 49 minutes after a high shot on Martín Landajo led to Hernández kicking a penalty. Prior was unable to chalk that off soon after from wide out, after Jaguares tighthead prop Ramiro Herrera was penalised for a push.

Force scrum-half Prior was successful, however, on the hour as a powerful scrum on the Jaguares ten-metre saw him make no mistake for 6-3. This time though it was the turn over the Jaguares to try and respond soon after and Hernández had a simple effort to make it 6-6.

With time ticking on it seemed the clash was set to remain try-less, but that prospect ended on 68 minutes when a smart break from Prior led to him offloading to Newsome who finished well on the right wing. Prior missed the conversion attempt so it was only an 11-6 cushion.

But the result was sealed on 75 minutes when replacement lock Naisarani forced his way over to make it 16-6, which was how it remained.

The scorers:

For Jaguares:
Pens: Hernández 2

For Force:
Tries: Newsome, Naisarani
Pens: Prior 2
Yellow Card: Arnold

Brilliant Kings beat Sharks

1

The Southern Kings did the impossible and beat the Sharks in a great game of rugby outscoring them with 4 tries to two as well. The final score was 35-32 at the end.

It was the perfect start for the Kings as they were controlling the game in the first ten minutes of the match and first up succeeding with a long-range penalty.

They kept the pressure on the Sharks and speed up the game with Bock at the right end of a perfect cross kick from Cronje to score the first try and a lead f 8-0.

The Sharks then had the ball in hand and kept the Kings pinned in their own twenty-two and was rewarded with a penalty which Lambie kicked over for their first points.

Both teams tried to play in the others half and it was the Sharks who forced yet another penalty which Lambie kicked over to make the lead only 8-6 to the Kings.

The Sharks kept the Kings in their own half and from a lineout Daniel Du Preez used his strength to go over for the Sharks first try and the lead of 13-8 after 24 min.

With minutes to go in the first half the Kings produced some magic with a great break from Bock again who send Cronje over for their second try and the lead of 18-16.

The Sharks got a double whammy with Smith also being send off with a yellow card for a high dangerous tackle on Cronje while he went over to score the try.

That gave the Kings the lead of 18-16 going into the break.

The Kings had the perfect start to the second half with Bock once again running down the touchline to score his second 0of the match and extend the lead of the Kings to 25-16.

The game was on a knife edge with both teams going at each other and a yellow card for the Kings gave the Sharks their first points in the second half with a penalty from April.

The Sharks kept the pressure on the Kings with one man down and score a brilliant team try to take the lead 26-25 after 59 min.

The Kings hit back with a penalty to retake the lead 28-26 with the Sharks very lucky not to have lost April for the side meters out from Sharks line

The Sharks got the lead back with another penalty 29-28.

The Kings was not finished and scored a brilliant try with a minute to go to take the lead 35-32. They hold their nerves and won the game and well deserved as well.

Scorers:

Kings – Tries: Alshaun Bock (2), Lionel Cronjé, Pieter-Steyn de Wet. Conversions: Lionel Cronjé (3). Penalties: Lionel Cronjé (2). Drop goal: Cronjé.
Sharks – Tries: Daniel du Preez, Lwazi Mvovo. Conversions: Pat Lambie, Garth April. Penalties: Lambie (2), April (3).

Highlanders win scrappy game against Bulls

0

The Highlanders won a scrappy game against the Bulls on Saturday with 17-10.

The weather did not play its part on Saturday at Loftus but then again neither teams showed any class as well.

It was much of a ‘kick and pray” tactic from both teams but neither really had a plan with these kicks. Handling errors was in the order of the day and poor decision making when on attack and did actually not kicked.

The Bulls was first on the board with and easy penalty but it was the Highlanders that scored the first try through a kick which the Bulls could not control.

They quickly added to the try with a penalty which was the halftime score 0f 10-3/

The second half started much of the same as the first with both teams just kicking the ball at every opportunity and hope the other one make a mistake.

The Bulls scored their first try after the Highlanders could not control a kick from the Bulls to make the scores 10 all after 50 min.

The was turned around a bit when Naholo got a red card for a late shoulder against the head which gave the Bulls a motivation.

Change at nine with Paige coming in also gave the Bulls better forward ball and momentum.

The Bulls then did the same with Snyman going in with the shoulder against a Highlanders head and got a red card.

The Highlanders then stole a Bulls lineout and scored a seven pointer to take the lead 17-10 after 77 min.

That is also how the game ended.

The scorers:

For Bulls:
Try: Gelant
Con: Schoeman
Pen: Schoeman

For Highlanders:
Tries: Faddes, Fekitoa
Cons: Smith, Banks
Pen: Smith
Red card: Naholo

Reds beat Rebels

0

The Reds claimed their third victory of the Super Rugby season on Saturday as they beat the Rebels 29-24 in an entertaining derby in Melbourne.

Tries for the Reds from Samu Kerevi, Eto Nabuli and Stephen Moore were countered by three Reece Hodge penalties which gave the visitors a 17-9 lead at the interval.

The win moves the Reds into second position on the Australian Conference table, two points ahead of the Waratahs who have played one match less.

Although the Rebels should be commended for launching a superb second-half fightback, the men from Brisbane were the more enterprising side and eventually outscored their hosts by five tries to two with Kerevi sealing their win with his second try in the game’s closing stages.

The Rebels opened the scoring as early as the second minute via a Hodge penalty after George Smith infringed at a ruck but the visitors struck back with Kerevi’s try shortly afterwards.

This, after Quade Cooper got a long pass out to Eto Nabuli deep inside the Rebels’ 22 and the flyer did well to throw an inside pass to his captain who got over the whitewash untouched.

Cooper failed with the conversion attempt and five minutes later Hodge slotted his second penalty which meant the Rebels led 6-5 after 10 minutes.

The Reds suffered a setback midway through the half when Karmichael Hunt was sent to the sin bin for slowing the ball down cynically at a ruck close to his side’s try-line.

But despite being reduced to 14 men, they continued to attack and they were rewarded in the 26th minute when Nabuli dotted down after Smith, Cooper and Scott Higginbotham laid the foundation in the build-up.

Cooper added the extras and two minutes before half-time, Moore crossed for the visitors’ third try from the back of a driving maul deep inside the Rebels’ 22.

On the stroke of half-time, Hodge landed his third penalty which meant the Rebels were still very much in the game although they were trailing by eight points on the scoreboard.

Three minutes into the second half, Hodge added his fourth penalty after Smith strayed offside on defence.

Shortly afterwards, the Reds pounced on a poor clearance kick from Sefa Naivalu and Scott Higginbotham had a clear run down the left-hand touchline before crossing for his side’s fourth try.

Five minutes later, Tom English set off on a mazy run deep inside the Reds’ half and managed to free his arms in contact to offload to Will Miller who crossed for the Rebels’ opening try.

The Reds thought they had crossed for another try when Hunt dotted down in the 65th minute but his effort was disallowed when television replays revealed that Smith had delivered a forward pass in the build-up.

Four minutes later, the Rebels struck back when Marika Koroibete crossed for his side’s second try, despite the attentions of two defenders. and with the score level at 24-24, the match was set for a thrilling finish.

Higginbotham had a chance to clinch the result for the Reds but failed to gather a Nick Frisby cross-field kick while crossing the whitewash in the 74th minute.

Kerevi spared his blushes when he showed great determination before crossing for the matchwinning try in the 80th minute.

The scorers:

For Rebels:
Tries:
Miller, Koroibete
Con: Hodge
Pens: Hodge 4

For Reds:
Tries:
Kerevi 2, Nabuli, Moore, Higginbotham
Cons: Cooper 2
Yellow Card: Hunt

Crusaders keep winning ways against Huricanes

0

The Crusaders stayed unbeaten when they beat the Hurricanes 20-12 on Saturday.

It was a game that was made up as the game of the weekend with two top teams facing off in New Zealand.

