Vodafone Super Rugby wrap: Crusaders notch record win, Stormers stun Lions

Super Rugby
AFP
by AFP

Round two of Super Rugby is in the books and it was a week that certainly threw up some surprises.

The Brumbies were the most emphatic of the Aussies with a 54-17 win over the Chiefs while the Stormers surprised the Lions in Cape Town.

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Highlanders vs Reds

An emotional Reds outfit have fallen just short of an upset against the Highlanders, going down 36-31 in Dunedin after conceding a lead late in the match.

In a courageous tribute to his family, Wallabies lock Izack Rodda took the field just two days after the death of his father.

The loss was a bitter pill for the Reds, who were banded together to play for Rodda and his family.

The towering lock was one of the Reds' best and led their revival after scoring a second-half try that helped the visitors claw back to within five points after the Highlanders looked as though they could run away with the game early in the second half.

Read the full match report here.

RESULT

Highlanders 36

Tries: Frizell 2, Thompson, B Smith, Hunt

Cons: Ioane 4

Pens: Ioane

Reds 31

Tries: Feauai-Sautia, Sorovi, Rodda, Fotuaika

Cons: Hegarty 3, Stewart

Pens: Hegarty

Sunwolves vs Waratahs

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson lamented his side's mounting turnover tally after they escaped from Tokyo with a 31-30 win over the Sunwolves.

NSW had notched half-centuries in their past three encounters against the Sunwolves but there was no such rampage on Saturday afternoon in Tokyo.

Leading by one point with four minutes to go, the Waratahs were forced onto the defensive amid a Sunwolves' attacking charge as the hosts attempted to snatch an unlikely victory.

Read the full match report here.

RESULT

Sunwolves 30

Tries: van den Heever 2, Rowe

Cons: Parker 2

Pens: Parker 3

Yellow card: Thompson (63’)

Waratahs 31

Tries: Folau 2, Beale, Dempsey, Penalty

Cons: Foley 2

Crusaders vs Hurricanes

The Canterbury Crusaders juggernaut stormed to a record 17th consecutive victory with a 38-22 demolition of the Wellington Hurricanes in their Super Rugby clash in Christchurch on Saturday.

The defending champions scored six tries to three and held an impressive 24-0 lead at half-time in the largely one-sided encounter with the score distorted by two late Hurricanes tries when the result was beyond doubt.

For most of the game the Crusaders feasted on stolen lineout ball, Matt Todd dominated the breakdown, and their All Blacks-laden Crusaders pack kept the Hurricanes eight under constant pressure.

Todd, the Crusaders skipper, said the dominant first half was the making of the game.

"We came out with the attitude to attack and we scored some good tries which was pleasing. The second half got a bit messy," he said.

The Crusaders haven't been beaten since back-to-back losses away to the Hurricanes and Otago Highlanders a year ago and have overtaken the previous record of 16 wins set by the Crusaders of 2005-06.

They also extended their impressive home run to 21 matches without defeat in three years.

Two of the Crusaders tries to Scott Barrett came when they departed from their renowned lineout drive and used a new tactic of peeling off to move play infield.

"Obviously teams know we like to drive so we have to have variations off that and it's always nice when stuff you work on at training comes off on game day," Todd said.

Hurricanes skipper Dane Coles described it as "a good, old-fashioned lesson in how to play Super Rugby. They've set the benchmark."

RESULT

Crusaders 38

Tries: Barrett 2, Mounga 2, Taufua, Bridge

Cons: Mounga 3, Hunt

Hurricanes 22

Tries: Lam 2, Goosen, Perenara

Cons: J Barrett

Brumbies vs Chiefs

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar couldn't fault his side's 54-17 win over the Chiefs on Saturday but they won't be getting carried away with the big round two victory.

Saturday's win was a performance that Brumbies fans had to wait almost the entire Super Rugby season to see last year with a seamless mix of spectacular attack and efficient set piece.

Two of their tries were from driving mauls and another from the back of a scrum but it was the electricity of a Chance Peni double and a Tom Banks score that really showed the evolution of this Brumbies side.

Full match report here.

RESULT

Brumbies 54

Tries: Peni 2, Kuridrani 2, Banks, McCaffrey, Faingaa, Mann-Rea

Cons: Lealiifano 5, Hawera 2

Chiefs 17

Tries: Moeakiola, Taukei'aho

Cons: McKenzie

Pens: McKenzie

Sharks vs Blues

Curwin Bosch scored a late try to seal a 26-7 bonus-point victory for the Coastal Sharks over the Auckland Blues in Durban as they maintained a

perfect start to the season.  

The Springbok utility back intercepted a pass and darted from his own half to touch down between the posts and fly-half Robert du Preez kicked his third conversion of the match.

Full-back Aphelele Fassi, hooker Armand van der Merwe and Du Preez scored first-half tries as the dominant Sharks established a 19-0 half-time advantage at Kings Park stadium.

The Blues were a much improved side in the second half only to be denied a try on 55 minutes when the television match official spotted obstruction by flanker Dalton Papalii.

However, the New Zealanders were deservedly rewarded soon after when a long skip pass from fly-half Otere Black sent replacement back Tanielu Tele'a over in the corner.

Black converted from the touchline to leave 12 points between the teams and Sharks supporters must have feared a constantly-retreating home team could be overtaken.

Those concerns were heightened 12 minutes from time when Sharks lock Ruan Botha was yellow-card for a cynical maul infringement.

However, the South Africans held firm with 14 men until Bosch put the outcome beyond doubt.

RESULT

Sharks 26

Tries: Fassi, Van der Merwe, du Preez, Bosch

Cons: du Preez

Blues 7

Tries: Telea

Cons: Black

Stormers vs Lions

Western Stormers snatched a dramatic post-siren 19-17 Super Rugby victory over Golden Lions Saturday to put a nightmare start to the season last weekend behind them.

Substitute scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies darted over for a try after a five-metre scrum on 85 minutes and winger SP Marais converted at Newlands stadium.

Victory was a massive relief for the Stormers after a 37-point thrashing away to the Northern Bulls in another South African derby last Saturday.

Despite it being only the second weekend of the season, the media had billed the match as a "make-or-break" affair for the Cape Town outfit.

It seemed the Stormers would come up short as they fell behind after only six minutes when flanker Kwagga Smith scored a try and trailed for the next 79 minutes.

RESULT

Stormers 19

Tries: Jantjies

Cons: Marais

Pens: Marais 4

Lions 17

Tries: Smith, Whiteley,

Cons: Jantjies 2

Pens: Jantjies

Jaguares vs Bulls


The Jaguares have won their first match of the 2019 season after beating the Bulls 27-12 in Argentina.

After going down to the Lions in round one, the Jaguares stepped up against the visiting Pretoria side to clinch an ultimately comfortable victory.

The South Americans kept the visitors tryless in the win with only four Handre Pollard penalties keeping the Bulls' score sheet ticking over.

RESULT

Jaguares 27

Tries: Orlando, Bruni, Delguy

Cons: Diaz Bonilla 3

Pens: Diaz Bonilla 2

Bulls 12

Pens: Pollard 4