Vodafone Super Rugby wrap: Week 12

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

The Brumbies are in the midst of their worst losing streak in six seasons, after a 13-6 loss to the Lions on Friday night.

Not since 2011 have the Brumbies lost four matches in a row, with that losing run lasting five matches, but the South Africa 1 conference leaders inflicted yet another defeat on the Canberra side.

The salt in that wound for the Brumbies was that they led in almost every area except where it officially counts, leading at half-time, dominating territory and possession and putting themselves within striking distance plenty of times.


Brumbies 6

Pens: Hawera 2

Lions 13

Tries: Smith

Cons: Jantjies

Pens: Jantjies, Coetzee

Blues vs Cheetahs

All Black prospect Rieko Ioane scored a double as the Blues left the Cheetahs in their dust at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.

The Blues notched eight tries to four in the 50-32 win, earning themselves a vital bonus point as they attempt to stay alive in the ultra-competitive New Zealand conference.

The Cheetahs were competitive early on and an effective driving maul earned them three tries, two of them to hooker Elandre Huggett, giving some respectability to the scoreboard.


Blues 50

Tries: Rieko Ioane (2), Scrafton, Akira Ioane, Tuipulotu, Luatua, Pulu, Nanai.

Cons: Francis (2), West (3).

Cheetahs 32

Tries: Venter, Van Jaarsveld, Huggett (2).

Cons: Zeilinga (3).

Pens: Zeilinga (2).

Crusaders v Hurricanes

The power of their pack crushed the Hurricanes on Saturday, as the Crusaders kept their unbeaten Super Rugby record with a 20-12 victory in Christchurch. 

With one try and five penalties, the Crusaders remain at the head of the table and unbeaten after 11 games while the reigning champion Hurricanes lie third in the New Zealand conference with their second defeat.

The expectation ahead of the clash was for a try-fest between two sides renowned for their determination to attack from all angles but at half-time the score was locked at 9-9 with all the points from penalties.


Crusaders 20

Tries: Todd.

Pens: Mo'unga 5

Hurricanes 12

Pens: Jordie Barrett 4

Melbourne Rebels v Reds

A Samu Kerevi try with 90 seconds to play has kept the Reds' season alive in a 29-24 thriller at AAMI Park.

The stand-in skipper was inspirational all night and it proved to be the ultimate captain's knock when he wrestled his way over the line to secure a bonus point win for the Reds.

The Reds now sit second in the Australian conference on 16 points, three shy of the Brumbies on 19, though both the Brumbies and the Waratahs have a game in hand.


Rebels 24

Miller, Koroibete

Cons: Hodge

Pens: Hodge 4

Reds 29

Kerevi 2, Nabuli, Moore, Higginbotham

Cons: Cooper 2

Bulls v Highlanders

All Blacks centre Malakai Fekitoa scored a brilliant solo try to give Otago Highlanders of New Zealand a 17-10 win over the Bulls in cold, wet Pretoria on Saturday.

A cut-up pitch after heavy pre-match rain meant there was little running rugby and the round 12 match developed into a titanic struggle between two mud-covered packs. 

Smarting from a record 38-point home loss in Super Rugby last weekend to another New Zealand outfit, leaders Canterbury Crusaders, Bulls had chances to win this time.  


Bulls 10

Try: Gelant

Cons: Schoeman

Pens: Schoeman

Highlanders 17

Tries: Faddes, Fekitoa

Cons: Smith, Banks

Pens: Smith

Kings v Sharks

Southern Kings defeated a fellow South African side for the first time in Super Rugby when they edged the Sharks 35-32 on Saturday after a thriller in Port Elizabeth.

It was also the first time the Port Elizabeth outfit have won three consecutive matches following victories over Australian sides NSW Waratahs and Melbourne Rebels.

Kings secured success over Sharks two minutes from time when replacement back Pieter-Steyn de Wet dived over in the corner after fierce, continuous pressure.


Southern Kings 35

Tries: Bock 2, Cronje, Pieter-Steyn de Wet; 

Cons: Cronje 3

Pens: Cronje 2

Drop goal: Cronje

Sharks 32

Tries: du Preez, Mvovo

Cons: Lambie, April

Pens: Lambie 2, April 4

Jaguares v Western Force


Two tries in the final 15 minutes have handed the Force their first overseas win this year, 16-6 over the Jaguares.

A week after their season’s low point in Durban, the Force wanted to prove themselves in Buenos Aires, and their reshuffled side put in a far-improved effort.

It took until the 68th minute for the Force to score a try, through winger Alex Newsome after the sides traded penalty goals in Buenos Aires for most of the night.

Handling errors and poor decision-making crept in at times, but this was one win the Force showed they wanted and, more importantly, deserved.


Jaguares 6

Hernandez 2

Force 16

Newsome, Naisarani

Pens: Prior 2

Yellow card: Richie Arnold 28’


Australia Conference

Brumbies 19 (Q)

Reds 16


Force 13

Rebels 8

New Zealand Conference

 Crusaders 50 (Q)

Chiefs 42 (Q)

Hurricanes 38 (Q)

Highlanders 36 (Q)

Blues 31

Africa 1 Conference

 Stormers 26 (Q)

Bulls 15

Cheetahs 11 

Sunwolves 7

Africa 2 Conference

Lions 46 (Q)

Sharks 33 (Q)

Jaguares 24

Kings 19

Please note: Conference winners qualify for quarter-finals with next three highest-ranked Australasian teams and next highest-ranked Africa side. Q denotes qualifying position


May 19

Chiefs v Crusaders, Stormers v Blues

May 20
Hurricanes v Cheetahs, Force v Highlanders, Sunwolves v Sharks, Lions v Bulls, Kings v Brumbies

May 21
Waratahs v Rebels

Byes: Jaguares, Reds