The first half was a tight affair with both teams having opportunities but defensive systems from both good enough to hold both teams without a try in the first forty minutes.

The Crusaders did look better with ball in hand and had most of the ball as well in the first half which gave them more opportunities as well.

At the end, it was the boots that dominated the scoreboard as both teams went into the break with 9 point all.

The Crusaders dominated the set pieces and used it to significant effect throughout the match.

The second half was much about the same as the Crusaders seemed to get better and controlled the game.

They score the first try after a great drive from an attacking lineout to take the lead 14-9.

The Hurricanes kept struggling to get their hands on the ball for extended periods of time and making some handling errors which gave the Crusaders ball to attack from.

The Crusaders extended their lead after 58 min with a penalty to 17-9.

The Hurricanes finally got on their first points in the second after 60 min with a penalty to reduce the lead to 17-12.

The Hurricanes seemed to force everything they do in the match and it was all about the pressure the Crusaders have put them under with brilliant defence.

The Crusaders made the score 20-12 after yet another penalty with just a few minutes to go.

The Hurricanes just could not get pass the defence from the Saders and the Crusaders well deservedly won the game.

Scorers:

Crusaders – Try: Matt Todd. Penalties: Richie Mo’unga (5).
Hurricanes – Penalties: Jordie Barrett (4).

Lions makes it three wins on tour

0

The Lions made it three out three on tour in Australia when they beat the Brumbies 13-6 in a scrappy game on Friday

A game that not many was to worried about for the Lions and expected them to win and get their second win on tour in Australia but you do not just arrive and beat the Brumbies at home.

It was the Brumbies with the better start to the game putting pressure on the Lions for the first 6 min keeping the Lions pinned down in their own twenty-two.

They did go over for the first try but it was disallowed by the TMO after he saw a knock-on in the leadup to the try.

The Brumbies kept the pressure on the Lions and stayed in their twenty-two calling on the Lions to defend for that first 14 minutes.

The two teams held each other well in the rest of the half which kept the score to 3-0 at the break.

The second half stayed much the same as the first with the Brumbies doing most of the attack and the Lions defending as well as they could.

Both teams had opportunities but mistakes in handling and not protecting the ball made these attempts come to nothing to show on the board.

The Lions where first to score in the second half through a penalty but neither teams could score a try yet.

It was the Lions with Kwagga Smith that broke the dam wall when he sprinted for a good 80 meters to score the first try of the match and the lead for the Lions 10-3 after 56 min.

That was the game breaker for the Lions as they kept each other close and only a late penalty gave the Lions the final score of 13-6.

Scorers:

Brumbies

Penalties: Wharenui Hawera (2)

Lions

Try: Kwagga Smith

Conversion: Elton Jantjies

Penalties: Jantjies, Andries Coetzee

Blues thrash Cheetahs in Auckland

2

The Blues thumbed the Cheetahs with 8 tries to 4 on Friday when they beat them 50-32.

The game started as expected with both teams willing to run with the ball and socre tries. It was the Cheetahs that got the first through Francois Venter and a lead of 5-0.

It took the Blues not long to get over for their first try and took the lead from the Cheetahs 7-5.

It seems to have been changing scoreboards in the first twenty minutes as the Cheetahs got their second from a perfect drive from the lineout just for the Blues to take the lead back with their second try 14-12.

Defence again letting the Cheetahs down in both the Blues tries.

Cheetahs were evertime putting themselves under pressure when the Blues had ball in hand through bad defence. Cheetahs catch-up and adjusting tacklers not in synch at all. The Cheetahs continually made wrong decisions, not trusting each other in defence.

The Blues scored another try just before halftime with the Cheetahs kicking over two penalties to make the halftime score 24-18.

The Second half was not a good one for the Cheetahs fans again with the Blues scoring tries at will and quickly moved their score to 45-25 after 60 min of the game.

The Cheetahs did manage to score a try of their own in this period but it almost felt that they have given up again with poor defensive effort all around.

The Blues kept defending well keeping the Cheetahs out and score another try to make it 50-25 with 10 minutes to go.

The Cheetahs could score one more try in the 77 minute to get their score tally up to 32 points.

At the end a very disappointing outing for the Cheetahs and another great win for the Blues.

Scorers:

Blues 50 (24)

Tries: Rieko Ioane (2), Scott Scrafton, Akira Ioane, Patrick Tuipulotu, Steven Luatua, Augustine Pulu, Melani Nanai

Conversions: Piers Francis (2), Ihaia West (3)

Cheetahs 32 (18)

Tries: Francois Venter, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Elandre Huggett (2)

Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (3)

Penalties: Zeilinga (2)

Jaguares outscore Sunwolves

0

The Jaguares outscored the Sunwolves by seven tries to five to clinch an entertaining 46-39 win in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

It was the visitors who went into half-time ahead thanks to tries from Will Tupou, Shota Emi and Yu Tamura and the boot of the fly-half, with the Jaguares down by just three at 25-22 after scores from Leonardo Senatore, Shota Emi and a penalty try.

Agustín Creevy’s try off the back of a rolling maul gave the Jaguares the lead for the first time, but the Sunwolves showed great character, hitting back with tries from Tamura and Sam Wykes to open up a 39-27 lead.

Matías Alemanno’s try, the Jaguares’ fifth, set up a tense finish with the hosts within touching distance of the lead before Creevy crashed over off the maul.

It was left to Matias Moroni, with his first try of the year, to then clinch a highly entertaining victory with five minutes to go, ending a four-game losing streak in the process.

It was far from perfect, but Jaguares head coach Raúl Pérez will have been glad to welcome back Argentina scrum-half Martín Landajo from injury.

The Sunwolves shot out of the blocks, no doubt buoyed by their impressive performance in defeat against the Chiefs the previous weekend, as Tupou carved his way through the hosts’ defence with ease to open up a 7-0 lead.

Senatore was soon over to level things up, leaping over a ruck to finish, only for the Sunwolves once again to undo the Jaguares defence after finding space out wide.

Willie Britz supplied the final pass to the rapid Emi, who went over untouched for the visitors’ second score of the match. Tamura couldn’t convert, but the Sunwolves led 15-10.

Once again the Jaguares had a nearly instant answer, Boffelli doing well to finish in the corner, but with Juan Martín Hernández missing the resulting conversion the score were tied.

Sharp work at the restart and over the ball at the breakdown was helping the Sunwolves territorially as the Jaguares looked short of answers, a third Tamura penalty restoring their lead.

Small handling errors were also continuing to undo the Jaguares’ best efforts in attack, with Boffelli always dangerous out wide. One of those errors then proved to be calamitous, as Hernández dropped a straightforward pass with the bounce coming up perfectly for Tamura who raced away to score.

Good pressure from the Jaguares led to successive five-metre lineouts after the half-time hooter, and once the Sunwolves twice stopped the maul illegally referee Jaco van Heerden awarded a penalty try, also opting to sin-bin Wykes. That timely score meant the Sunwolves led 25-22 at the break.

Somehow given their personnel advantage and great field position the Jaguares failed to score after the restart, Tomás Lezana watching the ball be ripped from his hands by Britz with the line beckoning, before eventually Creevy crashed over from the back of a rolling maul.

But back to a full compliment the Sunwolves instantly replied, Tamura getting his second try after more good build-up play from Britz before the fly-half ran an ideal support line on the inside to sprint clear. With that try the Sunwolves led 32-27.

Wykes was soon in on the action as the Jaguares’ defence continued to be exposed, with multiple errors from Hernández frustrating the home supporters.

Starting to become wary of the clock the Jaguares needed a response, and they got one from Alemanno when the big lock powered his way over near the posts, Hernández converting to put the Jaguares within a converted try.

And with the Sunwolves beginning to tire and the Jaguares’ big ball carriers building confidence, suddenly all the momentum was with the home side down 34-39 inside the final ten minutes.

