Round four of the Asteron Life Super Rugby Competition has seen four of the five Australian teams take to the park with the Aquis Brumbies the only Australian team to claim victory.
The Brumbies are the leaders of the Australian conference in third position with the RaboDirect Melbourne Rebels sitting in seventh on six points.
The Waratahs, Western Force and St.George Queensland Reds sit in tenth, eleventh and twelfth respectively. You can check out the full ladder here.
Highlanders 20 defeated the St.George Queensland Reds 13
The Queensland Reds took a bonus point from the loss against the Highlanders in Dunedin and Head Coach Richard Graham took positives from the match.
“I am disappointed because we didn’t get the result we came for. The effort of the group was very good but we will be asking ourselves questions like 'what if' and 'if only' because of the number of opportunities we created yet didn’t capitalise on," he said.
“We began the game well, but then got sucked into a battle of field position that we lost. We kicked aimlessly at times which allowed them to spend over 60% of the game in our half. We went away from our strategy and got dragged into theirs. They were physical and I give them credit for the disciplined approach they had.
“Our defensive effort was solid given they had the majority of position and possession. The boys scrambled well and at times had three defenders carrying the ball carrier into touch near our try line. The boys will take a lot of confidence from that aspect of the game.
“It was smart to take the three points at the end of the game to secure a losing bonus point. At the end of the rounds every point counts and you need to accumulate them wherever you can.
“We’ll push hard over the next week to ensure we address some aspects of our game ahead of next weekend."
The match saw the debut for the Reds of James O’Connor who played at flyhalf with Quade Cooper still injured.
Hurricanes 42 defeated the Western Force 13
The Hurricanes blew away the Western Force in Perth as the home team had a bad night at the office against the team from Wellington.
Western Force No.8, Ben McCalman was a standout for the province in what was a disappointing performance.
Western Force Head Coach, Michael Foley was honest in his appraisal of his charges.
“When it comes to it, their body height was better than ours in a lot of those contact areas. Once you lose the collisions both in attack and defence it’s very hard to get into the game.
“There were times when we had possession and we didn’t do anything with it and that was largely around the contact area.
“Getting the attacking contact right against a team like the Hurricanes gives you an opportunity to score but if you don’t, it gives them an opportunity to score and that was the major turning point I think in the game and I don’t think we got that part right.
“It’s taken some time to build a reputation as a group of fighters, and I think they are a group of fighters. When we have a look back at that game, it’s going to hurt a lot – it hurts now. But I think everybody in the squad will be ready to go come Monday.”
Aquis Brumbies 20 defeated RaboDirect Melbourne Rebels 15
In the Australian derby clash at AAMI Park in Melbourne, the Rebels were unfortunate not to get a win against the Brumbies as the Melbourne side dominated territory and possession in the wet conditions.
The excellent work by the Brumbies in defence was the telling factor in the match and despite a late charge by the Rebels they were unable to pierce the Brumbies line for a final try.
The score left Melbourne with a bonus point for finishing within seven with the final score of 20-15.
The Melbourne Rebels Head Coach Tony McGahan took positives out of the Rebels performance.
“The Brumbies showed tonight, as they have so far this season and over the last two campaigns, that they are very good side with lots of senior players,” he said.
“We’d all love to have that injection of twenty-five to thirty games into each player, as the last two weeks has suggested we need that little bit of extra composure against the top sides, but we know that will come.
“Whilst we’re not that far off we are far enough away, and we know we’ve got a lot of work to do. The players realise that but are embracing it, and I think that is really evident in the way they play for each other, their friendship and the way they are competing as a team.”
Christian Leali’ifano became the third player in Brumbies history to reach 500 points.
Check out all the upcoming action from round four of the Asteron Life Super Rugby Competition here.