New Zealand teams dominate Super Round

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Only the Brumbies, who beat the Highlanders 28-17, won among the Australian sides.

The Blues had a physical scrap to claim a bonus point in subduing the Fijian Drua 35-18 to remain on top of the competition one point ahead of the Brumbies.

The Crusaders overcame a frustrating first half to swamp the Rebels 42-17 to retain third place.

Round 10 results were:

 

Chiefs 51 Waratahs 27

Indiscipline and injuries, two of them to the Waratahs' hookers, meant the last 35 minutes of the game were played with uncontested scrums. Two minutes into the game, Waratahs prop Angus Bell was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Chiefs flanker and captain Sam Cane. It took eight minutes, but the Chiefs used their maul to see Cane provide hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho with the opening try. Then second five-eighths Jamie Roberts was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock down of the ball. Facing 13 men, the Chiefs ran in two tries on the left flank, the first to wing Jonah Lowe, and the second to second five-eighths Quinn Tupaea. At 3-22 down, the Waratahs benefited from lock Jed Holloway's mid-field break to set up halfback Jake Gordon for his first try. Prop Aidan Ross created a similar break to see the ball through the line for Tupaea to score his second. Flanker Charlie Gamble provided wing Alex Newsome with a chance to show his speed to run in the Waratahs' second. Gordon took an intercept from Gatland to run 80m for his second to close the margin to eight points. But moments later, Lowe picked off his intercept, from Roberts' pass, for his second. He scored two more, his fourth following a kick-through by replacement halfback Xavier Roe.

Chiefs 51 (Samisoni Taukei'aho, Jonah Lowe 4, Quinn Tupaea 2 tries; Bryn Gatland 5 con, 2 pen) Waratahs 27 (Jake Gordon 2, Alex Newsome tries; Will Harrison 3 con, 2 pen). HT: 30-17

Moana Pasifika v Western Force – Postponed

 

Blues 35 Fijian Drua 18

Superior defence, in the face of some dazzling Fijian skills, ensured the Blues a bonus-point win. Lock Sam Darry, who stepped up with an outstanding effort, put in 20 tackles, backed by 16 to No8 Hoskins Sotutu, while replacement flanker Anton Segner put in 12 tackles, and a game-saving turnover in the last minute, to highlight his contribution. Wing AJ Lam scored two tries, the second from a set-piece lineout play off an inside pass from first five-eighths Beauden Barrett, which allowed Lam to showcase his sidestep en route to the goalline. The midfield combination of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and centre Rieko Ioane had a big defensive shift, putting in 12 tackles each while Ioane pulled off the side's second intercept try at a vital stage of the second half. The Drua surprised no one with their ball-in-hand skills, and the physical commitment they brought to the game. They also attempted to break the Blues' defence with well-placed grubber, and chip kicks, the first leading to a stunning try for hooker Mesulame Dolokoto. But, in the end, the careful Blues approach, and their patience, paid off.

Blues 35 (AJ Lam 2, Sam Darry, Marsel Renata, Rieko Ioane tries; Beauden Barrett 5 con) Fijian Drua 18 (Mesulame Dolokoto, Onisi Ratave tries; Simione Kuruvoli con, 2 pen). HT: 21-10

Hurricanes 30 Reds 17

Undeterred by being 17 points down, the Hurricanes revealed their fighting spirit to run in four tries against a Reds side who failed to score another point.

The Reds scored first when centre Hunter Paisami broke through in the midfield to link with prop Taniela Tupou who fed second five-eighths Hamish Stewart in for the try. Losing centre Bailyn Sullivan to the sin-bin earlier had not been costly, but when prop Pouri Rakete-Stones was despatched for 10 minutes for head contact in a tackle, Reds flanker Fraser McReight got over from a lineout for the Reds to claim their 17-point lead. Sullivan made up for his rest when picking up an attempted Julian Savea intercept that bounced backwards to run 60m to open the Hurricanes scoring. Just before halftime prop Tyrell Lomax's try pulled them closer to turn 14-17 down. Lomax got another almost from the second half restart, then with 10 minutes to go replacement first-five Jackson Garden-Bachop slipped a kick to the in-goal where Sullivan won the race for his second try.

Hurricanes 30 (Bailyn Sullivan 2, Tyrell Lomax 2 tries; Jordie Barrett 2 con, 2 pen) Reds 17 (Hamish Stewart, Fraser McReight tries; Lawson Creighton 2 con, pen). HT: 14-17

Highlanders 17 Brumbies 28

Overcoming the Highlanders' dominance of ruck possession 94-64 and having to make 151 tackles to 106, the Brumbies made better choices to achieve the first Australian win over a New Zealand team. First-quarter strength also paid off for them, leaving the Highlanders to chase the game, when flanker Jahrome Brown powered his way across for the opening try after 10 minutes while a lineout drive producing the second for hooker Lachlan Lonergan. Five minutes before the turn, the Highlanders' forward drive set up a chance for first five-eighths Marty Banks to give centre Thomas Umaga-Jensen a sniff for the line that he took to score. Eight minutes into the second half, the Highlanders scored a second courtesy of some clever work by halfback Folau Fakatava to put his captain and flanker James Lentjes over. Penalty goals kept the Highlanders in the hunt and with 13 minutes left they were six points behind. Umaga-Jensen's power in midfield looked to have created a scoring chance when he took a gap, then kicked to the corner where wing Sam Gilbert was denied only by the smallest of TMO margins from scoring. And, almost inevitably, the Brumbies got back downfield and scored through first five-eighths Noah Lolesio to seal the win.

Highlanders 17 (Thomas Umaga-Jensen, James Lentjes tries; Marty Banks 2 con, pen) Brumbies 28 (Jahrome Brown, Lachlan Lonergan, Noah Lolesio tries; Lolesio 2 con, 3 pen). HT:  7-17

Crusaders 42 Rebels 17

Two third-quarter tries to flanker Ethan Blackadder created the scoring buffer the Crusaders needed after a frustrating first half in which they led only 7-3 from a converted try to No8 Cullen Grace, against the home-town Rebels. But using plenty of movement of the ball, the Crusaders took control, carrying the ball for 726 metres to 217 while also beating 33 defenders to six. They made twice as many passes as the Rebels, and 11 clean breaks to one, but the figure that represented the first half especially was the 15 turnovers they conceded to 16 by the home team. The loose trio were outstanding with flanker Pablo Matera running 99 metres, while Blackadder ran 66 and Grace 38. Replacements at halfback Bryn Hall and prop Tamaiti Williams made an impact with their tries while it was left to wing Leicester Fainga'anuku, who ran 107 metres, to seal the bonus point advantage that lifted the Crusaders to third place.

Crusaders 42 (Cullen Grace, Ethan Blackadder 2, Tamaiti Williams, Bryn Hall, Leicester Fainga'anuku tries; Richie Mo'unga 5 con; Fergus Burke con) Rebels 17 (Reece Hodge, Matt Philip tries; Reece Hodge 2 con, pen). HT: 7-3

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