Vodafone Super Rugby: Jaguares stun Bulls, Sharks blitz Lions

Super Rugby
by RUGBY.com.au staff

It wasn't quite a weekend of upsets in Super Rugby round eight but there were plenty of tight finishes.

The Jaguares and Sharks provided the biggest shocks of the weekend with wins away from home but they were far from the only enthralling matches.

Missed any of the action? Catch up with every game right here.

HIGHLANDERS vs HURRICANES


An Ardie Savea-inspired Wellington Hurricanes survived a late fightback to end Otago Highlanders' two-year home win streak Friday, while a yellow card for Stormers captain Siya Kolisi proved costly against the Queensland Reds.

Flanker Savea scored two of the Hurricanes' four tries in a 31-28 victory at Dunedin in a frantic match that went to the wire.

The Highlanders had three lineouts after the full-time siren but could not break through, slumping to their first loss at the Forsyth Barr Stadium since March 4, 2017.

The result in Dunedin gave the Hurricanes five wins from eight matches and skipper TJ Perenara said it restored confidence after a heavy defeat to Canterbury Crusaders last week.

"We played better footy and didn't make as many errors down their end of the field, which is something we did last week," he said. "We had to look at ourselves and take our opportunities and tonight we did."

RESULT

Highlanders 28

Tries: Frizell, Dixon, Hammington, Lentjes

Cons: Banks 4

Hurricanes 31

Tries: Savea 2, Perenara, Laumape

Cons: B Barrett 4

Pens: B Barrett

REDS vs STORMERS


Reds coach Brad Thorn will put his faith in an undermanned squad as Queensland attempt to break a four-year South African hoodoo.

The Reds have not won in South Africa since 2015 when they posted a one-point win against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein and their odds of overcoming that record dipped with news Thorn will leave his best young talent in Australia for junior Wallabies commitments.

Isaac Lucas, Jack Hardy, Fraser McReight and the uncapped Harry Wilson will remain in the southeast to prepare for Australia's Oceania under-20 campaign, with the Reds facing a major backline reshuffle after winger Filipo Daugunu broke his arm in Friday night's 24-12 win over the Stormers.

With captain and form player Samu Kerevi also facing a sideline stint under Rugby Australia's resting policy ahead of the World Cup, Thorn will look to others including Aidan Toua, Teti Tela and Jock Campbell, while Daugunu's injury could lead to Brothers outside back Seb Wileman snaring a spot on the plane on Sunday.

Read full match report here.

RESULT

Reds 24

Tries:  Kerevi, Paenga-Amosa, McDermott

Cons:  Hegarty 3

Pens: Hegarty

Stormers 12

Tries:  van Dyk, de Allende

Cons:  du Plessis

LIONS vs SHARKS


Winger Makazole Mapimpi scored two tries as the Sharks stunned South African rivals the Lions with an emphatic 42-5 Super Rugby victory at Ellis Park on Friday.

The visitors dominated every facet of the game, enjoying the greater share of possession and territory to move to the summit of the South African Conference with 21 points from seven matches.

Loose-forward Jacques Vermeulen, centre Lukhanyo Am, prop Thomas du Toit and replacement back Aphelele Fassi also crossed the tryline for the Sharks, who dominated possession in their first Super Rugby win at Ellis Park since 2014.

The Lions grabbed a consolation when replacement winger Sylvian Mahuza crossed for his side's first points a minute from the end, but their three-match winning run was brought to a shuddering, and unexpected, halt.

RESULT

Lions 5

Tries: Mahuza

Sharks 42

Tries: Mapimpi 2, Vermuelen, Am, du Toit, Fassi

Cons: Bosch 2, R du Preez

Pens: R du Preez, Bosch

CRUSADERS vs BRUMBIES


A ruthless 36-point second-half haul has seen the Crusaders continue the Brumbies’ decades-long drought in Christchurch.

Despite missing David Pocock and three other Wallabies, the Brumbies had the better of a hectic first half and led the Kiwi powerhouses 7-0 at halftime.

But after picking up two yellow-cards for high tackles, the Brumbies had to play with 14 men for 20 minutes in the second half and the Crusaders made them pay dearly.

The defending Super Rugby champions scored five tries after oranges and shut the door on any potential upset.

Read full match report here.

RESULT

Crusaders 36

Tries: Reece 2, Jordan 2, Taufua

Cons: Mounga 3, Cameron

Pens: Cameron

Brumbies 14

Tries: Lealiifano, Kuridrani

Cons: Lealiifano 2

BLUES vs WARATAHS


Daryl Gibson says the Waratahs are not playing to their potential after dropping their fourth game of the season in Auckland.

The Tahs' defeat and the Rebels' victory over the Sunwolves saw the Melbourne side extend their conference lead to seven points.

But still clinging to eighth spot on the Super Rugby ladder, the NSW coach views the fact they still haven't rolled out their A-game as a silver lining.

The Waratahs paid dearly for a slow start against the Blues at Eden Park, fighting back from a 17-0 deficit in the first 17 minutes to lose 32-29 at the final hooter.

Read full match report here.

RESULT

Blues 32

Tries: Robinson, Clarke, Faiane, Nonu

Cons: Black 3

Pens: Black

Waratahs

Tries: Folau, Miller, Newsome, Gordon

Cons: Foley 3

Pens: Foley

REBELS vs SUNWOLVES


Coach Dave Wessels has cautioned against getting carried away with the Rebels' early-season success, pointing to last year's dramatic collapse as reason for keeping a lid on the building excitement around a possible maiden Super Rugby finals campaign.

The Rebels opened a seven-point lead at the top of the Australian conference with fullback Reece Hodge scoring a hat-trick in their 42-15 bonus-point win over the Sunwolves.

The derby victory, as well as losses to the Brumbies and Waratahs on Saturday, puts the Rebels in a commanding position just short of the midpoint of their season.

Read full match report here.

RESULT

Rebels 42

Tries: Hodge 3, Meakes, Cooper, Genia

Cons: Cooper 6

Sunwolves 15

Tries: Semisi Masirewa 2

Cons: Hayden Parker

Pens: Parker

BULLS vs JAGUARES


Jaguares substitute Domingo Miotti made a dream Super Rugby debut on Saturday by scoring two late tries in a shock 22-20 victory over the 13-man Bulls in Pretoria.

The 22-year-old fly-half replaced Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias with the Buenos Aires outfit trailing by 10 points at Loftus Versfeld stadium.

He converted his 73rd-minute try to narrow the deficit to three points and scored again three minutes later although he failed to add the extra points.

It did not matter, though, as the Argentines held on for their first Super Rugby victory in Pretoria, which completed a double this season after a 27-12 triumph in Buenos Aires.

The Bulls were reduced to 13 men after two substitute forwards, flanker Tim Agaba and prop Conraad van Vuuren, were yellow carded during the final nine minutes.

Earlier, the Jaguares substitute prop Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro was sin-binned, but the Bulls were unable to take advantage as they scored and conceded three points during his absence. 

RESULT

Bulls 20

Tries: Stighling

Pens: Libbok 5

Jaguares 22

Tries: Miotti 2, Matera

Cons: Gonzalez Iglesias, Miotti

Pens: Gonzalez Iglesias