The Sharks, who completed their Australasian tour with three wins and one loss, hold second place on 16 points while the Jaguares are third on 15, both still to have the bye.
Action from round five was:
Highlanders 22 Rebels 28
Like an Olympic sprinter the Rebels stormed out of the starting blocks to put a 21-0 lead on the home side in as many minutes. From that position the Highlanders were forced to chase the win yet again, but this time the desire and skill of the Rebels could not be denied. They were relentless in the pressure they created and allowed the Highlanders little time, if any, to settle and intercept passes were the inevitable outcome as the home team looked to probe. Visiting wing Andrew Kellaway benefited most in scoring two tries. Wing Josh McKay and halfback Aaron Smith kept the Highlanders in the game when pulling the margin back to 14-21 at the turn. But the home side were without their skipper James Lentjes who had to be stretchered from the field with a bad leg injury. By maintaining the pressure throughout the second half, the Rebels ensured there was no respite and they emerged deserved winners.
Highlanders 22 (Josh McKay, Aaron Smith, Scott Gregory tries; Josh Ioane 2 con, pen) Rebels 28 (Billy Meakes, Anaru Rangi, Andrew Kellaway 2 tries; Matt Toomua 4 con). HT: 14-21
Waratahs 29 Lions 17
From the outset it was clear the Waratahs were keen to end their losing streak and it took only three minutes for prop Angus Bell to score the opening try. Bell helped the Waratahs capitalise on lock Ruben Schoeman's time in the sin-bin by breaking the defence allowing flanker Lachlan Swinton to score. No 8 Jack Dempsey followed soon after. The Lions, back to full strength made the most of Swinton's absence, also on the sin-bin seat, to score a lineout drive try to flanker Marnus Schoeman. The third quarter was contested hard with the significant break coming for the home side when replacement James Ramm completed a wide-ranging try, and while Schoeman scored a second, it was replacement Tetara Faulkner who sealed the winning advantage with the last try.
Waratahs 29 (Angus Bell, Lachlan Swinton, Jack Dempsey, James Ramm, Tetara Faulkner tries; Will Harrison 2 con) Lions 17 (Marnus Schoeman 2 tries; Andries Coetzee con; Elton Jantjies con, pen). HT: 19-10
Hurricanes 62 Sunwolves 15
Coach Jason Holland was confident the lesser lights of the Hurricanes squad were champing at the bit for a chance of game action and they demonstrated that in a 10-try romp at Napier's McLean Park. That was never more evident than when wing Kobus van Wyk and fullback Chase Tiatia ran in five tries between them to lead the Sunwolves a merry dance. This was Hurricanes rugby par excellence and the Sunwolves were ill-equipped to cope with the onslaught. It didn't ease up in the second half. The Sunwolves had scored first, from a lineout move when lock Michael Stolberg crossed, and Siosaia Fifita showed good strength in scoring their second late in the game, but it was all inconsequential in the final outcome.
Hurricanes 62 (Kobus van Wyk 3, Chase Tiatia 2, Ben Lam, TJ Perenara, Gareth Evans, Ngani Laumape, Vince Aso tries; Fletcher Smith 5 con; Tiatia con) Sunwolves 15 (Michael Stolberg, Siosaia Fifita tries; Jumpei Ogura con, pen). HT: 28-10
Reds 23 Sharks 33
Unable to achieve the ball maintenance they wanted, the Sharks struggled to settle into their game and it was the Reds who took advantage to go to an 11-8 lead at the break. They scored when first five-eighths James O'Connor showed his class in putting wing Henry Speight in for a try. That was in response to a driving maul from the Sharks that saw hooker Kerron van Vuuren score. The third quarter proved a topsy-turvy affair with the lead changing hands, first as flanker Dylan Richardson muscled his way over the line for the Sharks and then halfback Tate McDermott responded for the Reds. Goal-kicker and first five-eighths Curwin Bosch nudged the Sharks in front with two penalty goals before centre Lukhanyo Am's intercept try secured the winning advantage, which was capped by the most spectacular try of the game for Madosh Tambwe.
Reds 23 (Henry Speight, Tate McDermott, Ed Craig tries; Jock Campbell con, 2 pen) Sharks 33 (Kerron van Vuuren, Dylan Richardson, Lukhanyo Am, Madosh Tambwe tries; Curwin Bosch 2 con, 3 pen). HT: 11-8
Stormers 14 Blues 33
Miss 35 tackles against the Blues, no matter who you are, and you will pay the price. That was the case for the Stormers who clearly under-estimated the New Zealanders who completed a rare unbeaten trip to the Republic after last week's last-minute win over the Bulls. Boosted by Stormers' offending, the Blues raced to a 20-0 lead and in spite of a Stormers fightback, they were never able to score enough points to put significant pressure on the Blues. Even with wing Mark Telea having a stint in the sin-bin, the Stormers couldn’t capitalise. On the right wing Joe Marchant picked up two tries and it was on the left flank that flanker Dalton Papalii picked up the side's third try.
Stormers 14 (Juarno Augustus, Sergeal Petersen tries; Damian Willemse 2 con) Blues 33 (Joe Marchant 2, Dalton Papalii tries; Otere Black 3 con, 4 pen). HT: 27-14
Bulls 24 Jaguares 39
Defence wasn't high on the order or priorities for either side as they chose to run the ball as often as they could. The Jaguares proved best at moving the ball, their first try coming after only five minutes when fullback Santiago Carreras's break gave wing Emiliano Boffelli the first of his two tries. But the Bulls struck back with flanker Marco van Staden scoring. However, failing to contain the Jaguares' lineout drive and No8 Rodrigo Bruni score. The Bulls hung in with fullback Warrick Gelant celebrating his 50th with a try. Consecutive tries to lock Guido Petti and Matias Moroni gave the Jaguares a 24-14 lead at halftime. Centre Johnny Kotze was sin-binned for a high tackle and the Jaguares scoring through Boffelli again. First five-eighths Joaquin diaz Bonilla was sin-binned for a tackle offence but the Bulls couldn't score and the game ended with replacement hooker Santiago Socino scoring to leave the Bulls the only winless side in the competition.
Bulls 24 (Marco van Staden, Warrick Gelant, Cornal Hendricks tries; Morne Steyn 3 con, pen) Jaguares 39 (Emiliano Boffelli 2, Rodrigo Bruni, Guido Petti, Matias Moroni, Santiago Socino tries; Joaquin diaz Bonilla 3 con, pen). HT: 14-24