Moana Pasifika make history, as Crusaders climb to third

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The Brumbies survived a big effort from the Force for a 39-38 win in Perth to retain the competition lead, four points ahead of the Reds who beat the Waratahs 32-20 in Perth.


The Crusaders, one game down on the leaders, are in third place after their 34-19 win over the Chiefs in Hamilton.


The Blues, still two games down in the competition will play Moana Pasifika, who have three games to catch up, on Tuesday at Mt Smart Stadium.


Moana Pasifika 24 Hurricanes 19


Putting the most frustrating start suffered by any side in Super Rugby history behind them, Moana Pasifika celebrated in style with a golden point try to claim their win. Fittingly, it came from a turnover by replacement lock Joe Apikotoa. Flanker Solomone Funaki, the man who had earlier levelled the scores in regular time, moved the ball to replacement centre Danny Toala. He kicked to space, headed the defence to toe the ball on, and then got a favourable bounce to score an historic try. Five minutes into the game, a lineout provided the base for a set move that saw second five-eighths Peter Umaga-Jensen slip the shortest of passes to fullback Jordie Barrett running into the line, and into space, to score under the bar. After overcoming an early string of penalties, Moana Pasifika drove hard at the line, eventually providing a pass to No8 Henry Time-Stowers, whose turnover had started the sequence, standing off the ruck before driving over to level the scores. Umaga-Jensen's passing skill came to the fore again when turning the ball inside to wing Josh Moorby, who took a gap then out-paced the defence to score. Support play was demonstrated perfectly when Levi Aumua moved to the sideline to take a pass from wing Tima Fainga'anuku and then find clear space to run in at the corner. The Hurricanes came back when first five-eighths Aidan Morgan drew a marker to feed lock Caleb Delaney into a gap before providing prop Alex Fidow with the ball to score. Four minutes from time, and refusing to die, Moana Pasifika scored off a scrum move when Time-Stowers picked the ball out of the scrum to drive ahead. As the ball came clear, it was flicked to Funaki who levelled the scores forcing the game to its golden point.


Moana Pasifika 24 (Henry Time-Stowers, Solomone Funaki, Levi Aumua, Danny Toala tries; Christian Leali'ifano 2 con) Hurricanes 19 (Jordie Barrett, Josh Moorby, Alex Fidow tries; Jordie Barrett con; Ruben Love con). HT: 7-7



Rebels 42 Fijian Drua 27


Keeping ball tight in the forward exchanges, especially in mauling play, the Rebels scored two first-half tries to lock Matt Philip from a goal-line ruck while loose forward Jordan Uelese drove over from a lineout to help the Rebels to an 21-6 halftime lead. Eight minutes into the second half, Rebels second five-eighths Raymond Nu'u somehow found space, in the previously solid Drua defence, to run 30m to score. After losing fullback Reece Hodge to the sin-bin, the Drua scored their first of three tries in the final 14 minutes to replacement Kitione Salawa. Hooker Tevita Ikanivere racing down the sideline scored a second while the try of the night went to second five-eighths Kalaveti Ravouvou on an archetypal Fijian try. But it was all too late as prop Cabous Eloff and prop Cameron Orr scored tries to extend the lead en route to their first win of the season.


Rebels 42 (Matt Philip, Jordan Uelese, Raymond Nu'u, Cabous Eloff, Cameron Orr tries; Matt To'omua 4 con, 3 pen) Fijian Drua 27 (Kitione Salawa, Tevita Ikanivere, Kalaveti Ravouvou tries; Teti Tela 3 con, 2 pen). HT: 21-6



Force 38 Brumbies 39


Second five-eighths Len Ikitau demonstrated why the Brumbies are dominating the Australian leg of the competition. His first-quarter break from his own goal-line was a superb piece of work, splitting the defence and then racing to halfway before giving fullback Tom Banks the chance to let the afterburners loose. But soon after, in attempting to stop wing Tony Pulu scoring in the corner, Banks went high, clashed heads with Pulu, without wrapping his arms in an attempted tackle and was red-carded for his effort resulting in a penalty try for the Force. A piece of magic from wing Manasa Mataele down the sideline, allowed him to pass inside for centre Kyle Godwin to score. A chargedown of a Ryan Lonergan clearing kick was regathered by Force fullback Jake Strachan and he scored to get the score to 24-27 down at the turn. Mataele opened the second half with an outrageous intercept to run 70m to put the Force in front. Close-quarter tries were posted by Nick Frost while Muirhead picked up his third for the night. The Force got within a point off a set-piece play as Mataele charged over after coming into the midfield from his wing with 20 minutes left. But the Brumbies held firm and emerged with the win.


