In a turnaround round for the Australian conference in round ten of the Asteron Life Super Rugby Competition, The St.George Queensland Reds, NSW Waratahs and RaboDirect Rebels all recorded important victories for their respective seasons.
For a Queensland Reds outfit it was an important victory for self-belief after Australia’s Northern Province has been hampered by injuries to key players. The NSW Waratahs defeated the top of the table Hurricanes who had not been defeated in the 2015 season at home in Wellington in an eight try block buster at the Cake Tin.
The Melbourne Rebels ended the Aquis Brumbies’ unbeaten home ground record of 11 matches with a solid 13-8 victory in the wet that puts Melbourne in touch of the top six.
NSW Waratahs 29 defeated the Hurricanes 24
The NSW Waratahs have earned a bonus point victory in a tough encounter against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday afternoon, winning 29-24.
Two tries to winger Peter Betham, and with Israel Folau and Will Skelton both crossing the try line in support, cemented the win against the top side in the Asteron Life Super Rugby competition.
The win ensures the Waratahs stay in the hunt of the top six and close in on the Brumbies, who are currently leading the Australian Conference in the Asteron Life Super Rugby Competition.
The Waratahs return home to Sydney this week to play the Melbourne Rebels in an historic ANZAC Day clash at ANZ Stadium.
Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley was happy with the Waratahs performance but warned against complacency.
"We can't be getting one win and thinking we're going to get eight in a row, like what happened last year”, Foley said.
"We have to keep putting the things in place. It hasn't worked always, last week [against the Stormers] was the prime example of that, we're still a side that's trying to develop our game and be innovative and keep our attack where it has been. It's not really about where we are in the season, it's about progressing our game in our attack and defence.
"The forwards were momentous, they carried really well, did the hard yards and were unrelenting for 80 minutes".
RaboDirect Rebels 13 Aquis Brumbies 8
The Brumbies will rue missed opportunities in a wet battle against the Melbourne Rebels in Canberra in which they struggled to breach the Rebels tough defence.
With injuries taking out Scrumhalf Matt Toomua and Nic White the Brumbies were forced to be creative in attack with players taking to the field in different positions.
Scrumhalf Nic Stirzaker was instrumental for the Rebels as he created attacking opportunities and provided good service to the backs.
Rebels Head Coach Tony McGahan was proud of his side for holding on for a win despite the Brumbies’ immense pressure at the close.
“It was a really pleasing achievement to win in Canberra for the first time as a Club,” McGahan said.
“The Brumbies are a Club we have a tremendous amount of respect for, and we needed our whole team to perform tonight to secure this victory.
“I thought our defence was outstanding, and we held our discipline at key times of the game to great effect. It’s a fitting way to celebrate Tamati’s 100th Super Rugby game, and we’re excited to head to Sydney next week.”
Stormers 13 defeated the Western Force 6
A brave display from the Western Force was not enough to topple the high-flying Stormers, with the Cape Town-based side taking a 13-6 win at the ‘Force Field’ (nib Stadium) tonight.
In an 80-minute arm wrestle, neither side’s try line could be breached with the only try coming through a first-half penalty try to the visitors from a five-metre scrum.
While the Stormers held a narrow 10-6 lead at the break, the Force held the majority of running in the second stanza but was unable to breakthrough for the decisive score.
Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley took solace in his side's efforts.
“Tonight’s performance has to be a benchmark in terms of physicality and attitude. Last week there were decisions in the game that had to be made that were important and when Monday comes after a game like last week there’s a hell of a lot of things you need to look at – there’s bits and pieces we need to work on every week
In some good news for the Western Force Captain Matt Hodgson Hodgson is set to make his return to Asteron Life Super Rugby after being named in the Western Force’s 25-man
travelling squad for its two-match New Zealand leg.
St.George Queensland Reds 18 defeated the Cheetahs 17
A man of the match display from winger James O’Connor and a late drop goal from flyhalf Nick Frisby has seen the St.George Queensland Reds clinch their second win of the season, 18-17 over the Cheetahs in a thrilling Asteron Life Super Rugby clash in Bloemfontein.
O’Connor set up tries to Samu Kerevi and Australian Under 20’s flanker Adam Korczyk. O'Connor also landed a conversion and penalty goal. The Cheetahs scored tries to Ryno Benjamin and Boom Prinsloo with a penalty goal and two conversions to Joe Pietersen.
Frisby’s drop goal proved the difference between the two teams.
Reds head coach Richard Graham was happy with his side’s composure to earn the win.
“Tonight was a fantastic result. It has been a really good tour for the squad and the result is a great way to end the tour. I thought the penalty was a tough call and it would have been extremely disappointing to lose in that manner.
“We have been chasing improvement and consistency in all aspects of our game. That result is good reward and now it is important we create some momentum as we move into the last seven games of the season.
“We have been on the road now for almost three weeks. We are looking forward to getting home amongst familiar surroundings, family and friends. The squad is looking forward to playing at Suncorp Stadium in front of our own supporters in what will be a special round as we commemorate ANZAC Day.”
To see where your team stands head here to the Asteron Life Super Rugby table.