Vodafone Super Rugby wrap: Crusaders notch record win, Lions blow out Jaguares

Super Rugby
AAP
by AAP

Round four of Super Rugby is done and dusted.

Missed any of the action? All the highlights and a round wrap right here.

Hurricanes vs Highlanders

Beauden Barrett kicked a penalty with time up on the clock to give the Hurricanes a 25-22 Super Rugby victory over the Highlanders in Wellington.

Winger Ben Lam had scored a 70th minute try that drew the home side level at 22-22 while centre Ngani Laumape continued his try-scoring spree, crossing twice in the first half to join the three he grabbed last week against the Brumbies.

Aaron Smith, Sio Tomkinson and Liam Coltman scored tries for the visitors, with Marty Banks slotting two conversions in swirling winds.

The Highlanders utilised their big pack to great effect, forcing the Hurricanes into a battle of attrition and not allowing the home side to get any momentum, and that physicality paid off on 11 minutes when they put pressure on the Hurricanes scrum and Smith was able to open the scoring after he forced a turnover from Ardie Savea.

Despite their territory and possession advantage the Hurricanes were frustrated by the Highlanders defence and it took until the 27th minute before Laumape scored his first try after TJ Perenara and lock Liam Mitchell created some space.

Josh Ioane gave the Highlanders an 8-7 lead with a 32nd minute penalty before a poor clearance by Ioane allowed Barrett to put an attacking kick into space which Laumape was able to run onto and give his side a 14-8 lead at the break.

In the second half, Barrett missed a long-range penalty before he gifted Tomkinson with an intercept in the 51st minute and the centre crossed to give his side a 15-14 lead.

Coltman extended the lead when the Highlanders were able to set up driving mauls, one of which ended in the hooker smashing over with 20 minutes remaining.

Lam managed to level the scores at 22-22 with nine minutes remaining and while Barret was unable to land the sideline conversion, he held his nerve after the fulltime hooter to slot the penalty that gave them a third victory from four starts.

RESULT

Hurricanes 25

Tries: Laumape 2, Lam

Cons: B Barrett 2

Pens: B Barrett

Highlanders 22

Tries: B Smith, Tomkinson, Coltman

Cons: Banks 2

Pens: Ioane

REBELS vs BRUMBIES


The Rebels will head to Africa with a 3-0 record after a comeback 29-26 win over the Brumbies.

Down by 16 points at half-time on Friday night the Rebels scored four tries to one in the second half to take the lead for the first time in the 70th minute and hang on for the win.

Coach Dave Wessels had plenty of praise for his side's resilience to fight back after having two men in the bin and trailing by so much by the time the break came.

"That's a huge growth for our team because I think in the past those sort of things would have totally thrown us but we just got connected pretty early and the guys talked about it and we solved those problems as they came up which was good."

RESULT

Rebels

Tries: Maddocks 2, Koroibete, Genia

Cons: Cooper 3

Pens: Cooper

Yellow Cards: Coleman (30'), Gibbon (39')

Brumbies

Tries: Speight, Faingaa, Penalty, Valetini

Cons: Lealiifano 2 

Crusaders vs Chiefs

 The Crusaders scored a record 57-28 win over the Chiefs, sending a strong warning they won't easily be denied their third-straight Super Rugby title.

The Christchurch champions left several top players on the bench or out of the squad but still won on Saturday by nine tries to four, posting their highest score against the Chiefs.

The Chiefs scored two tries in the last eight minutes, through Anton Lienert-Brown and Mitchell Brown, to avoid their largest losing margin against the Crusaders.

Fullback Will Jordan scored two tries and All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor, off the bench, also claimed a double. Other tries went to wingers Braydon Ennor and Sevu Reece, props Andrew Makalio and Michael Alaalatoa and replacement scrumhalf Bryn Hall.

The win extends the Crusaders' unbeaten start to the season to four games and leaves the Chiefs winless.

It wasn't the magnitude of the win but how it was achieved that would reverberate around Super Rugby.

The Crusaders were expected to have been a little off their game with several untested combinations and a number of players on debut, but they didn't miss a beat.