Force 38 (Penalty try; Kyle Godwin, Jake Strachan, Manasa Mataele 2 tries; Ian Prior 3 con, pen; Strachan pen). Brumbies 39 (Ryan Lonergan, Andy Muirhead 3, Tom Banks, Nick Frost tries; Lonergan 3 con, pen). HT: 24-27



Highlanders 25 Blues 32


Quelling the Highlanders' determination carried the Blues to their win in Dunedin. It seemed every time the Blues scored, and they touched down four times, the Highlanders lifted their motivation to almost immediately wipe out the advantage in the second half. Up 18-6 at half-time, the Blues found the second-half a worrying affair being outscored 19-14 with Highlanders' wing Sam Gilbert scoring twice and prop Daniel Lienert-Brown also getting over. But when they needed to, the Blues took their chances. First off it was wing Caleb Clarke, cutting back on the angle from a pass by second five-eighths Bryce Heem. First five-eighths Beauden Barrett positioned himself on the sideline from a five-metre scrum and although there was a mix-up at the base of the scrum, halfback Sam Nock managed to clear the ball to Barrett whose speed got him over. Then, No8 Hoskins Sotutu also used a cut-back line from a delayed pass by replacement five-eighths Steven Perofeta, to score a spectacular try. Perofeta completed the scoring when showing his speed off the mark to pierce the line to run through to score.


Highlanders 25 (Sam Gilbert 2, Daniel Lienert-Brown tries; Mitchell Hunt 2 pen, 2 con) Blues 32 (Caleb Clarke, Beauden Barrett, Hoskins Sotutu, Steven Perofeta tries; Barrett con, 2 pen; Perofeta 2 con). HT: 6-18



Chiefs 19 Crusaders 34


Everyone knew what was coming at Hamilton's FMG Stadium and the Crusaders didn't let anyone down. They absorbed all that the Chiefs could throw at them, and didn't make repeat the losing mistakes of their first encounter. It was only seven minutes before the southerners scored the first of their five tries, to No8 Cullen Grace, who marked his return to best form by charging through the defence to score. But Chiefs' centre Alex Nankiville took a low pass to run in a response try. An orthodox backline movement saw fullback Will Jordan free on the end to cross for the Crusaders. Just before halftime the Chiefs showed they could also score off a set lineout play and from a superb Quinn Tupaea pass Nankiville crossed for his second in wide open space. Heading towards the final quarter with three points between them at 15-12, replacement wing Sevu Reece broke the home spirit. Second five-eighths David Havili, celebrating his 100th game, burst onto the ball at speed to give Reece space and he ran it in from 50m out. Within minutes, centre Leicester Fainga'anuku burst over for another. It seemed the Chiefs were down and out but that man Nankiville ran rampant through the mid-field and passed to replacement halfback Cortez Ratima for the try. But hooker Codie Taylor had the final say scoring from a lineout maul to complete the redemption win.


Chiefs 19 (Alex Nankiville 2, Cortez Ratima tries; Bryn Gatland 2 con) Crusaders 34 (Cullen Grace, Will Jordan, Sevu Reece, Leicester Fainga'anuku, Codie Taylor tries; Richie Mo'unga 3 con, pen). HT: 12-15



Reds 32 Waratahs 20


Quality support play on the end of a backline movement, where inside balls were thrown close to the touchline to keep the ball alive, saw halfback Jack Grant flying through to take a bouncing ball to dive over for the opening try for the Waratahs. His opposite number, Test halfback Tate McDermott 20 minutes later tidied up a disintegrating lineout maul to run blind and corkscrew over the line to claim the lead for the Reds. The Reds lost prop Dane Zander to a red card for a high hit which preceded McDermott being yellow-carded for a deliberate knock down, leaving the Reds playing with 13. When restored to 15, the Reds scored as prop Taniela Tupou drove over beside the posts. Another goal-line melee effort saw flanker Fraser McReight follow up with another try which was followed almost immediately by an intercept to wing Jock Campbell that sealed the deal.


Reds 32 (Tate McDermott, Taniela Tupou, Fraser McReight, Jock Campbell tries; James O'Connor 2 con, 2 pen; Isaac Henry con) Waratahs 20 (Jack Grant, Tom Horton tries; Will Harrison con, pen; Tane Edmed con, pen). HT: 13-10



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