Highlanders 20 Sharks 42
It's all very well having the facility that provides perfect enclosed playing conditions but when the opposition comes equipped with the sort of speed and firepower the Sharks enjoyed, life can get difficult. Wing Makazole Mapimpi and exciting fullback Aphelele Fassi cut merry swathes through stretched home defences in a memorable display that suggests the Sharks have set their sights high for the season. When that is backed by the sort of goal-kicking consistency first five-eighths Curwin Bosch brings it is a warning for all other sides. It didn't help that the Highlanders were a game behind having had the first round draw. As a consequence they looked to lack that extra edge the Sharks brought.
Highlanders 20 (Dillon Hunt, Jona Nareki, Michael Collins tries; Mitch Hunt con, pen) Sharks 42 (Makazole Mapimpi 2, Aphelele Fassi 2, James Venter tries; Curwin Bosch 4 con, 3 pen). HT: 3-27
Brumbies 39 Rebels 26
Clever handling and inter-passing demonstrated how much of a threat the Brumbies are shaping as two weeks into the competition. Playing on top of the ground and working at speed they played the Rebels out of the game in the first quarter with second five-eighths Irae Simone, fullback Tom Banks, flanker Tom Cusack and wing Solomone Kata all benefiting from touches of class, and adding their own, to score. Loose forward Angus Cottrell got a couple of tries back for the Rebels but that Brumbies hooker Folau Fainga'a proved his try scoring is not dependent on lineout mauls, when working the blindside off a lineout move to cross in the corner. The manner of Rebels fullback Dane Haylett-Petty's try will be of concern to the Brumbies minders, so easily did he splice the defence.
Brumbies 39 (Irae Simone, Tom Banks, Tom Cusack, Solomone Kata, Folau Fainga'a, Tom Wright tries; Noah Lolesio 3 con, dropped goal) Rebels 26 (Angus Cottrell 2, Dane Haylett-Petty, Frank Lomani tries; Matt Toomua con; Lomani 2 con). HT: 24-7
Chiefs 25 Crusaders 15
It seemed when a calmly-placed kick through from makeshift first five-eighths David Havili for wing Sevu Reece to score was followed in the 14th minute by a nicely-executed long, miss out pass between the same pair for a second try, that the Crusaders were back in business. However, speed on call ensures the Chiefs can never be counted and fullback Damian McKenzie, in his first outing of the year, demonstrated that in spades in setting up a chance that wing Solomon Alaimalo took. That speed was matched by solidity in defence for the remainder of the game, flanker Lachlan Boshier having a superb contest in the loose. In the second half, halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi darted over for a try to claim the lead. His replacement Brad Weber then showed his class with an outstanding offload to provide wing Sean Wainui with what proved the match-winning try.
Chiefs 25 (Solomon Alaimalo, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Sean Wainui tries; Aaron Cruden 2 con, 2 pen) Crusaders 15 (Sevu Reece 2 tries; David Havili con, pen). HT: 8-12
Waratahs 12 Blues 32
This was a result more significant than obvious at first glance. Apart from the fact it was the Blues' fifth consecutive win over the Waratahs, it was the first time in 25 years the Waratahs have failed to win both of their first games of a season. In reality, they rarely looked to be in a position to push for a win. The Blues' pack set the tone, never more when stifling the one good chance the Waratahs had at a scrum they called in front of the Blues goalposts. But the Blues powered their way to a penalty and cleared their line. With left wing Mark Telea scoring three tries, flanker Blake Gibson and centre Joe Marchant others, the Blues could feel well satisfied with a win achieved on foreign soil and in tricky conditions in the rain and wind at Newcastle.
Waratahs 12 (Lalakai Foketi, Mark Nawaqanitawase tries; Will Harrison con) Blues 32 (Mark Telea 3, Blake Gibson, Joe Marchant tries; Stephen Perofeta con, pen; Harry Plummer con). HT: 7-8
Lions 27 Reds 20
Needing to bounce back from their respective losses in the first round these two sides indulged in a back and forwards contest. The Reds' tight five dominated large parts of the game but a crucial yellow card offence denied them prop Taniela Tupou. That allowed the Lions to kick to the corner and then unleash their driving lineout maul to secure a key 17-13 lead at halftime. Yet another product of the speedy South African wing factory, Tyrone Green proved a key performer for the home side, scoring twice in the first half and denied a hat-trick only be superb defence early in the second. The Reds showed their own skills when halfback Tate McDermott and wing Jock Campbell featured in an inter-passing rush for a try while later in the game McDermott's snipe from the base of a ruck produced a second try.
Lions 27 (Tyrone Green 2, Marnus Schoeman, Courtnall Skosan tries; Elton Jantjies 2 con, pen) Reds 20 (Jock Campbell, Tate McDermott tries; Bryce Hegarty 2 con, 2 pen). HT: 17-13
Stormers 13 Bulls 0
Two games into the season and the Stormers are shaping as the toughest defence to break having won their first two games without a point scored against them. It was the Bulls who felt the heat, although given the stop-start nature of the game there was little chance for temperatures to soar. It took 35 minutes before the first try was scored, predictably coming from a lineout maul where hooker Scarra Ntubeni scored. Their second effort, scored by flying wing Seabelo Senatla was much sweeter in its execution, miss out passes and time offloads giving the speed merchant more than enough room to shut out the visiting defence to claim the try.
Stormers 13 (Scarra Ntubeni, Seabelo Senatla tries; Damian Willemse pen) Bulls 0. HT: 8-0
Jaguares 23 Hurricanes 26
Inspiring play from second five-eighths Ngani Laumape had its final reward with his angled run and pass setting up a match-winning try for replacement halfback Jamie Booth in Buenos Aires. Refusing to lie down against a Jaguares team that had looked assured for much of the game, the Hurricanes picked themselves up after being held scoreless by the Stormers last week in Cape Town. Backing Laumape's effort was fullback Jordie Barrett who opened his side's scoring with a booming 63m penalty goal. His boot kept the team in the hunt going to halftime 9-10 down. Marcos Kremer scored an outstanding first half try for the home team, running a superb angle while replacement hooker Agustin Creevy was able to claim a second half try. The latter was reciprocated by Hurricanes replacement hooker Alex Fidow, a try that gave the Hurricanes a sniff with which they secured the game.
Jaguares 23 (Marcos Kremer, Agustin Creevy tries; Domingo Miotti 2 con, 3 pen) Hurricanes 26 (Alex Fidow, Jamie Booth tries; Jordie Barrett 4 pen; Jackson Garden-Bachop con; Fletcher Smith con). HT: 10-9