Super Rugby Review - Week Four

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The Crusaders lead the New Zealand Conference with 14 points, three behind the Stormers, and one ahead of the Chiefs.


The Brumbies head the Australian Conference with 13 points, six ahead of the second-placed Reds.


Crusaders 33 Highlanders 13


The Highlanders were all hustle at the start of the game but the Crusaders demonstrated their mastery at absorbing the pressure to score the first try when hooker Codie Taylor was on hand to take a short pass from wing George Bridge. Soon after it was centre Braydon Ennor crashing through weak tackles from forwards in the defensive line to score. Momentary respite came with fullback Michael Collins scoring for the visitors, but that merely produced a response from the Crusaders with Bridge scoring. A better Highlanders' third quarter denied the Crusaders but in the home stretch replacement loose forward Sione Havili's try put the issue beyond doubt.


Crusaders 33 (Codie Taylor, Braydon Ennor, George Bridge, Sione Havili tries; David Havili con, Bryn Hall 2 con, Mitch Drummond con) Highlanders 13 (Michael Collins, Jona Nareki tries; Josh Ioane pen). HT: 26-8



Rebels 24 Sharks 36


Just how much first five-eighths Curwin Bosch is part of his side's approach was clear when he returned from South Africa to lead the side to a comfortable win in Ballarat over the Rebels. Having had the only dent in their touring record a week earlier against the Hurricanes, they dominated the game from the outset, in spite of wing Makazole Mapimpi's early try being matched by wing Marika Koroibete for the home team. The Sharks scored through wing Madosh Tambwe, the result of a long Bosch pass, to turn up 22-10. A strong home third quarter was contained by the Sharks defence before a double sin-binning allowed a home try to No 8 Isi Naisarani to close the margin. But the Rebels couldn't build on that as Mapimpi scored and then handed the ball over the goal-line to Bosch for the Sharks' final try of the game.


Rebels 24 (Marikia Koroibete, Isi Naisarani, Anaru Rangi tries; Andrew Deegan 3 con, pen) Sharks 36 (Makazole Mapimpi 2, Andre Esterhuizen, Madosh Tambwe, Curwin Bosch tries; Bosch 4 con, pen). HT: 10-22



Chiefs 14 Brumbies 26


Stung by their late loss to the Highlanders a week earlier, the Brumbies demonstrated their intent from the outset against the Chiefs in Hamilton, and it was an attitude the home side were never able to contain. What made the Brumbies' effort more compelling was that in achieving their win they ended a 13-game losing streak in New Zealand that stretched back to March 2014. It was also a win that was not reliant on the driving lineout maul that has been so prevalent for the side. They moved the ball with fullback Tom Banks and right wing Solomone Kata scoring the first two tries. A rampaging flanker Pete Samu added two more with hard-running efforts later in the game. A hint of a home revival flickered in the third quarter with two quick tries but they were eventually snuffled out by the determination of the Brumbies' defence.


Chiefs 14 (Aaron Cruden, Anton Lienert-Brown tries; Damian McKenzie 2 con) Brumbies 26 (Tom Banks, Solomone Kata, Pete Samu 2 tries; Noah Lolesio 3 con). HT: 0-19



Reds 64 Sunwolves 5


Frustrated by their loss a week earlier in Buenos Aires, the Reds celebrated their first game at home by running up 64 points against the Sunwolves. Three tries in the first 12 minutes set the tone for the side who went to halftime leading 36-0, a situation helped after Sunwolves midfield back Ben Te'o was sin-binned eight minutes out from the break. Until the substitutions started to be made in the second half, the Reds carried on in a relentless procession that was only temporarily halted with Siosaia Fifita scoring for the Sunwolves with 15 minutes remaining. The Reds struggled to hold their shape when the substitutions were made but took a welcome boost from their win.


Reds 64 (Liam Wright, Taniela Tupou, Hunter Paisami, Tom McDermott (2), Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, James O'Connor, Hamish Stewart, Josh Nasser, Isaac Lucas tries; Jock Campbell 7 con) Sunwolves 5 (Siosaia Fifita try). HT: 36-0



Stormers 17 Jaguares 7


For 67 minutes of their win at Newlands, the Stormers looked on target to prevent three of the four teams they have played from from scoring, but the Jaguares managed to score when No 8 Rodrigo Bruni finally got over the line. But it wasn't enough to deny the home team who are the only unbeaten side in the competition courtesy of their win. It wasn't the most scintillating game with the Stormers scrum strength negated by outstanding Jaguares defence in the first half, the only scoring being a penalty goal to the home team. But seven minutes into the second half halfback Herschel Jantjies picked up a loose ball and raced to the line to score. Soon after centre Ruhan Nel found space after a lineout on the 22m line to score the second and give the Stormers the breathing space to claim the win.


Stormers 17 (Herschel Jantjies, Ruhan Nel tries; Damian Willemse 2 con, pen) Jaguares 7 (Rodrigo Bruni try; Domingo Miotti con). HT: 3-0



Bulls 21 Blues 23


Discipline proved a vital factor in this contest, the home team offending in areas that gave tactical advantage to the Blues. At one stage in the first half, the Bulls were down to 13 men with Burger Odendaal and Andries Ferrerira in the sin-bin together. The Blues capitalised with a try to wing Mark Telea in that period but when halfback Jonathan Ruru was sin-binned just before halftime, the Bulls reclaimed the lead. It was when No 8 Hoskins Sotutu was in the bin that the Bulls scored their last try to claim a 21-20 lead. However, the Bulls were caught offside in midfield and first five-eighths Otere Black landed the winning penalty goal, this after his earlier precision with a cross-kick taken by replacement wing Matt Duffie which resulted in a try for fullback Stephen Perofeta.


Bulls 21 (Morne Steyn, Jeandre Rudolphe tries; Mani Libbok con; Morne Steyn 3 pen) Blues 23 (Mark Telea, Tom Robinson, Stephen Perofeta tries; Otere Black con, 2 pen). HT: 11-8



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