Vodafone Super Rugby wrap: Sharks stun Blues, Hurricanes ground Rebels

Super Rugby
by AAP & Staff Writer

It was another big weekend of Super Rugby, with some returns to earth and surprise victories across the weekend.

We've got you covered with all the highlights and details of every match in round seven.

Chiefs vs Highlanders

Damian McKenzie engineered two key tries, one on either side of half-time, to set up a 27-22 win for the Waikato Chiefs over the Otago Highlanders in a tight Super Rugby clash in Hamilton on Friday.

The lead changed five times with both sides scoring three tries.

For the Chiefs, back home after thrashing the Sunwolves in Tokyo, it improved their record to four wins from five matches while the Highlanders suffered their second loss after falling to the Wellington Hurricanes last weekend.


Chiefs 27

Tries:  Alaimalo, Harris, Wainui

Cons: McKenzie 3

Pens: McKenzie 2

Highlanders 22

Tries: Naholo, Li, Tomkinson

Cons: A. Smith 2

Pens: A. Smith

Rebels vs Hurricanes

The Hurricanes have ripped the collective heart out of the Rebels, scoring 42 unanswered points to keep the trans-Tasman losing streak alive with a brilliant 50-19 win.

While the Rebels have played some breathtaking rugby to start the season, they entered this match with one question mark hanging over their head.

Could they beat a New Zealand opponent?

Full match report here


Rebels 19 

Tries: Philip 

Cons: Debreczeni 

Pens: Debreczeni 4 

Hurricanes 50 

Tries: Lam 4, B Barrett, Evans, Laumape 

Cons: B Barrett 3 

Pens: B Barrett 3

Blues vs Sharks

The Sharks shrugged off a second-half fightback from the Blues to grab a 63-40 win in a turbo-charged Super Rugby match at Eden Park.

Coming off the bye, the Blues were comprehensively outplayed on Saturday, with poor tackling and an inability to secure quality ball allowing the Sharks to open out a 26-7 halftime lead.

The Aucklanders hit back in the second spell with three tries in the space of eight minutes but could find no answer to a masterful display from Sharks fly-half Robert du Preez.

The 24-year-old playmaker kicked flawlessly, nailing seven penalties and six conversions as well as scoring a try of his own to total 38 points for the match.


Blues 40

Tries: Collins, Ioane, Tuipulotu, Perofeta, Ioane, Moala

Cons: Perofeta 4, Gatland 

Sharks 63

Tries: Botha, du Preez 2, Mtembu, Van Wyk, Bosch

Cons: du Preez 6

Pens: du Preez 7 

Brumbies vs Waratahs 

The Waratahs will leave Canberra with a critical 24-17 victory over the Brumbies but a major injury headache, after Israel Folau failed to finish the game.

Folau went off with a hamstring injury just four minutes into the Canberra clash, in a major blow for the Waratahs, who have exploited Folau’s aerial skills in impressive fashion in recent weeks.

The superstar back could miss 3-4 weeks with the injury and any absence would be a setback for the Waratahs, who face the Sunwolves, Reds and Lions in the next three weeks.

Full match report here.


Brumbies 17

Tries: Taliauli

Pens: Hawera 3

Waratahs 24

Tries: Naiyaravoro 2

Cons: Foley

Pens: Foley 4

Bulls vs Stormers

Veteran hooker Adriaan Strauss scored a hat-trick of tries as the Bulls outmuscled an ill-disciplined Stormers team to seal a 33-23 victory in the South African Super Rugby derby at Loftus Stadium.

The Bulls snapped a four-game losing streak as Strauss led from the front in what was a South African record 149th appearance in the Southern Hemisphere club championship for the former Springboks captain.

Winger John-Ben Kotze and centre Jesse Kriel also crossed the line for the home side, while the Stormers, who played for 20 minutes with 14 players, scored through lock Jan de Klerk, centre Damian de Allende and flank Siya Kolisi.


Bulls 33

Tries: Strauss 3

Cons: Pollard 4 

Stormers 23

Tries: de Klerk, de Allenda, Kolisi

Cons: Willemse

Pens: Willemse 2

Lions vs Crusaders

Defending champions the Crusaders scored two tries within three minutes to defeat Golden Lions 14-8 in Johannesburg Sunday in a repeat of the 2017 Super Rugby final.

It was the match with the fewest points in the competition this season, but also one of the most gripping as two southern hemisphere rugby heavyweights slugged it out.

After trailing 5-0 by half-time at Ellis Park, the New Zealanders won the match through tries in quick succession by skipper Sam Whitelock and Jack Goodhue.

The lock and centre struck after 50 and 53 minutes and Mitchell Hunt converted both before a small Easter holiday crowd in the South African financial capital.

It was the fourth win in six outings for record eight-time champions Crusaders and took them joint top of the New Zealand conference with Wellington Hurricanes.


Lions 8

Tries: Tambwe

Pens: Jantjies

Crusaders 14

Tries: Goodhue

Cons: Whitelock

Pens: Hunt 2