Vodafone Super Rugby wrap: Sunwolves stun Bulls, Chiefs flog Highlanders

Super Rugby
by RUGBY.com.au staff

Another cracking round of Super Rugby wrapped up overnight with upsets, spectacular tries and thrilling finishes to boot.

How did all of the results fall?

Blues vs Reds

In a week where the officiating surrounding the Israel Folau suspension has taken centre stage, refereeing has again become the focal point as the Reds fell to the Blues at Eden Park.

Queensland were never a sniff after the game was turned on its head by referee Egon Seconds and TMO Ben Skeen in the 23rd and 25th minute - Jordan Petaia and Taniela Tupou shown cards for a lifting and no shoulder tackle, respectively.

By the book both cards could be justified but they would have enraged fans given the special treatment provided to Jerome Kaino in his farewell at Eden Park.

He escaped punishment for two tackles in the first half which will no doubt come under the microscope of the citing commissioner.

The first - a no arms cleanout on Scott Higginbotham in the opening minutes - was replayed on the Sky Sports host broadcast and on the big screen at Eden Park but Skeen declined to intervene.

The second - a high shot on Hamish Stewart - followed cards to Petaia and Tupou which must have had Reds fans baying for blood.

By the letter of the law Petaia's lifting tackle in the 22nd minute was worthy of a card as he did cross the horizontal plane - even if there was very little force involved - but Tupou can consider himself very stiff as he did try to use his arms.

Those two cards came within two minutes of each other after the two sides had traded penalties in the opening quarter and in the ten minutes that followed, Rieko Ioane and Matt Moulds crossed to open up a 21-6 half time lead.

The Reds didn't really fire a shot in the second half, falling 39-16.

Read the full match report here.


Blues 39

Tries: Nanai, Ioane, Moulds, Perofeta, Clarke

Cons: Perofeta

Pens: Perofeta 3, Gatland

Reds 16

Tries: Paiaaua, Mafi

Pens: Lance 2

Rebels vs Waratahs

A 72nd-minute Bernard Foley intercept try has handed the Waratahs a 31-26 win over the Rebels, and stretched their Australian conference lead.

Friday night’s encounter was a complete turnaround from the last meeting between the two teams, where the Rebels petered out in a dismal second half, with Melbourne bringing all the energy for much of the second half.

The Waratahs held a seven-point half-time lead, but Melbourne wore that down and Reece Hodge penalties helped them edge their way to an advantage as the game ticked on, leading by as many as nine points.

A Ned Hanigan try cut that margin back to just two points, before Foley snatched an unlikely intercept that was ultimately enough to snatch the win and keep the Australian conference lead in the Waratahs' hands.

The Rebels had a final chance to attack, with two penalties in their attacking zone, but a knock-on put it back in the Waratahs' hands before yet another Melbourne penalty gave them on very last chance, but it was ultimately too late.

Read the full match report here.


Rebels 26

Tries: D Haylett-Petty, Ruru

Cons: Hodge 2

Pens: Hodge 4

Yellow Cards: Meakes (16’)

Waratahs 31

Tries: Naiyaravoro, Miler, Hanigan, Foley

Cons: Foley 4

Pens: Foley

Highlanders vs Chiefs

The Chiefs have turned on some Pacific-style razzle-dazzle in a 45-22 win over the Highlanders in their Super Rugby match in Suva.

In an extraordinary first half on Saturday, the Chiefs scored six tries to lead 42-0 at halftime before the tables turned.

They conceded four and were held tryless while playing into a blustery wind in the second spell in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Fiji's ANZ Stadium.

The result leaves both teams with 9-5 win-loss records and sitting third and fourth in the overall standings, with the Chiefs one point ahead courtesy of a bonus point.

Fijian-born All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo, a focal point for much of the build-up, limped off late with a leg injury, which will concern the New Zealand selectors.

Former All Blacks loose forward Liam Messam was the game's dominant figure, with the 34-year-old turning back the clock as the Chiefs took early control in masterful style.


Highlanders 22

Tries: Walden 2, Seiuli, Frizell

Cons: Sopoaga


Chiefs 45

Tries: Alaimalo, Pulu 2, Tuinukuafe, Jacobson, Wainui

Cons: McKenzie 6

Pens: McKenzie

Brumbies vs Hurricanes

The Brumbies have snapped a 13-game losing streak against Kiwi opposition with a brilliant 24-12 win over the Hurricanes.

The home side caused constant concern for the heavy favourites when they had ball in hand, led by some sharp work from Joe Powell around the breakdown and several slicing runs from Tom Banks.

That pair, along with fellow Wallabies squad member Folau Faingaa, were clearly craving some football having not featured in June - as all three were influential in a match in which the Brumbies went toe-to-toe with the Canes in every facet of play.

They ran the ball from all parts, tweaked their attack when it became apparent the visitors were insisting with frenetic line speed and were duly rewarded with overlaps they managed to expose.

The second half scrummaging was immense, lineout on point and defensive work stout enough to force errors the Hurricanes do not typically make.

The only sore point was an apparent shoulder injury to Wallabies prop Scott Sio in the 15th minute.

Read the full match report here.


Brumbies 24

Tries: Godwin, Faingaa, Arnold, Muirhead

Cons: Lealiifano, Lucas

Hurricanes 12

Tries: Perenara, Savea

Cons: Barrett

Sunwolves vs Bulls

The Sunwolves beat the Bulls 42-37 in a closely fought match, giving the Tokyo-based side a third win this season.

With both sides struggling in the steamy humidity, Sunwolves pulled ahead early on with two tries but were quickly caught.

After the Bulls scored off second half penalties, Sunwolves dug deep with a series of tries that were converted by Hayden Parker to win the match.


Sunwolves 42

Tries: Parker, Uchida, van dne Heever, Britz, Little, Warren-Vosayaco

Cons: Parker 6

Bulls 37

Tries: Kriel 2, Pollard, Van Vuuren

Cons: Pollard 4

Pens: Pollard 3

Sharks vs Lions

Lwazo Mvovo scored an intercept try to take the Sharks to a 31-24 victory over South African rivals the Lions and keep their hopes of a Super Rugby playoff place alive.

Replacement winger Mvovo raced clear to secure a vital four points for the Sharks on Saturday, who are now within nine of the Lions at the top of the South African Conference with a game in hand.

The Lions remained in pole position with 41 points from 15 games, but the defeat opened the door for Argentina's Jaguares to also hunt them down.


Sharks 31

Tries: du Preez, Esterhuizen, Mvovo

Cons: du Preez 2

Pens: du Preez 4

Lions 24

Tries: Combrink, Brink, Smith

Cons: Jantjies 3

Pens: Jantjies 

Jaguares vs Stormers

After losing five of their first seven matches, a remarkable turnaround by the Argentine outfit continued with a routine win having led 15-7 at half-time.

Matias Orlando scored 51 seconds into the second half to stretch the advantage and Stormers never looked like succeeding on the road for the first time this season. 

Jaguares are three points behind leaders Lions in the South African conference, but have two regular-season matches to play and the Johannesburg outfit only one.


Jaguares 25

Tries: Delguy, Petti Pagadizaval

Cons: Sanchez 2

Pens: Sanchez 2

Stormers 14

Tries: Notshe, Leyds

Cons: du Plessis