There was no stopping the rolling maul, Argentina captain Creevy getting his second try to level the scores at 39-39 before the conversion was shanked wide by Joaquín Díaz Bonilla.

It didn’t matter; the Jaguares attack sparking into life again after the bounce of the grubber kick went right for the home side, culminating in Moroni scoring by the posts for the go-ahead try.

Díaz Bonilla made no mistake this time off the tee with the conversion, taking the score to 46-39, but the drama wasn’t over after Lezana’s knock-on handed the Sunwolves an attacking scrum.

However despite confusion over the final whistle coming before the hooter sounded, the Jaguares clung on to get revenge for their defeat last year in Tokyo.

The scorers:

For Jaguares:
Tries: Senatore, Boffelli, Penalty Try, Creevy 2, Alemanno, Moroni
Cons: Hernández 2, Penalty Try, Díaz Bonilla
Pen: Hernández

For Sunwolves:
Tries: Tupou, Emi, Tamura 2, Wykes
Cons: Tamura 4
Pens: Tamura 2
Yellow Card: Wykes

Woeful Bulls gets humiliated at Loftus

8

The Crusaders made it 10 wins out of 10 with a comprehensive 62-24 victory over the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Only twice in Super Rugby history has a team won more games in a row in a single campaign (Crusaders – 13 in 2002; Blues – 12 in 1997).

The Crusaders have now also amassed over 40 points in their last six games.

Meanwhile, the Bulls continue to struggle against New Zealand opposition having lost to the Blues and Chiefs as well this campaign.

They have failed to score enough tries with just with just 22 all season and only three in this game.

Both sides were fiercely competitive at the breakdown in a game that saw plenty of turnovers won but the Crusaders showed they are experts in the counter-attacking department.

The Crusaders took an early fifth minute lead. From a lineout Pete Samu hit a gap. He was taken down but not held in the tackle so got up and powered through for a wonderful solo try, thanks to poor Bulls defence.

The Crusaders then turned defence into attack from a turnover as they won in their own half. Richie Mo’unga collected his expert chip and chase before being brought down by a good Jamba Ulengo tackle. From the recycled ball they won a penalty after Bulls’ infringement at the breakdown. It was taken quickly by the Crusaders and Tim Bateman went over to score his third try of the season in his fourth start of the campaign. Mo’unga coverted as the ‘Saders stormed into a 14-0 lead.

The ‘Saders scored their next try in untypical fashion, taking the ball through the trenches and doing the hard yards around the fringes. Their persistence paid dividends when Scott Barrett eventually burrowed over. Mo’unga converted to extend the lead to 21-3 just before the half-hour mark.

Shortly afterwards Jack Goodhue got the first Super Rugby try of his career. Once again Mo’unga provided the spark when his expertly weighted grubber found the chasing Goodhue who finished clinically.

Seta Tamanivalu got in on the act next on the stroke of half-time. The Crusaders won a penalty at the scrum which resulted in a lineout in the Bulls 22. The visitors managed to string together 13 phases before Tamanivalu picked up from a ruck a few metres out and scored as the ‘Saders went into the break 31-3 up.

The Bulls’ tactical kicking was poor throughout the game, often missing touch. And the Crusaders capitalised on this for their fifth try. A nothing kick from Tian Schoeman was gleefully gobbled up by David Havili before stepping his way through a weak Bulls defence.

Soon afterwards the away side passed the 40 point mark. Mo’unga provided the assist for his own try as he kicked, chased and collected to run under the posts. Once again the ‘Saders scored from a turnover, showing they are at their most dangerous immediately after winning the ball back.

And once again they scored from a turnover and courtesy of a grubber kick; this time Goodhue putting the ball through for himself to collect and go over as the Crusaders reached their half-century on the 50 minute mark.

Francois Brummer then took a leaf out of the Crusaders’ book when his grubber assisted Jesse Kriel who showed good pace to run under the posts for his side’s first try of the game. He converted the try as the Bulls at least reached double figures at 50-10.

Goodhue then turned creator when he made a clean break and offloaded to substitute Andrew Makalio who coasted over for a 55-17 lead.

The Bulls responded when Warrick Gelant hit a half gap, went to ground and offloaded to Nick de Jager, who passed to Jan Serfontein on the wing. Serfontein drew the last defender before assisting Jamba Ulengo.

Mitchell Hunt then pounced on a loose ball after Rudy Paige’s errant pass and ran through to score his side’s tenth of the match. Hunt converted his own try to make it 62-17.

Gelant then pounced on a loose ball after Ryan Crotty fumbled. Gelant passed to Serfontein who had the legs to run from the half-way line under the posts. Brummer converted as the score ended 62-24.

The scorers:

For Bulls:
Tries: Brummer, Ulengo, Serfontein
Cons: Brummer 2
Pen: Schoeman

For Crusaders:
Tries: Samu, Bateman, Barrett, Goodhue 2, Tamanivalu, Mo’unga, Makalio, Hunt
Cons: Mo’unga 5, Hunt

Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ism

Sharks keep their winning ways

0

The Sharks continued their impressive home form with a 37-12 victory over the Western Force at Kings Park, Durban on Saturday.

Tries from Jeremy Ward, Jean-Luc du Preez, Curwin Bosch and Lukhanyo Am ensured victory for Robert du Preez’s men as scores from James Verity-Amm and Marcel Brache proved too little for the Force.

The Sharks grew into the match more and more as time passed and could have scored more tries if truth be told were it not for some elementary handling errors.

The home side will be disappointed not to have got the crucial bonus-point as it was definitely on the cards and thus remain 10 points behind the Lions.

The Sharks are now unbeaten in their last nine games on home soil and consolidate second position in the Africa Conference 2 standings.

The last and only time the Force have won against the Sharks is way back in 2007 and their only wins of the season have come in Round 2 against the Reds and Round 7 against the Kings.

Bosch dispatched two early penalties to give the Sharks a 6-0 lead within the opening 15 minutes in what was a cagey opening with both sides opting for a tactical kicking game.

The Force began to enjoy the majority of possession but couldn’t convert their opportunities into points. The Sharks conceded a penalty for a premature engagement at a five metre scrum which they had the put-in to. The Force opted for a scrum from the penalty but Ian Prior was guilty of knocking the ball on when the Force had good front foot ball.

Now it was a Sharks scrum from the knock-on and they almost scored from it. They swung the ball out onto the left wing where Sbu Nkosi produced a magnificent step as he thought he had scored on his debut. However, the TMO confirmed that Bosch had knocked the ball on a few phases before.

But it was Free-State born Force winger Verity-Amm who got the first try of the match in the 26th minute. An exquisite backline move from the Force resulted in Verity-Amm breaking the line and putting on the afterburners to coast clear and dot down as the Force went into a 7-6 lead after Ian Prior converted.

The Force continued to give away too many penalties as the game neared the interval. They were reduced to 14 men when Curtis Rona was yellow-carded for repeated offside infringements. The Sharks’ rolling maul was brought down just before the try-line but they finally got their try when Ward stepped inside to crash over in the 37th minute.

They managed to get one more before the half-time whistle. Am collected his own grubber kick in a moment of magic before passing inside to Du Preez who dotted down. Bosch converted to send his side into the interval 20-7 up.

The Sharks got their third after Ward did exceptionally well to keep the ball in play grubbering the ball through for Bosch to race onto and dot down in the 56th minute. Bosch converted his own try to extend the lead to 30-7.

Force full-back Brache pulled one back for his side after a wonderful long pass from Jono Lance meant all the South African born utility back had to do was use his pace and get over in the corner.

The Sharks responded almost immediately when Am burgled the ball with an opportunistic intercept to race clear and dot down as substitute Patrick Lambie converted to extend the lead to 37-12. And that’s how it remained until the final whistle.

