Super Rugby
Round 11 talking points and video highlights
Brittany Mitchell and Sam Bruce
April 27, 2015
Chiefs 35-27 Force (Australia only)

The Hurricanes made easy work of the Reds to retain their top-of-the-table status, while the Chiefs and Waratahs defied hard competition to remain in the winning circle by virtue of great running rugby. Elsewhere, the Crusaders got back on the horse, while the Lions maintained their winning form and the Stormers regained the lead in South Africa. What did you make of Super Rugby round 11?

Chiefs 35-27 Force

The Force copped their ninth straight defeat, but they produced some of their best rugby this season to stick it to the Chiefs even after they were reduced to just 14 men. They opened the Chiefs' defence early to score the opening try, and produced some great running rugby, particularly in the second half after going to the sheds 13 points down, to earn a four-try bonus point. But their poor discipline proved costly as the Chiefs backline's poor handling and silly mistakes prevented the hosts from securing a runaway win. The Chiefs scored four tries, but newest fly-half Marty McKenzie, replacing Aaron Cruden, kicked the hosts to victory with his three penalties.

Brumbies 31-18 Highlanders

Brumbies 31-18 Highlanders (Australia only)

David Pocock had never scored a try for the Brumbies, but how he changed that stat with a first-half hat-trick from three rolling mauls as the hosts went to the sheds at half-time with their strongest lead of the season as they sought a win after three losses in four matches. The Highlanders, meanwhile, were left to the lament the omission of Ben Smith, Aaron Smith and Malakai Fekitoa due to mandatory rest-breaks. A half-time spray from coach Jamie Joseph turned the Highlanders around, and they came out firing after the break scoring two quick tries, but the lead proved too great to reel in and they slipped to a first loss in four weeks.

Waratahs 18-16 Rebels

Waratahs 18-16 Rebels (Australia only)

A fighting Rebels side pushed the Waratahs to the limit with a converted try minutes from full-time, reducing the margin to two points, but the defending champions held strong despite nervy moments in the four minutes of time added on. The Tahs got off to a flyer with Michael Hooper and Adam Ashley-Cooper scoring two early tries, but their poor discipline, conceding seven penalties, was punished by Rebels fly-half Jack Debreczeni. The Tahs dominated possession and territory and should have made easy work of the Rebels, especially with their big hitters Tatafu Polota-Nau, Jacques Potgieter and Will Skelton hammering through the defensive line, but a resilient Rebels side kept on coming until the final minute.

Crusaders 29-15 Blues

Crusaders 29-15 Blues (Australia only)

The Crusaders snapped a two-match losing run to stay in touch with the Hurricanes, Highlanders and Chiefs in the New Zealand conference, their victory built on a solid platform up front that allowed the Crusaders' star-studded backline to work its magic after a couple of disappointing outings. Winger Nemani Nadolo enjoyed a powerhouse game out wide while Ryan Crotty proved effective in midfield. The Blues got themselves back into the match after falling 14-0 down, but couldn't quite match the Crusaders and slipped to their ninth loss in 10 games this season. The win moved the Crusaders to ninth on the overall standings, just three points adrift of the sixth-placed Highlanders.

Lions 34-29 Cheetahs

Lions 34-29 Cheetahs (Australia only)

The Lions and Cheetahs played out an eight-try classic at Ellis Park with the hosts extending their winning run to five matches. A free-flowing spectacle went some way to restoring faith in the game in South Africa following a number of dour, forward-dominated encounters this season, with both sides keen to use width of the field. Trailing 10-7 at the break, the Lions burst out of the blocks upon the resumption with two tries in three minutes. But the Cheetahs hit back with a quick-fire double of their own to lock it up at 24-all with 18 minutes to play. The hosts finished the stronger however with Faf de Klerk grabbing the decisive five-pointer after fly-half Elton Jantjies had kicked a penalty just a few a couple of minutes prior.

Stormers 15-13 Bulls

Stormers 15-13 Bulls (Australia only)

The Stormers thundered their way to the top of the South African conference with a hard-fought two-point win over previous leaders, the Bulls. The Lions-Cheetahs clash had style, but the Newlands encounter was no less entertaining with the predicted brutality certainly coming to fruition. Bulls scrum-half Francois Hougaad set up the only try of match with a typically daring run; the No.9 putting flyer Bjorn Basson over out wide after drawing the fullback with a perfectly timed pass. But it wasn't enough for the visitors, with Stormers fly-half Demetri Catrakilis kicking five penalties. The Bulls had a late chance to snatch the match with Handre Pollard attempting a drop goal but Springboks powerhouse Duane Vermeulen showed off his class to charge down the kick and secure the win.

Reds 19-35 Hurricanes

Reds 19-35 Hurricanes (Australia only)

The Reds looked the goods early on when they took on the table toppers, with fancy footwork from Samu Kerevi creating two tries for the struggling side. But they began to fall off tackles, drop balls and give away penalties - conceding 12 penalties in all - while the Hurricanes clicked into gear to produce some of their classic broken-play tries, with TJ Perenara on the end of an impressive Conrad Smith break. The Reds stayed in the hunt throughout, before their cumulative mistakes and the loss of James O'Connor to a concussion ended their chances.

Samu Kerevi starred for the Reds but the Hurricanes proved too good © Getty Images
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