Hurricanes embarrass Chiefs
May 24, 2014
Ged Robinson scores for the Highlanders © Getty Images
The Chiefs crashed to a humbling 45-8 defeat to the Hurricanes in Wellington.
The dismantling by their fellow New Zealand outfit saw the Chiefs slide to seventh in the table, one place behind their conquerors who have played an additional match.
The Hurricanes scored six tries to one in the trouncing of their visitors, who are chasing a third successive title in this competition. All Blacks wing Julian Savea scored two of the tries, with the others going to Andre Taylor, Ben Franks, Jack Lam and Brad Shields. The Chiefs mustered one through Liam Squire.
The Western Force ensured they remained very much in the Super Rugby play-off picture thanks to a 29-19 win over the Lions in Perth.
Two tries from skipper Matt Hodgson plus further scores from Jayden Hayward and Chris Tuatara-Morrison ensured the Force sit in a wild card spot. Elton Jantjies scored the only try for the South Africans with Marnitz Boshoff booting 14 points.
The Crusaders edged a fantastic all-New Zealand clash 32-30 against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday.
The Highlanders thought they had won it in the last play of the game but the TMO Vinny Munro deemed Patrick Osborne's foot to have been in touch the exact moment he dotted the ball down. It was a cruel end to a fantastic game of rugby.
With both teams crossing for four tries each, the accuracy of Colin Slade's boot proved to be the narrow difference between the franchises. The game was closely contested throughout and it was the Crusaders who scored first through Jordan Taufua with their other tries coming from Tim Perry, Nepo Laulala and Nemani Nadolo.
For the Highlanders Ged Robinson, Osborne, Malakai Fekitoa and Ben Smith went over but it was Slade's tally of 12 points against Lima Sapoaga and Hayden Parker's five apiece that proved to be the difference.
Waratahs' Brendan McKibben dives over the whitewash for the sixth of his side's tries © Getty Images
The Bulls posted a precious bonus-point victory over the Brumbies at Loftus Versfeld to keep their Super Rugby play-off hopes alive.
Blindside Jono Ross led the assault with a brace of tries as the Australian franchise were put to the sword in Pretoria, losing 44-23. Centre Jan Serfontein and wing Bjorn Basson also crossed for the Bulls, who completed a third successive victory and their sixth win in 13 outings this season.
Scrum-half Jacques-Louis Potgieter finished with 22 points after landing six penalties and two conversions. Substitute Handre Pollard also weighed in with a conversion. The Brumbies played with plenty of attacking intent and scored three tries of their own through wing Henry Speight, Top 14-bound back row Ben Mowen and centre Tevita Kuridrani.
The Waratahs notched up six tries as they comfortably dispatched Melbourne Rebels 41-19 at AAMI Park.
The bonus-point win moves the Tahs to the top of the Australian conference and second in the overall Super Rugby standings, although that position looks precarious with the Brumbies still to play later on Friday.
The Tahs ran in half a dozen tries via six different players, with Rob Horne, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Michael Hooper, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau and Brendan McKibbin all grabbing a place on the scoresheet. The Rebels managed just one try of their own, via Telusa Veainu.
The Rebels could have been on the receiving end of an even more severe thrashing had the Tahs' brought their kicking boots, with poor kicking from Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale preventing the visitors from pulling away further. But two tries in final ten minutes secured the Tahs a convincing victory.
The winning machine that is the Sharks rumbles on after the South African outfit overcame the Blues 29-23 in a gritty Super Rugby encounter.
The Sharks lost two men to the sin bin but clung on to win in determined fashion. Their style might not endear them to many neutral fans, but the Sharks' brand of solid rugby has seen them take 10 wins from 13 matches this season.
The Blues matched the visitors in the try-scoring stakes, with Luke Braid and Tevita Li crossing for the home side. Bismarck du Plessis and Jacobus Reinach touched down for the Sharks, but it was the boot of Frans Steyn that proved deadly for the league leaders.
Steyn and Jannie du Plessis were both shown yellow cards but the Blues could not capitalise on their extra-man advantages, leaving the Sharks to celebrate a win in New Zealand for the second week in a row.
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