Vodafone Super Rugby wrap: Round Six

Super Rugby
by AAP & Staff Writer

The Melbourne Rebels have stormed to the top of the Vodafone Super Rugby competition table after round six over the weekend.

The Rebels finished with a wet sail in defeating the Sharks 46-14 in Melbourne.

Other winners over the weekend action included the Crusaders, Chiefs, Hurricanes and Jaguares who beat the Lions in Buenos Aires.

Crusaders v Bulls

The Crusaders snapped a two-game Super Rugby losing streak with a 33-14 bonus point win over the Bulls in Christchurch on Friday.

The Crusaders scored five tries to two, including a brace for Jack Goodhue, making the most of wet conditions in a match that featured plenty of turnovers and handling errors.

The Crusaders, coming off their first back-to-back losses in five years, welcomed back skipper Sam Whitelock and Ryan Crotty from injury.

"The conditions made the rugby pretty tight but we adapted as the game went on ... at times (though) the skills were great," Whitelock said.


Crusaders 33

Tries: Bridge, Goodhue 2, Taylor, Barrett

Cons: Hunt 4

Pens: 0

Bulls 14

Tries: van Staden, Ismaiel 

Cons: Pollard 2

Pens: 0

Rebels v Sharks

The Rebels are back on track, kicking eight points clear atop the Australian Conference with a brilliant 46-14 bonus point over the Sharks at AAMI Park.

It wasn't a Rebels performance which produced breathtaking tries until very late in the piece but it was one that showed they can tough out flat stretches before finding their best to shoot clear - a trait all champion sides must possess.

The work of Anaru Rangi, Adam Coleman and Colby Faingaa up front set the platform for Melbourne's backs and while it took an hour before things really clicked, Billy Meakes starred in his first start of the season.

Melbourne flew out of the gates with far more intent than they displayed in their loss to the Waratahs, Meakes making the most of his touch of the ball by splitting the line in the first phase of the match - a break that would set the tone for a superb first half for the former Force star.


Rebels 46

Tries: Rangi, Mafi, Genia, Meakes, R Haylett-Petty, Saaga

Cons: Hodge, Debreczeni 4

Pens: Hodge, Debreczeni

Sharks 14

Tries: Mvovo, Louw

Cons: Du Preez, Bosch

Pens: 0

Hurricanes v Highlanders

The Hurricanes, who play the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday night, delivered a clinic in the art of finishing to beat the Highlanders 29-12 in Wellington.

Winger Ben Lam scored two of the Hurricanes' four tries on Saturday as they notched a third-straight win and handed the Highlanders their first defeat of the season.

The scores were locked 12-12 entering a final half-hour which the hosts dominated, scoring through a long-range penalty to Jordie Barrett and tries to reserve winger Vince Aso and Lam.

Both tries required expert, diving finishes in the corner from the wide men when tackled by the cover defence, as did Lam's first-half try.


Hurricanes 29

Tries: Lam 2, Aso, Barrett

Cons: Barrett 3

Pens: Barrett 1

Highlanders 12

Tries: Naholo 2

Cons: Sopoaga 1

Pens: 0

Stormers v Reds

A travel-weary Queensland Reds have battled to the very end but had their three-match Super Rugby winning streak snapped with a 25-19 loss to the Stormers in Cape Town.

Both side scored three tries but the Reds, who were forced to fly to South Africa via London after playing in Argentina last weekend, trailed for most for the game.

They were down 18-0 after 26 minutes but scored two converted tries in five minutes either side of the break to slash the deficit to four points.

The Stormers reasserted themselves when winger Raymond Rhule crossed after he pounced on a perfectly weighted and placed kick from from fellow winger Craig Barry.


Stormers 25

Tries: Rhule, Louw, Duvenage 

Cons: Willemse 2

Pens: Willemse 2

Reds 19

Tries: Daugunu, Mafi, Timu 

Cons: Lance 2

Pens: 0

Jaguares v Lions

Star playmaker Nicolas Sanchez kicked 19 points as Jaguares maintained their Super Rugby mastery of Golden Lions in Argentina with a 49-35 triumph Saturday after a 11-try fest.

The Buenos Aires result completed a disastrous weekend for South African teams on the road in round 6 with Northern Bulls and Coastal Sharks crashing in Australasia.

After 12-point home wins over 2016 and 2017 runners-up the Lions in the past two seasons, Jaguares shook off a poor start this year that included a 20-point drubbing at the Lions to win impressively. 

The South Americans were ahead within 45 seconds through a Bautista Delguy try, led 25-14 at half-time and responded swiftly when the Lions twice closed the gap to four points. 


Jaguares 49

Tries: Ortega Desio 2, Ezcurra, Boffelli 2, Delguy

Cons: Sanchez 5

Pens: Sanchez 3

Lions 35

Tries: Marx 2, Erasmus, Mahuza, Orie 

Cons: Jantjies

Pens: 0