The scorers:

For Sharks:
Tries: Ward, Du Preez, Bosch, Am
Cons: Bosch 3, Lambie
Pens: Bosch 3

For Force:
Tries:
 Verity-Amm, Brache
Con: Prior
Yellow Card: Rona

Chiefs outclass Reds

0

The Chiefs made light work of the Reds in the second half at Yarrow Stadium, with Stephen Donald grabbing a brace in a 46-17 win.

Charlie Ngatai scored on his first Super Rugby game since May 7 last year against the Highlanders, after almost a year out with concussion.

After an even first half it was the Chiefs who held the advantage at the break, ahead 20-12, thanks to tries from Kane Hames and Ngatai plus two Damian McKenzie penalties cancelling out Reds tries from Stephen Moore and Eto Nabuli.

The second half however was all about the Chiefs, with Dominic Bird, Stephen Donald (2) and James Lowe all crossing in a simple but effective performance.

As a result the Chiefs move top of the New Zealand Conference after their best performance for some time following some unconvincing wins.

It was the Reds who struck first in New Plymouth courtesy of their rolling maul, with Moore setting himself up at the base before the visitors crashed over, with Quade Cooper converting to make it 7-0.

And there was more try-scoring action for the front row contingent, although this time for the Chiefs, as Hames burrowed over from close range, McKenzie levelling the scores with the extra two.

In fairness to the Reds however this was a fine start, chasing a fourth successive away win over the Chiefs going back to 2008, and Moore’s persistence to go for the corner over kicking for the posts initially paid off.

The ever-improving Nabuli powered his way over after multi-phase pressure on the Chiefs defence to restore the Reds lead.

Two penalties from McKenzie put the Chiefs back in charge at 13-12, the second after George Smith was yellow carded for a no-arms high tackle.

Easily the best cheer of the night went for Ngatai’s bustling run up through the middle not long after, hurling Cooper to the floor on his way, and his break proved to be the start of an attack which finished with a comeback score for the All Blacks centre.

McKenzie’s conversion opened up a 20-12 advantage, and despite the Chiefs’ best efforts the score remained the same at half-time.

Bird kept up the momentum for the Chiefs when he crashed over soon after the interval, after an initial break from Tawera Kerr-Barlow, and once Donald raced over a couple of minutes later the result looked dead and buried at 32-12.

Soon after Donald had a double, crashing over after the pack shoved the Reds away at the scrum, as Ngatai departed to a warm reception on 54 minutes.

Campbell Magnay’s try in response for the Reds added some window dressing to the scoreline but it was merely a blip on a solid night for the Chiefs, Lowe getting in on the act when he carved through Cooper far too easily to leave the Wallabies fly-half bewildered before finishing by the posts.

It summed up the second half well; all too easy for the Chiefs after the Reds had promised much more in the opening exchanges.

The scorers:

For Chiefs:
Tries: Hames, Ngatai, Bird, Donald 2, Lowe
Cons: McKenzie 5
Pens: McKenzie 2

For Reds:
Tries: Moore, Nabuli, Magnay
Con: Cooper
Yellow Card: Smith

Blues too good for Waratahs

0

Propelled by a Rieko Ioane brace and 20 points from Piers Francis the Blues turned in a big 40-33 win over the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.

The Blues showed excellent control in the first 40 minutes and capitalised on poor discipline by the hosts to go 26-0 up, thanks to four penalties from Piers Francis and tries by Rieko Ioane and Scott Scrafton.

Israel Folau and Tolu Latu led the resistance for the Waratahs but a second Rieko Ioane score put a dampener on the comeback, his brother Akira extending the lead further.

Despite late scores from Bernard Foley and Paddy Ryan, either side of a second for Folau, the game was long gone, as the Waratahs fell to a fourth defeat in five matches, even though they bizarrely finished with more tries on the night at five to four.

As a result the Blues remain six points adrift at the bottom of the New Zealand Conference and also the wildcard places in the Australasian Group.

No wonder the home supporters who actually turned up to Allianz Stadium were booing long before half-time. In a first half filled with moments of indiscipline, poor tactical kicking and soft defence, the Waratahs did themselves no favours.

Francis showed that he was in fine touch off the kicking tee with three early penalties to open up a significant 9-0 lead in Sydney, with Tana Umaga’s side looking to win four games straight in Australia for the first time.

From the restart after Francis’ third penalty they pounced on another Waratahs mistake. The tapped-back ball by David Horwitz was pounced upon by the Blues, giving Ioane the time and space he needed to race clear to score.

Then on the hooter when kicking three more points would have been the easy option, given Francis already had four under his belt, the Blues went for the jugular.

A quick tap featured good runs from Matt Duffie before the ball was recycled for lock Scrafton to canter over, arm raised in the air, with Francis converting for a 26-0 lead.

The only black mark for the Blues was a concussion to Sonny Bill Williams, with the Rugby World Cup winner not returning for the second half after failing his HIA.

A response had to come from the hosts and Folau tried to set the tone when he showed good strength and determination to go over in the corner, putting the ‘Tahs on the board at 5-26.

The deficit had the Waratahs chasing the game, making each decision to turn down three points feel costly and especially so when the Waratahs maul was pinged for obstruction.

Momentum was undoubtedly with the home side but at 21 points down they desperately needed to start cracking the try line.

Latu looked like the man for the job, despite the best efforts on the line from Augustine Pulu, and once confirmed by the TMO and converted by Foley the Waratahs were back within sight of the lead at 12-26.

Just as the hope was there for the Waratahs, Rieko Ioane snuffed it out again. With a penalty advantage Ioane took a pop pass off the ground and then showed off his speed to race away for a second try, holding off the challenges of Folau and Cam Clark in his finish by the posts.

Not wanting to be outdone by his brother, Akira Ioane got in on the act after another handling error was incredibly picked up by Pulu using his feet, before finding the back-rower who sped away for try number four to the Blues.

With a Francis conversion the Blues cracked the 40-point barrier but the bonus point was still out of reach with the Waratahs within two tries, and then one when Foley spotted an easy gap and cruised through without a hand on him.

Folau was the next man over, scooping up Bryce Hegarty’s low grubber, with Will Skelton denied a late score after losing control over the line.

Paddy Ryan thundered over after the hooter to mean that with Foley’s conversion the Waratahs did pick up a losing bonus point, but the final score hardly reflected a dominant win from the Blues.

The scorers:

For Waratahs:
Tries: Folau 2, Latu, Foley, Ryan
Cons: Foley 2

For Blues:
Tries: R Ioane 2, Scrafton, A Ioane
Cons: Francis 4
Pens: Francis 4

Lions get bonus point win over Rebels

2

The Lions got a bonus point win over the Rebels on Saturday when they bet them 47-10.

It was a frantic start to the match with the Lions putting wave on wave of attacks together but with a Rebels side that just kept hitting them back.

It was not just tackling of the Lions but tackling them back and preventing a couple of tries through their brilliant defence.

The Lions speed on attack was brilliant and found the space but just could not finished it off.

It took the Lions 20 min to get over for the first try with Kwagga Smith the man over the line and a lead of 7-0.

The Lions kept attacking and playing in the Rebels half. After a drive from the lineout that was going nowhere Cronje took the ball and with some great stepping got over for the Lions second try.

The Rebels then got on the board through a great try in the corner through English. This reduced the Lions lead to 14-7 after 29 min.

The Lions had one more try in them before the end of the half after another great break by Skosan as they ended the first half with a lead 0f 19-7.

The Rebels got the first points in the second half with a penalty to reduce the lead to 19-10 but Mahuza then ran almost through the whole Rebels team to score a great try for the Lions.

The Lions kept the pressure on the Rebels and after a drive from the lineout was pulled down from the Rebels the referee awarded a penalty try and a yellow card for the Rebels.

This gave the Lions a 33-10 lead. The next try did not take long with Volmink going over and a 40-10 lead.

The Rebels kept trying but handling errors and some great Lions defence kept them out.

The Lions made the perfect end to the game with their captain going over for their last try of the match and a win of 47-10.

