Super Rugby
Round 10 talking points and video highlights
Brittany Mitchell and Sam Bruce
April 20, 2015
James O'Connor was back to his attacking best against the Cheetahs © Getty Images

Queensland Reds sang from the hills after securing James O'Connor's signature late last year, and the former Wallabies utility finally delivered for the franchise with a brilliant display against the Cheetahs.

The Reds winger set up both of the visitors' tries in an effort that will likely catch the attention of Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. Wearing his Waratahs hat for the time being, Cheika will also have been thrilled with his side's victory over the previously unbeaten Hurricanes in Wellington. The five-point win was easily their best performance of the season with winger Peter Betham particularly impressive in just his second start for the year.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs showed their title credentials with an impressive victory over the Crusaders, while the Bulls moved into second on the log with an ugly win over the sliding Sharks in Durban.

Read on for a full report on all the Round 10 games and watch video highlights of each match!

Crusaders 9-26 Chiefs

Crusaders 9-26 Chiefs (Australia only)

The once proud champions were delivered another harsh blow when they fell to a second loss at home in two weeks, their first back-to-back losses at home since 2004, and slipped to fourth in the New Zealand conference table. The Crusaders boast some of New Zealand's finest players, but they were a shambles as they were pulled apart easily by a classy Chiefs side. Outplayed and outclassed, the Crusaders struggled to make any ground against an almost unbreakable Chiefs defence, while their big-hitting winger, Nemani Nadolo, failed to make any impact. The Chiefs, however, crashed over for three tries and were unlucky to miss out on a fourth as they powered over the Crusaders in all areas; Sam Cane a clear winner in his No.7 battle with All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw.

Hurricanes 24-29 Waratahs

Hurricanes 24-29 Waratahs (Australia only)

The Hurricanes' unbeaten run finally came to an end after the Waratahs produced their finest performance of the season to halt the hosts' streak in Wellington. Coming off the back of a poor loss to the Stormers at home, the Waratahs needed to turn their season around and they came out firing with big men Will Skelton and Wycliff Palu leading the way with some massive hits. Peter Betham made the most of his time on the field, the winger proving a fine replacement for Taqele Naiyaravoro as he crossed for a double. The Canes equaled the Tahs' four tries, but they just couldn't match the visitors' physicality as the hard hits began to take their toll; missed opportunities - including an absolute howler from Ardie Savea - proved the difference in the see-sawing affair.

Highlanders 30-24 Blues

Highlanders 30-24 Blues (Australia only)

The Highlanders squandered a 24-point lead before pulling off a close victory over the struggling Blues. Earning their sixth win from seven matches, the Highlanders continue to move up the New Zealand conference table; but a poor second-half showing will not have impressed coach Jamie Joseph. The Blues, meanwhile, were left to rue a pointless opening half, but a strong fightback and four-try bonus point at least gave coach John Kirwan something to be smile about. In a major worry for Highlanders coach Joseph, the hosts secured just 25% possession in the second stanza as the Blues scored some impressive tries. Poor accuracy with the boot from Dan Bowden and silly first-half decisions were just too much to overcome.

Brumbies 8-13 Rebels

Brumbies 8-13 Rebels (Australia only)

The poor weather did nothing for the Brumbies as they fell to back-to-back losses while the Rebels celebrated their first win in Canberra. The Rebels came out firing with a simple territory-based game plan, and it certainly worked with the Brumbies struggling to make any headway as the visitors gained an early lead and managed to maintain it for the following 60 minutes. Nic Stirzaker and Jack Debrezceni were huge for the visitors as they made several darts through the Brumbies' defence, while Colby Fainga'a and Sean McMahon were superb at the tackle. David Pocock's performance was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise bleak night for the Brumbies; the former Wallabies skipper has been in devastating form over the last couple of weeks.

Force 6-15 Stormers

Force 6-13 Stormers (Australia only)

The Stormers are in an excellent position to make a run for the semi-finals having wrapped up their Australasian tour with a second straight win. Saturday night's workmanlike win over the Force has moved them into the top six, and the Cape Town side are perfectly placed for a tilt at the post-season with five of their final seven games at Newlands. Their nine-point triumph in Perth was again built on robust defence, as they were made to make 32 more tackles than the struggling Force. No.8 Nizaam Carr was everywhere in defence, the back-rower making a game-high 18 tackles to inspire his fellow forwards. It was another disappointing night for the Force, and Michael Foley's side have now dropped eight straight since their season-opening win over the Waratahs. The home side managed just five clean breaks despite securing 56% possession.

Cheetahs 17-18 Reds

Cheetahs 17-18 Reds (Australia only)

James O'Connor was hailed as the Reds' attacking saviour after signing over the off-season, and the talented utility finally delivered on that promise with a stirring performance against the Cheetahs. The former Force and Rebels star was a worthy Man of the Match in Bloemfontein, having set up both of the visitors' tries with a couple of pieces of wonderful individual skill. O'Connor first made the break that led to a try for impressive young forward Adam Korczuk before he produced a sensational round-the-corner pass to put Samu Kerevi over. Despite O'Connor's brilliance, the Reds still needed a late Nick Frisby drop goal and had to watch helplessly as a last-minute Cheetahs penalty hit the post before they could secure their first win since round two.

Sharks 10-17 Bulls

Sharks 10-17 Bulls (Australia only)

The Bulls confirmed their status as the team to beat in South Africa with a grinding seven-point win over the Sharks in Durban. The visitors were too strong for the out-of-form Sharks in a match that never really hit any great attacking heights but physicality was not in short supply. A first-half try to Springboks flyer Francois Hougaard and 12 points from the boot of young playmaker Handre Pollard was all the Bulls needed while the Sharks had just a Marcell Coetzee try - his fifth of the season - and five points from the boot of Fred Zeilinga to show for their efforts as they struggled to get their hands on the pill. The hosts managed just the one clean break in a testament to the Bulls' rugged defence and the attacking struggles of the Durban side.

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