Chiefs march on, Brumbies stay unbeaten

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The Brumbies, the only unbeaten team in the competition, sit on 22 points, four ahead of the Reds who they beat 16-12 on Friday.


The Crusaders are the highest-placed New Zealand side with a share of third on 15 points, while the Chiefs, after their 59-12 win over Moana Pasifika, have moved up to fifth place.


Details from round five were:


Highlanders v Moana Pasifika postponed


Brumbies 16 Reds 12


Brumbies' power triumphed over the Reds in Canberra on Friday. They were outscored one try to two, but made the most of Reds' indiscipline within goal-kicking distance. In another demonstration of his class' Reds' first five-eighths James O'Connor registered the first try, wafting through the gap off a goalline ruck to score by selling defenders a big dummy to score beneath the posts. The Brumbies replied from second five-eighths Irae Simone's side-of-the-foot nudge of the ball into space behind the defence allowing wing Tom Wright to win the race to the touchdown. Up 10-7 at halftime, the Brumbies then fell behind when Reds hooker Josh Nasser got a pass from flanker Seru Uru to score in the corner. Replacement back Ryan Lonergan added a handy penalty goal to keep the pressure on the Reds who had the Brumbies under pressure when the final whistle went.


Brumbies 16 (Tom Wright try; Noah Lolesio con, pen; Nic White pen; Ryan Lonergan pen) Reds 12 (James O'Connor, Josh Nasser tries; O'Connor con). HT: 10-7



Fijian Drua 18 Western Force 20


Former Hurricanes lock Jeremy Thrush knows plenty about lineout mauls and he engineered one and got into position to score the Force's opening try at Leichardt Oval near the end of the first quarter. But flying left wing Vinaya Habosi responded with a try for the Drua on the end of a backline movement. Just before halftime the Drua were denied another try by the TMO for a goalmouth knock on. But, with a Force player still in the sin-bin after halftime his teammates managed to score a try from a goal-line ruck as blindside flanker Fergus Lee-Warner drove over the line in a tackle. However, there was an immediate response from the Fijians when second five-eighths Kalaveti Ravouvou received the ball from a failed kick to touch. He broke the line and ran 50 metres to be grounded just short of the line, but still managing to slip a pass to halfback Frank Lomani, who scored beside the posts. A penalty goal to first five-eighths Teti Tela 25 minutes from time gave the Drua an 18-17 lead, only for the Drua to be denied four minutes into injury time by a penalty goal landed by Force second five-eighths Bayley Kuenzle.


Fijian Drua 18 (Vinaya Habosi, Frank Lomani tries; Teti Tela con, 2 pen) Western Force 20 (Jeremy Thrush, Fergus Lee-Warner tries; Ian Prior 2 con, pen; Bayley Kuenzle pen). HT: 8-10



Crusaders v Blues postponed


Moana Pasifika 12 Chiefs 59


Odds were always against Moana Pasifika in only their second game of the competition, their first at home, and against a reduced, but in-form, Chiefs combination at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium. The nine tries to two loss was a harsh lesson for the competition newcomers. The need for discipline could not have been more clearly defined than the 14-4 penalty count against them. The pressure applied by the Chiefs in the loose where flankers Hamilton Burr and Tupou Vaa'i, and No8 Pita Gus Sowakula, were backed by prop Ollie Norris and hooker Bradley Slater, was clear from the kicks to touch Moana Pasifika were required to make resulting in the Chiefs dominating the lineouts 15-5. The continuity of the makeshift Chiefs backline was also impressive and symptomatic of the confidence the squad now carries into games. Yet, there were encouraging signs for the Moana Pasifika side that if they could maintain possession and improve the penalty count, they are not without hopes of salvaging something from the most difficult of beginnings at Super Rugby level.


Moana Pasifika 12 (Neria Fomai, Joe Apikotoa tries; Christian Leali'ifano con) Chiefs 59 (Tupou Vaa'i, Hamilton Burr, Brad Weber, Bryn Gatland, Jonah Lowe, Alex Nankiville, Pita Gus Sowakula, Emoni Narawa, Tyrone Thompson tries; Bryn Gatland 3 con; Josh Ioane 4 con). HT: 7-19



Waratahs 24 Rebels 19


Second five-eighths Lalaki Foketi gave the Waratahs early impetus when crunching through the Rebels' defensive line, pushing off another defender and scoring from 35 metres out. More pressure on the Rebels' defence was provided as the Waratahs continued to run onto the ball at speed, and it was No8 Will Harris who crossed for their second try 20 minutes into the game. Wing Alex Newsome capped punishment for the Rebels losing replacement hooker Efi Ma'afu to the sin-bin. From the penalty kick to the corner, the Waratahs mauled the ball to the line before it was released wide and while Newsome tripped himself up, he had enough momentum to get over the line. Rebels first five-eighths Matt To'omua landed four penalty goals to keep the Rebels adjacent. A mauling try to Rebels' prop Cabous Eloff kept the last 15 minutes alive without changing the scoreline. Consecutive wins were achieved by the Waratahs for the first time since 2020.


Waratahs 24 (Lalaki Foketi, Will Harris, Alex Newsome tries; Will Harrison 3 con, pen) Rebels 19 (Cabous Eloff try; Matt To'omua 4 pen; Carter Gordon con). HT: 14-6



Hurricanes v Chiefs postponed


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