Rebels – Tries: Tom English. Conversions: Reece Hodge. Penalty: Hodge.
Lions – Tries: Kwagga Smith, Ross Cronjé, Courtnall Skosan, Sylvian Mahuza, penalty try, Anthony Volmink, Warren Whiteley. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (6).

Cheetahs self-destruct as Highlanders win in Bloemfontein

1

The Highlanders came back to win an incredible game of rugby against the Cheetahs 45-41.

It was always going to be a game which we expected some great tries and running rugby in Bloefontein and both the Highlanders and the Cheetahs did not dissapoint.

The Cheetahs were first to score a great long distance try after a great scrum that caught the Highlanders off guard on the blind side.

This gave the Cheetahs a 5-0 lead in the match and they extended that with a penalty not long after that to 8-0. The Highlanders hit back with a converted try and a penalty to take the lead in the atch withh 10 to 8.

Both teams did not manage to keep ball in hand which made for allot of mistakes and turnovers.

The Cheetahs got lucky with a yellow card that was given for what assistant referee saw as a late and stiff arm tackle. The tackle may have been late but was surely not with a stiff arm.

This gave the Cheetahs a overlap at the backs and they scored their secondtry and took the lead back 15-10.

The Highlanders tried hard at the end of the half to get points but a no arms tackle stopped them from taking back the lead.

The second half did not start well for Highlanders as they got another yellow card for a tip tackle which gave the Cheetahs an opertunity to score their third try and extend the lead to 22-10.

The Highlanders then hit back with two brilliant tries created in both overlaps with players in the bin which left the Cheetahs giving away the lead 24-22 to Highlanders.

The Cheetahs defence again let them down as the Highlanders just found it so easy to break the defence.

The Cheetahs then hit back with two quick tries that rattle the Highanders as both where tries that both forwards and backs made good decisions on attack.

This gave them a 34-24 lead.

The Cheetahs then put together a sevens style try playing with the Highlanders defence with Ox scoring a well deserved try and a lead of 41-24 after 66 min.

With 9 min to go the Highlanders got a lifeline with a yellow card that was given for a high tackle and did what not many believe they wil do and score three tries to come from behind and with 45-41.

It was some brilliant attacking play from the highlanders but one must say it was almost of the Cheetahs hit gave up and trying to defend which is never a good idea against any New Zealand team.

The scorers:

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Meyer 2, Petersen, Van Jaarsveld, Mohoje, Nche
Cons: Zeilinga 4
Pen: Zeilinga

For Highlanders:
Tries: Banks, Thompson, Naholo 2, Li, Faddes
Cons: Banks 6
Pen: Banks
Yellow Cards: Faddes, Tokolahi

Hurricanes handed Stormers third defeat on tour

4

It is always easy to hit a team when they are down and most people did not give the Stormers a slight chance to come close to the Hurricanes.

To be honest they did not earn any respect in this regard from the fans and where trying to get atleast one win on their tour in New Zealand.

They were first to socre points in the game with a penalty and a lead of 3-0 after just five min but the next twenty minutes belonged to the Hurricanes scoring three quick tries which gave them a 17-3 lead.

The Stormers defence was again caught out as soon as the Hurricanes played their expansive game and made it looked too easy.

With the Stormers stearing another huge socre in the eyes they hit back with a great drive from their forwards to get over for their first try.

That made the lead only 17-10 but the Hurricanes soon got another try through some great work at ruck time to turnover a crucial ball in the Stormers twenty two.

With 22-10 the Stormers body lauguge did not look good but with some penalties coming their wy in the late stages of the first half they went into the break 22-16.

The Second half started with the Stormers doing much of the pay and force penalty on penalty. They were able to convert another two to level the score at 55 min at 22 all.

The Stormers did what most have asked them to do all season and put their bodies on the line on defence. They managed to keep the Hurricanes off their line for more than 10 minutes before the Hurricanes finally wnet over for try number 5.

The Stormers got a lucky break when a Hurricanes try was dissallowed and camp in the Hurrcanes twenty two. With a yellow card for the Hurricanes the Stormers kicked for the line but waste the opertunity with a knock close to the line.

With the Stormers om attack they conceded a 80 meter try after yet another turnover and the lead of 34-22.

Stormers fans will be mad with Jackson letting the Hurricanes infringe at the Stormers drives with no penalties.

The Hurricanes ended the match with their seveth try of the match winning the game 41-22.

If the Hurricanes had a proper kicker they would have put 50 points against the Stormers, not good reading from Stormers.

The scorers:

For Hurricanes:
Tries: Jane, J Barrett 2, J Savea, Laumape 2
Cons: J Barrett 3
Yellow Card: Shields

For Stormers:
Try: Samuels
Con: Du Preez
Pens: Du Preez, Marais 4
Yellow Card: Mbonambi

Blues grind out bonus point win in Canberra

0

The Blues claimed their first victory in almost a month when they beat the Brumbies 18-12 in Canberra on Sunday.

As the scoreline suggests, this was a tight tussle although the Blues were the more enterprising side and they eventually outscored their hosts by three tries to none.

The result means New Zealand teams have now won 15 consecutive matches against their Australian counterparts in this year’s tournament.

Despite their victory, the Blues are still at the bottom of the New Zealand Conference table, six points adrift of their nearest rivals, the Highlanders.

The Brumbies, meanwhile, are still in top spot in the Australian Conference standings, five points ahead of the Waratahs.

The Blues started brightly and were camped inside the Brumbies’ 22 inside the first 10 minutes but all their attacking efforts yielded little reward.

They eventually opened the scoring via a Bryn Gatland penalty in the 11th minute when Wharenui Hawera was blown up for straying offside on defence.

Five minutes later, the Brumbies drew level courtesy of a Hawera penalty after an Akira Ioane indiscretion at a ruck.

The Blues continued to dominate and in the 24th minute Matt Duffie went over the whitewash in the right-hand corner in acrobatic fashion but the try was disallowed as the TMO ruled that he dotted down on the touchline in the in-goal area.

Duffie’s disappointment turned to joy on the half-hour mark when he gathered an inside pass from George Moala before crashing over for the opening try with a couple of defenders on his back.

The rest of the half was a slugfest, characterised by several unforced errors from both sides. The Brumbies had an opportunity to narrow the gap from the kicking tee on the stroke of half-time but their captain, Sam Carter, opted to kick for touch deep inside the Blues’ 22.

His decision backfired as the Blues managed to keep the Brumbies at bay with a solid defensive effort and the men from Auckland held a slender 8-3 lead at the interval.

The Brumbies were fastest out of the blocks in the second half and two Hawera penalties meant they led 9-8 by the 51st minute.

It did not take long for the Blues to respond though and three minutes later they were back in front when Akira Ioane barged over from close quarters from the back of a line-out drive deep inside the Brumbies’ 22.

Gatland failed to convert and on the hour-mark Hawera made it a one-point game when he slotted his fourth penalty. That would be the last time the Brumbies would score points, however, as the visitors finished stronger in the final quarter.

They continued to attack and were rewarded in the 67th minute when Gatland threw a long pass to Duffie who offloaded on his inside to Melani Nanai, who crossed for his side’s third try.

And although Gatland failed with his conversion attempt again, the Blues did enough to hold on for the win.

The scorers:

For Brumbies:

Pens: Hawera 4

For Blues:
Tries:
Duffie, A Ioane, Nanai
Pen: Gatland

Thanks to 

Sharks full value for win over Jaguares

0

The Sharks got a vital win over the Jaguares in Argentina when they beat them 33-25 on Saturday

The Sharks had one of their worst games last week against the Rebels and had much to proof this week against the good Jaguares side away from home.

They had a strong start with their forwards taking the ball up and scored the first try to have the perfect start they could have asked for leading 7-0 after just 3 min.

The Jaguares got their first points on the board through a penalty for a late tackle to make the scores 7-3 for the Sharks.

The Sharks looked very god on attack and defence and where able to play a bit more in the Jaguares half to force a penalty and extend the lead to 10-3.