RESULT

Crusaders 57

Tries: Jordan 2, Taylor 2, Ennor, Reece, Makalio, Alaalatoa, Hall

Cons: Mounga 5, Cameron 

Chiefs 28

Tries: Seu, Nanai-Seturo, Debreczeni, Brown

Cons: McKenzie 3, Debreczeni 

Blues vs Sunwolves

Winger Rieko Ioane has become the 18th player to score a record-equalling four tries in a Super Rugby match, taking the Blues to their first win of the season against the Sunwolves in Auckland.

The home side held on for a 28-20 victory on Saturday, as they marked last week's death of former prop Mike Tamoaieta with his player number 276 stitched onto the front of their jerseys.

The Sunwolves had won their first match away from home last week against the Chiefs and never let the Blues get too far ahead, but were hampered by second-half yellow cards to fullback Semisi Masirewa and replacement hooker Nathan Vella.

The Blues hadn't scored a try this season until Ioane touched down for his first in the 20th minute. He had a double by halftime when the Blues led 15-13 and bagged two more five-pointers.

The Sunwolves were strongly competitive and scored through Uwe Helu to cut the lead to five points.

A late penalty to Otere Black sealed the Blues' win.

Flyhalf Rikiya Matsuda scored a try, slotted two penalties and converted both his own and replacement lock Uwe Helu's second half try for the Japanese outfit at North Harbour Stadium.

RESULT

Blues 28

Tries: R Ioane 4

Cons: Plummer

Pens: Plummer, Black

Sunwolves 20

Tries: Matsuda, Hela

Cons: Matsuda 2

Pens: Matsuda 2

Waratahs vs Reds

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson praised his team developing brand of “toughness” after grinding Queensland down to a tenth straight defeat.

In front of 15,861 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Tahs extended the Reds’ misery in the equally historic grudge match by pushing away late in a dour victory.

The Reds were their own worst enemies for most of the night but somehow were still in the game with 15 minutes left, trailing only 21-17 after a Sefa Naivalu try

Read the full match report here.

RESULT

Waratahs 28

Tries: Hanigan, Rona, Newsome

Cons: Foley 2

Pens: Foley 3

Reds 17

Tries: Kerevi, Feauai-Sautia, Naivalu

Cons: Hegarty

LIONS vs JAGUARES

Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies became the fifth player to score 1,000 Super Rugby points by contributing 17 to a 47-39 victory over the Jaguares in Johannesburg Saturday.

The Springbok joins New Zealanders Dan Carter (1,708 points) and Beauden Barrett (1,118), South African Morne Steyn (1,431) and Australian Stirling Mortlock (1,036) in the exclusive club.

He reached 1,000 points after 17 minutes from his first goal-kicking opportunity of the round 4 encounter, successfully converting the first try of the match by Rhyno Herbst.

Jantjies scored the second try and slotted six of seven conversion attempts to finish the match on 1,015 points.

It was also a memorable match for Super Rugby run-on debutant Wandisile Simelane, who scored one of the Lions' seven tries and was voted man of the match.

The Argentines were facing a hiding when they trailed 47-13 on 51 minutes, but fought back to score four tries and miss out by just one point on a losing bonus point.

RESULT

Lions 47

Tries: Skosan 2, Herbst, Jantjies, Smith, Simelane, Schoeman

Cons: Jantjies 6

Jaguares  39 

Tries: Montoya 2, Moyano, Baldunciel, Moroni, Tuculet

Cons: Diaz Bonilla, Cruz Mallia

Pens: Diaz Bonilla

Bulls vs Sharks

The Bulls went to the top of Super Rugby's South African conference as talismanic flyhalf Handre Pollard led his side to a comprehensive 37-14 victory over the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

The Springbok pivot was again key to the Bulls' success on Saturday with his clever passing setting up tries and his boot adding 22 points in a comprehensive victory in the last game of week four action.

The Bulls have now beaten their three South African rivals - the Stormers, Lions and Sharks - in the first month of the new season with their only blemish coming away in Buenos Aires against the Jaguars.

The Pretoria side were 19-0 ahead at half-time after Pollard produced a defensive-splitting flat pass, delivered with perfect timing, to set away his backline for a 20th minute try, which was finished off by Jesse Kriel.

Pollard also added the conversion plus four penalties before the break as the hosts kept up a high tempo and forced their visitors into costly errors.

RESULT

Bulls 37

Tries: Speckman 2, Kriel

Cons: Pollard 2

Pens: Pollard 5

Drop: Pollard

Sharks 14

Tries: Ward, du Preez

Cons: du Preez 2