Super Rugby: Round Three Round Up

Smiling assassin: Israel Folau scored a double as the Waratahs defeated the Reds to go top of the Super Rugby table.

Smiling Assassin: Israel Folau scored a double as the Waratahs defeated the Reds
to go to the top of the Super Rugby table

by Brendan Bradford –

With two bonus-point wins, the Waratahs sit atop the competition table on ten points with the Sharks one point back, the Chiefs and Lions on eight and the Highlanders on six. The Rebels round out the top six after their impressive win over the Cheetahs while the Force, Crusaders and Hurricanes are winless from two matches.


Twenty-year-old flyhalf Simon Hickey scored 15-points as the Blues upset the Crusaders on Friday.

Twenty-year-old flyhalf Simon Hickey scored 15-points as the Blues upset the Crusaders on Friday


The Blues produced a point-scoring blitz for their come from behind 35-24 upset over the Crusaders at Eden Park on Friday night.

Down 17-3 courtesy of tries to Corey Flynn and Colin Slade, the Blues were staring down the barrel of an eighth straight loss, but five-pointers to wingers Frank Halai and Tevita Li in the shadow of halftime narrowed the gap to two at the break.

Centre George Moala scored immediately after the restart to give the Blues their first lead before Jackson Willison pounced on a clever Piri Weepu grubber to extend the advantage as 20-year-old flyhalf Simon Hickey kicked seven from eight for his 15-point haul.

A late Ryan Crotty try was little consolation for the Crusaders who have now lost two from two and don’t even have a bonus point for the efforts.



The Rebels entertained in a 35-14 win over the Cheetahs in the Melbourne side’s first game of the season.

Lachlan Mitchell opened the scoring for the Rebels before captain Scott Higginbotham improvised a chip kick from an attacking penalty to set up Jason Woodward in the right corner. Luke Burgess, in his first Super Rugby game since leaving the Waratahs in 2011, scored the home-side’s third try for a 17-0 lead at the break.

The attack-minded Cheetahs hit back through Jean Cook and it was game on when Rebels flanker Scott Fuglistaller was sin-binned. Undeterred, his teammates pushed on and former All Black Tamati Ellison set up Bryce Hegarty for the bonus point try.

The TMO confirmed a Ryno Barnes try to narrow the gap to ten with as many minutes to play but a drop-goal and penalty from replacement Angus Roberts secured a first-up win before Higginbotham finished off the job with a try after the siren.



Stormers back Jaco Taute checks the scoreboard as the clock runs down at Newlands.

Stormers back Jaco Taute checks the scoreboard as the clock runs down at Newlands

The line-out had been an issue all game for the Stormers but an attacking throw in the dying minutes allowed Deon Fourie to maul over the line and secure a 19-18 win over the Hurricanes.

After a shattering loss to the Lions last weekend, the Stormers dominated the opening stanza but couldn’t capitalise on any try-scoring opportunities, instead settling for a couple of Dimitri Catrakilis penalties. The Canes on the other hand made the most of their limited chances with excellent team tries to wingers Julian Savea and Corey Jane to take a 12-6 lead into the break.

Catrakilis and Barrett traded penalties throughout the second half and a valuable away win looked likely for the Wellingtonians, but a 75th minute penalty set up the line-out for a rolling maul and Stormers’ fly-half Catrakilis added the extras for the win.

The Hurricanes kept the ball under control magnificently for almost two minutes after the final siren as they worked their way into Stormers territory but an errant Beauden Barrett pass led to a knock-on and the one point loss.



Two time champion Chiefs left it late to beat a resurgent Highlanders side at Waikato Stadium on Saturday night, eventually coming away with a 21-19 victory.

On the wrong side of the referee, the Chiefs conceded three Lima Sopoaga penalties and a John Hardie try in response to Tim Nanai-Williams’ early five-pointer to go into the sheds 16-7 behind.

The Chiefs were spurred on by sniping runs from halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow, whose intriguing showdown with incumbent All Blacks number nine Aaron Smith provided some food for thought for the Test selectors ahead of the England tour in June.

Liam Messam rumbled over the line to reduce the arrears as the Chiefs piled on the pressure but couldn’t crack the line as Sopoaga added another penalty for a 19-14 lead heading into the last quarter.

The breaking point came after young flanker Liam Squires darted down the left flank and Aaron Cruden chipped across field to set up Charlie Ngatai in the right corner. Cruden calmly landed the conversion from the sideline for a 21-19 victory.



The Waratahs ended a three year losing record to their Northern rivals with a punishing 32-5 win at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Saturday night. Israel Folau scored a first half double while winger Peter Betham and Kurtley Beale chimed in for a second consecutive bonus point win.

Read  the Rugby News match report here:



Brumbies winger Henry Speight takes on Nick Cummins.

Brumbies winger Henry Speight takes on Nick Cummins

The Brumbies weren’t troubled in a 27-14 over the Force in Perth but will rue a second-half fade out that allowed the home-side two late tries at let a potentially huge score and a valuable bonus point slip away.

Tries to Scott Fardy, Jesse Mogg and Robbie Coleman virtually put the game to bed after 22-minutes as Nic White landed all three conversions and a penalty for a 24-0 halftime advantage.

The Brumbies could only add a penalty in the second stanza while Jayden Hayward and Ben McCalman scored late tries for the Force.

The Brumbies’ first win of the season may have come at a cost as Pat McCabe was taken to hospital in a neck brace at halftime and David Pocock limped from the pitch with a knee complaint in the second half. Western Force forward Hugh McMeniman was also stretchered from the field in the first half with a neck injury.



The Bulls earned their first win of 2014 with a hard fought 25-17 defeat of the Lions in wet conditions in Pretoria.

Two early Jacques-Louis Potgieter penalties put the Bulls out to a 6-0 lead before a charge down from the kick-off allowed Stefan Watermeyer to score for the Lions who went into the match on the back of wins over the Cheetahs and Stormers.

Jan Serfontein finished off a two-on-one for the home-side’s first try before a Potgieter drop goal and penalty gave the Bulls a 19-10 halftime lead.

Potgieter added two more penalties in the second half and Willie Wepener scored the Lions’ second try with three minutes to play, but it was too little, too late and the visitors suffered their first loss of the season.

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