The Jaguares showed some great skill on attack and forced another kickable penalty with the Sharks also getting a yellow card for deliberate slowing the ball down.

This made the lead only 10-6 but the Sharks immediately hit back with a penalty of their own to extend it again to 13-6.

The Jaguares used the extra man to their advantage and scored their first try after some great hands and speed in their backline.

This made it all square at 13 all after 28 min of play.

It was the Jaguares that put themselves in the correct positions of the field to score their second try under the stick and took the lead of 20-13.

The Sharks hit back almost immediately through a great run from deep by Smith to get their second try on the board and get the scores level again at 20 all at the break.

The Sharks were first to break the glass in the second half with the first points through a great try to take the lead again 27-20 after 52 minutes.

The Sharks took the lead to 30-20 but a laps in their defence gave the Jaguares their first try in the second half and reduce the lead to only 30-25.

The Sharks got a final penalty over to take a great win in Argentina with 33-25.

Scorers:

Jaguares

Tries: Joaquin Tuculet, Matias Orlando, Bautista Ezcurra
Conversions: Nicolas Sanchez (2)
Penalties: Sanchez (2)

Sharks

Tries: Phillip Van Der Walt, Etienne Oosthuizen, Thomas du Toit
Conversions: Curwin Bosch (3)
Penalties: Bosch (4)

Southern Kings run away with Rebels

5

The Southern Kings have done back to back wins after they beat the Rebels with a bonus point in PE on Saturday with 44-3

It was a game that most believed would be a tightly contest between two teams that seemed to be looking and exit from next year in the face.

The Kings put a huge effort in the first 20 min controlling the match with great speed and hands on attack and even greater defence to keep the Rebels out.

They showed more enterprise on attack and were rewarded with a penalty and first try to take an 8-0 lead in the match.

The Rebels tried but some great defence from Kings kept them out from scoring anything else but a penalty.

This gave the Kings an 8-3 lead going into the last ten minutes of the first half.

The Kings did manage another penalty to take the lead to 11-3 which they took into the break. Some strange calls from the referee made one question if we have different rules than they did.

We have seen some shocking calls from referees this weekend and just hope they can get better as the game is suffering.

The Kings had the perfect start to their second half when they scored a brilliant long range try with great runners running into space. This gave them a 18-3 lead after 43 minutes of the match.

With the Kings trying all game they looked like the side that would score more than the Rebels and they did just that in the 58 minute to take the lead to 23-3.

The Kings kept on playing their game and found plenty of space as they wrap another try in to take the score to 30-3 after 66 minutes.

The Kings just played some beautiful running rugby and kept the scoreboard ticking over with great tries. They quickly took the lead to 37-3 with ten minutes to go.

The Rebels did try but could not get pass the Kings defence and made too many errors on attack.

The Kings was not finished as they got another try in with Banda going over in the last minute of the game to give them a bonus point win.

Great game of rugby from the men from PE and back to back wins after last week win over the Waratahs.

Scorers:

Kings

Tries: Wandie Mjekevu, Martin Bezuidenhout, Tyler Paul, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, Makazole Mapimpi, Masixole Banda
Conversions: Lionel Cronje, De Wet (3)
Penalties: Cronje (2)

Rebels

Penalty: Reece Hodge

Crusaders to good for Cheetahs

2

The Crusaders was just to good for the Cheetahs on Saturday when they beat them 48-21.

The game had all the makings of a great one as both teams are known for playing a great running type of rugby.

It was shown from the start that this is just what these two teams will be doing all afternoon, giving the ball air.

The Crusaders was the first to score with a penalty and then a brilliant try from a set piece putting it down in the corner. That gave them an 8-0 lead in the match.

The Cheetahs showed their quality in counter attacking from deep in their own half when Rhule went over after some brilliant play from the Cheetahs backs.

The made the Crusaders lead on one point with 8-7 after 25 min.

The Crusaders kept the pressure on Cheetahs through hanging on to the ball forcing penalties and getting into Cheetahs twenty-two. This gave them an attacking lineout and a second try for the Saders.

This gave them a 15-7 lead just before halftime.

With the Cheetahs on attack Ox took a beautiful run down field and offloaded to Petersen but TMO decided it was forward which only he saw.

This at the end was a 14-point turnaround as the Saders score another try straight after to take the halftime lead 22-7.

The Crusaders started the second half well keeping pressure on the Cheetahs and quickly received a yellow card which just add to the pressure.

With the extra man the Crusaders made easy work to get their forth try and a lead of 29-7.

The Crusaders then just opened the floodgates in scoring another two tries to get to 43-14 in the lead.

It would have been frustrating to Cheetahs players and fans as the referee seemed to have missed a few pulling, slowing the ball down and some obstruction from the Saders.

The Crusaders received a yellow card for an elbow in the face with ten minutes to go but the Cheetahs could still not get passed the Crusaders defense.

They were able to score in the dying minutes of the match to make the final score 48-21 for the Crusaders.

The scorers:

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Rhule, Nche
Cons: Marais 2
Yellow card: Koster

For Crusaders:
Tries: Havili 2, Bridge 3, Mo’unga, Drummond
Cons: Mo’unga 6
Pens: Mo’unga
Yellow card: Whitelock

Lions start tour with bonus point win

0

The Force put a great defensive effort together but it was not enough to stop the Lions to get a bonus point win on Saturday when they beat them 24-15.

A match that most believe the Lions should have won and won with a bonus points was not as easy in that first half as expected.

It was the Lions with the first try through Mapoe to take the lead of 7-0 after dominating the opening exchanges in the match.

The Force showed that they are there to play and play to win with intense pressure being put on the Lions and got the first two penalties over to reduce the lead to 7-6 halfway through the half.

The Force defence was great throughout the first half but with great hands the Lions got over for their second try just before the end of the half to take the lead to 14-6.

It was Skosan that was on the end of it all to go over in the corner.

The Force did manage another penalty to make the halftime score 14-9.

The Lions struggled to take control of the match and both teams could only manage a penalty a piece in the first 17 min of the second half.

This made the lead for the Lions only 17-12.

Most of the second half was frustrating for the Lions as the Force defence was brilliant at times and made a few turnovers as well. With five minutes to play the lead was only 17-15.

The Lions did manage to get that bonus point try after the hooter to win the match 24-15. This was not the best Lions game but effective.

The scorers:

For Force:
Pens: Prior 5

For Lions:
Tries: Mapoe, Skosan, Jantjies
Cons: Jantjies 3
Pen: Jantjies

Foley boot give Waratahs win over Reds

0

The Waratahs came from behind to beat the Reds 29-26 on Saturday in Australia

The Waratahs had the better start to the match showing that they want to run the ball and with ball in hand it looked good from then Tahs.

This year the Tahs have shown allot of running ability but their handling let them down for most of it and cost them games and crucial scores.

The Reds however got back into Waratahs half and after some pressure got over for the first try of the match and the lead of 7-0 after 12 min.

The Waratahs hot back with a try of their own t make the scores 7 all after twenty minutes even if it was against the run of play.

The Reds then put sevens phases together to get over the Tahs defence yet again and score their second try and took back the lead 12-7 after 23 minutes.

Cooper then gave us some magic with a perfect intercept in their own twenty-two and running out of legs he kicked the ball for Perese to score the Reds third try but the Tahs did hit back with a penalty to make the score 19-10.

The Waratahs hit back with a brilliant try just before half time as Cooper found a gab in the Reds defence.

The Reds also lost a player with a yellow card which was not great just before halftime as they led the Tahs with 19-17.

It was the Waratahs that scored a penalty and first points in the second half to take the lead for the first time but the Reds hit back immediately with another try to lead 26-20.

The Tahs then hit three penalties to take the lead and win the match but many questions will be asked from Reds fans on real bad calls from the referee in that second half missing offsides by Tahs and plenty knock-ons which he just did not blew up.

The scorers:

For Reds:
Tries: Hunt, L Tui, Perese, Moore
Cons: Cooper 3
Yellow Card: Perese

For Waratahs:
Tries: Phipps, Hooper
Cons: Foley 2
Pens: Foley 5

Sunwolves made Chiefs work hard for win

0

The Chiefs struggled for most of the match to get pass the Sunwolves defence and had to work hard for a 27-20 win on Saturday.

It was a match which was expected to be a runaway for the Chiefs as the Sunwolves have not done well on their tour in New Zealand.

The Chiefs did not take long to make the scoreboard ticking as they score their first try within three minutes of the match to take a 5-0 lead.

The Sunwolves put some pressure on Chiefs in the next 10 minutes as they camped down in their twenty-two receiving penalty after penalty but decided not to take points and at the end came away with nothing.

The Sunwolves did get on the board through a penalty but the Chiefs immediately hit back with another try through some great hands in the back to make the score 10-3 after 25 minutes.

The game got a bit scrappy with both teams try hard but execution not on par.

The Chiefs got a penalty over just before the break but also scored their third try to take a 20-3 lead at halftime.

It was not one of the most exciting first half but effective from the Chiefs.

The Sunwolves got first on the board in the second half when they scored their first try of the match after some huge pressure in the scrums again in Chiefs twenty-two.

The reduced the Chiefs lead to only 20-10 after 46 min.

The Chiefs could run the ball and go through the hands but handling became a problem for them as they rain came down in the second half.

The Chiefs were next to score with a brilliant try from their own half as the split the Sunwolves defense to restore the three try lead against them.

It was a game that never really got going and not one of the best games from the Chiefs this year as they struggle to get any kind of continuity.

The game got nasty at the end with the Sunwolves losing a player with a yellow card and a red card but could hold the Chiefs out.

The Chiefs took the win with 27-20.

Scorers:

Chiefs – Tries: Hika Elliot, Solomon Alaimalo, Damian McKenzie (2). Conversions: McKenzie (2). Penalty: McKenzie.
Sunwolves – Tries: Fumiaki Tanaka, Derek Carpenter. Conversions: Hayden Cripps, Jamie-Jerry Taulagi. Penalties: Cripps, Taulagi.

Another embarrassing defeat for Stormers

8

The Highlanders gave the Stormers another embarrassing defeat on Friday when they ran in 9 tries to beat them 59-14

The Stormers came of two losses in two weeks and needed to get back on track and winning ways against the Highlanders.

The game had a great start with both teams keeping ball in hand and wanting to run the ball. It was some brilliant stuff from Kolisi to open space up for the Stormers first try and the lead of 7-0.

This lead did not last long as the Highlanders hit back almost immediately after a poor attempt to exit from the Stormers gave them their first try. This made the scores 7 all after just a few minutes of the match.

With the Stormers winning a lineout in their own twenty-two and exit down field the assist referee asked the referee to go to the TMO to check for what he saw as a tip tackle.

Replies showed that the Highland players jumped on Kebble but the referee still gave penalty to the Highlanders which gave them a change to stretch the Stormers at the back and scored their second try.

The Stormers again found themselves in the own twenty-two and with yet another bad exit gave the Highlanders their third try through poor defense.

The forth try came from a perfect lineout from the Highlanders and they stretch their lead to 24-7.

The Highlanders did not stop they create space through great passing game with the Stormers unable to make the first-time tackles.

They got their 5 try through great hands and went into the break with a 31-7 lead over the Stormers.

The Stormers started well in the second half trying to play in the right areas and only execution left them without scoring in the first ten minutes of the second half.

The Highlanders defence have been great all game and knocking Stormers attackers back most of the time.

Although the Stormers made all the play and camped in Highlanders twenty-two it was again the Highlanders that scored after the Stormers forced passes close to their line which was not on.

This gave a runaway try to the Highlanders to take the score to 38-7 after 58 min.

The flood gates then open as the Stormers could not keep the Highlanders out and they quickly reach 52-7 putting another 50 points against them in two weeks with ten minutes to go.

The Stormers did manage a try but it was the Highlanders that ended the match with a brilliant try after the hooter to make the final score 59-14.

The was the second crushing defeat for the men from Cape Town and with defence like they have shown the last two weeks one cannot see anything changing next week against the Hurricanes.

Stormers fans can expect another 50 pointer against them

Scorers:

Highlanders 57 (31)

Tries: Patrick Osborne (2), Waisake Naholo (2), Liam Squire, Rob Thompson, Dillon Hunt, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Matt Faddes

Conversions: Marty Banks (5), Fletcher Smith

Stormers 14 (7)

Tries: Nizaam Carr, Dewaldt Duvenage

Conversions: Robert du Preez (2)

Sharks draw against Rebels

3

In a poor display from both teams we saw a 9 all draw in Durban on Saturday between the Sharks and Rebels.

The Sharks started the game well controlling the match and strong signs from the forwards but it was the Rebels that got the first penalty over for the first points on the scoreboard.

The Rebels got an early yellow card after a deliberate knockdown but could not use the advantage to get points on the board. With all the play in Rebels half and a penalty advantage Andre Esterhuizen had a brain freeze and did a tip tackle which earned him a red card.

With the one player off the field the Sharks still controlled the game and did most of the play in the Rebels half.

Bosch got a penalty over to make the scores 3 all after 27 minutes.

The Rebels did get back to inside the Sharks half and got a penalty which they were able to convert into three points and the lead of 6-3.

The Sharks decided the play a defensive game in the last 10 minutes of the half waiting for mistakes from Rebels which I thought was the wrong plan. The teams went into the break with the Rebels leading 6-3.

The second half went from bad to worst not just for the Sharks but also the Rebels as both teams seems to lack any kind of attacking play.

The Sharks seemed to decide to play a kick and pray game and the Rebels just could not put enough phases together to do anything on attack. Bosch had one of the worst games I have seen him played.

It has been proven throughout the years rugby can not be played with the idea of just kicking ball down the field hoping things will go your way. The Sharks did get another penalty over to level the scores at 6 all.

The Rebels then also got a red card after Nic Stirzaker got his second yellow card after another deliberate knock down by the Rebels captain which gave the Sharks some believe again.

The Sharks got a penalty and got into the lead 9-3 but with no time left tried to defend the last few second rather than the play or kick ball down and conceded a penalty which gave the Rebels a penalty to draw the game 9 all.

This was a poor game of rugby which both teams should feel assumed off.

For Sharks:
Pens: Bosch 3
Red Card: Esterhuizen

For Rebels:
Pens: Hodge 3
Yellow Card: Hanson
Red Card: Stirzaker

Bulls come back to win against Cheetahs

3

A great last 30 minutes from the Bulls ensured that they could come back and win the game against the Cheetahs at Loftus 20-14.

What started off as a very frustrating game only sparked to life after 50 min with both teams playing some exciting rugby but it was a very hard game to watch in the 50 minutes before that.

The Bulls did not have much ball in the first half with the Cheetahs doing most of the playing with ball in hand but handling and passing was poor from both teams.

It was the Cheetahs that scored first with a try in the early stages of the match but did not really took advantage of the ball they had to play with. With only penalties being traded after that try the two teams went into the break with the Cheetahs leading 11-3.

The start of the second half saw a better effort from the Bulls but they could not get pass the Cheetahs defense and kicked too many balls away on attack and from turnovers.

With so many mistakes from both team the game did not really get going but it was with the replacements on the Bulls side that spark them to run with the ball and the game become much more exciting from both teams.

It was the Bulls that scored a converted try to spark their comeback and reduced the lead to only 11-10. The Cheetahs did manage to extend the lead again with a penalty to 14-10 after 60 min.

The Bulls got a penalty of their own over with just 10 min to go to reduced the lead again to only 14-13.

The Bulls got their second try from a great turnover and it was Kriel at the end of it all and with the conversion they took the lead for the first time 20-14.

The Cheetahs tried all they could in the final three minutes but the Bulls defense was good enough to hold them out and got another win.

The scorers:

For Bulls:
Tries:
Potgieter, Kriel
Cons: T Schoeman 2
Pens: T Schoeman 2

For Cheetahs:
Tries:
Schoeman
Pens: Marais 3

Cruden boot gives win for Chiefs over Force

0

The Chiefs ended their tour on a high with a hard-fought 16-7 victory over the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.

The teams battled to get going as they committed a plethora of unforced errors which meant there was little continuity and both sides eventually scored a try apiece.

The result means the Chiefs have only lost one of their eight games in this year’s competition, an impressive record for the Waikato side.

The Force played their hearts out but couldn’t make it three from three at home as the Chiefs made it nine wins out of 11 against the Perth-based side.

The result also means that Australian sides have not beaten a New Zealand side in thirteen consecutive games.

The Chiefs started off in typical fashion, attacking from the onset.

Aaron Cruden made a classy break after receiving from a poor Dane Haylett-Petty kick before switching the ball to the left where it finally ended up in Liam Messam’s hands and he had the easy task of dotting down in the seventh minute. Cruden added the extras to give the away side an early 7-0 lead.

Handling errors from the Chiefs prevented them from extending their lead despite dominating territory and possession. Despite being in attacking mode, they had already made four handling errors in the opening twenty minutes.

The Force were dealt a blow when their star full-back, Haylett-Petty, pulled his hamstring and was substituted for Alex Newsome in the 21st minute. Both sides then went through a poor phase of making handling errors and this affected the flow of the game.

The Force defence showed their resilience in the face of some probing attacks from the Chiefs who continued to dominate territory and possession.

One of the Force’s tactics was to relieve the pressure through tactical kicking, which was not always accurate and this allowed the Chiefs to launch several counter-attacks. But the Force continued to hold their own.

In fact, they got a try of their own after Dominic Bird was penalised for hands in the ruck. The home side opted for touch from the resulting penalty. The lineout was won by Lewis Carmichael before they timed their rolling maul to perfection as flanker Matt Hodgson went over with ease. Ian Prior added the extras to equal the score at 7-7.

The Force were lucky to go into the break at 7-7 after Chiefs prop Siegfried Fisi’ihoi somehow contrived to knock the ball on when attempting to dot down after some persistent pressure from the away side.

Richard Hardwick was then penalised for going off his feet at the ruck early in the second half and Cruden kicked the resulting penalty to give the Chiefs a 10-7 lead.

The Chiefs, however, continued to make too many unforced errors which hampered their game. Cruden extended the lead to 13-7 with his second penalty on 55 minutes.

The visitors, who have the highest percentage of lineouts won in the competition and are usually consistent in this regard were guilty of losing a number of their balls at the set-piece in this match.

Cruden kicked another penalty, after Force substitute Francois Van Wyk was penalised, to extend the Chiefs’ lead to nine points and that’s how it stayed until the end.

The scorers:

For Force:
Try: Hodgson
Con: Prior

For Chiefs:
Try: Messam
Con: Cruden
Pens: Cruden 3

Saders hammer poor defensive Stormers

8

The Crusaders recorded their highest ever score over the Stormers, winning 57-24 in Christchurch on Saturday.

The Stormers dominated possession and territory in the opening ten minutes but thereafter it was one-way traffic as the Crusaders ran riot, so much so that they were able to take captain Kieran Read off at half-time with a 36-3 lead after the All Blacks captain grabbed a double.

By the time the game was finished, it was a comprehensive 57-24 victory for the home side, who ran in eight tries including a hat-trick for George Bridge.

The Crusaders have now won 14 of the last 16 meetings between these two sides and the last six in a row. In fact, the Christchurch-based side have now won 38 of their last 39 home games against all South African opposition, with the Sharks the only team to beat them at AMI Stadium back in May 2014.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Stormers on their New Zealand tour as they face another in-form New Zealand outfit in the form of the Highlanders next weekend. Meanwhile, the Crusaders maintain their 100 percent winning streak to the season.

The first ten minutes saw the Stormers applying pressure on the Crusaders and enjoying dominance of both the territory and possession. In fact, the home side barely touched the ball. Fly-half Robert Du Preez gave them something to show for this dominant opening by slotting a penalty between the posts, giving the away side a 3-0 lead.

However, the Crusaders showed how clinical they are, finishing off the first opoortunity they had. Bridge scored in the 12th minute after the Saders took the ball through the phases. The Stormers will count themselves unlucky as they appeared to have got their hands and the ball but the referee’s whistle never came. Richie Mo’unga added the extras to make the score 7-3.

Mo’unga then added three from a penalty after relentless pressure around the Stormers 22 resulted in a penalty to make the score 10-3.

A big factor in the home side’s superiority on the scoreboard was their dominance of the lineout and the scrum, despite the Stormers boasting a heavier pack.

However, their scrum improved as they won two on the trot, relieving the pressure as they could finally get out of their half with a penalty kicked out to touch. The first half was a cagey one, with a lot of penalties being given away by both sides.

A careless acidental offside in which Cheslin Kolbe ran into the back of Chris Van Zyl resulted in a penalty for the Crusaders.

The hosts put the ball into touch for a lineout five metres out from the try-line and applied the basics well from the set-piece going right before coming back to the blindside as Richie Mo’unga showed his class, beating one defender before passing to George Bridge who ran unopposed under the posts to complete his double.

The Crusaders won far too many turnovers on Stormers ball for the away side to have any hope of getting something from the game, and the visitors looked shell-shocked as Bridge then completed his hat-trick two minutes later.

They exposed the Stormers’ lack of numbers out wide with an audacious offload from Seta Tamanivalu and then Jack Goodhue’s skilful double-skip pass gave Bridge the easiest of jobs to dot down. Mo’unga added a sublime conversion from the touchline to make the score 24-3.

The Crusaders then really began to turn on the style. A thrilling move which consisted of a couple of unbelievable offloads with a move going from left to right and back to the left, Kieran Read capped off an impressive first-half performance in only his second game back from a lengthy layoff with a classy try to make it 29-3.

There was still time for another ‘Saders score before the half-time whistle, as Read grabbed his second. Relentless attack from The Crusaders ended in a long ball from Mo’unga to Read who found himself on the other wing this time to dot down. This time, Mo’unga made no mistake with the conversion as the sides went into the break with the Crusaders in a commanding 36-3 lead.

The Stormers responded immediately after the interval when winger Cheslin Kolbe made a trademark interception, running the length of the field to dot down. Du Preez added the extras to make it 36-10.

Bjorn Basson, who barely touched the ball the whole game, then got the Stormers’ second. Eben Etzebeth threw a loose pass which Basson did well to collect, and while here was little on he handed off a defender and darted over in the corner in the 52nd minute.

The Crusaders then executed a perfect rolling maul from a five metre lineout and substitute prop Michael Alaalatoa got over in the 59th minute. Mo’unga’s accurate kicking display continued as he converted to make it 43-17.

Stormers full-back Dillon Lleyds makes a break down field but a loose pass results in a Pete Samu interception who ran coast to coast to dot down under the post to pile further misery on the away side. Mo’unga added the extras to bring up the half-century and make it 50-17 to the home side.

The Stormers refused to give up. After elusive stepping by Kolbe, Frans Malherbe did well to barrel over in the 67th minute showing good awareness by making contact with the base of the post.

But Manasa Mataele put the icing on the cake when he intercepted with the Stormers on the Crusaders’ ten-metre line before running the length of the field to score in the 77th minute.

The scorers:

For Crusaders:
Tries: Bridge 3, Read 2, Alaalatoa, Samu, Mataele
Cons: Mo’unga 6, Hunt
Pen: Mo’unga

For Stormers:
Tries: Kolbe, Basson, Malherbe
Cons: Du Preez 3
Pen: Du Preez