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Match Reports

FinalSuoer Rugby Champions 2012 Chiefs

Chiefs CHIEFS 37 - 6 SHARKSSharks

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - Saturday 4th August 2012
KO:
19:35 NZST/17:35 AEST/09:35 SAST/08:35 BST HT: 13-3

HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED MINUTE BY MINUTE...

Chiefs v Sharks Steve Walsh prepares to make a total hash of the SuperRugby Final 2012... rugby
Chiefs 0-0 Sharks 3mins All a bit messy to start with  ball going loose; Chiefs hand over early penalty on Sharks' 22
Chiefs 0-0 Sharks 4mins Sharks beautifully kick ball downfield & line out is 5m from Chiefs try line; Sharks 5m out...
Chiefs 0-0 Sharks 5mins Chiefs hand over penalty & Freddie Michalak tees up from in front of posts...
Chiefs 0-3 Sharks 6mins Simple penalty conversion for Freddie & Sharks draw first blood on scoreboard...
Chiefs 0-3 Sharks 8mins From midfield Tawera Kerr-Barlow kicks ball upfield but too far & taken for Patrick Lambie
Chiefs 0-3 Sharks 9mins Walsh has gentle word with his mates at Chiefs for stopping Sharks defending
Chiefs 0-3 Sharks12mins Chiefs take play up to Sharks' 22 but it Sharks who have the scrum...
Chiefs 0-3 Sharks 14mins Chiefs have possession but struggling to cross the 22 at all...Sharks defending well
Chiefs 0-3 Sharks 15mins Liam Messam passes back, intercepted by Lwazi Mvovo but he knocks it on - penalty Chiefs
Chiefs 0-3 Sharks 16mins Chiefs move quickly but hand over advantage to Sharks just as swiftly; no adv - penalty Sharks
Chiefs 0-3 Sharks 16mins After short timeout, it's scrum to Sharks just outside own 22...won & cleared...
Chiefs 0-3 Sharks 18mins Chiefs return high ball to midfield but Sharks take it back over Chiefs' 10m; Chiefs' line out
Chiefs 5-3 Sharks 19mins k/o from Lambie way back & Chiefs gather momentum over Sharks' 10m> 22> try Tim Nanai-Williams
Chiefs 7-3 Sharks 20mins Aaron Cruden converts try which began with chip thru from him
Chiefs 7-3 Sharks 23mins line out Sharks 22 & Chiefs on a roll again; Walsh plays adv & Nanai-Williams almost scores again
Chiefs 10-3 Sharks 24mins Ball escapes Nanai-Williams but penalty anyway so Cruden pops over another 3-pointer
Chiefs 10-3 Sharks 26mins Spectacular break from Paul Jordaan deep into Chiefs 22 bouncing off Chiefs en route...
Chiefs 10-3 Sharks 26mins Sadly no support & Chiefs collect while Jordaan is checked for injury where he fell 5m out
Chiefs 10-3 Sharks 27mins Cruden clears but Sharks attack again up to 22 b4 Chiefs t/o ball & clear by Robbie Robinson
Chiefs 10-3 Sharks 29mins Sharks line out in own territory & clear; ball kicked back & forth til Sharks line out in midfield
Chiefs 10-3 Sharks 30mins Sharks continue to alert Walsh to Chiefs consistently disrupting defence...he does nothing
Chiefs 10-3 Sharks 31mins Sharks line out on own 10m. Mahonri Schwalger elbows Jannie du Plessis in face>JdP pushes him back
Chiefs 13-3 Sharks 33mins In true Walsh fashion he overreacts & wrongly reverses penalty to Chiefs so Cruden can add 3 more
Chiefs 13-3 Sharks 35mins If you want to ruin game put Steve Walsh in charge...still can't believe he's allowed to ref!
Chiefs 13-3 Sharks 37mins Sharks riled & hand over penalty to Chiefs; Cruden takes punt at posts from H/W but nowhere near
Chiefs 13-3 Sharks 39mins Sharks line out on own 22 but lose it again; scrum Chiefs on Sharks' 22
Chiefs 13-3 Sharks HT T: Nanai-Williams C: Cruden P: Cruden (2) | P: Michalak

Chiefs 13-3 Sharks 40mins We're back with 2nd half & Chiefs quickly steal possession on Sharks' 22
Chiefs 13-3 Sharks 42mins Chiefs make it into 22 but Sharks manage to turn it over & Michalak clears...
Chiefs 13-3 Sharks 43mins Ball flies back & Chiefs back on Sharks' 22; ball run to just 5m out but k/o
Chiefs 13-3 Sharks 44mins Sharks scrum 10m from own try line; Michalak's clearance charged down & ball over dead ball zone
Chiefs 13-3 Sharks 45mins 5m scrum & Kane Thompson flies over T/L to score; but Walsh doesn't see it has to go to TMO
Chiefs 20-3 Sharks 45mins Whole world sees try plain as day - shame Walsh can't keep up. Try given & Cruden converts
Chiefs 20-3 Sharks 47mins Ben Tameifuna takes Ryan Kankowski's head off in illegal tackle; of course Walsh misses it.
Chiefs 20-3 Sharks 49mins Sharks t/o ball & head over H/W, over 10m & into 22 with t/o's both ways.
Chiefs 20-3 Sharks 51min Sharks forced back to 22 & Thompson t/o but Cruden clearance poor; penalty Shark & Freddie tees up
Chiefs 20-6 Sharks 51mins Freddie adds 3 & replacements prepare to come on...
Chiefs 20-6 Sharks 53mins Steven Sykes, Jean Deysel & Wiehahn Herbst on for Alberts, Jannie du Plessis & Kankowski
Chiefs 20-6 Sharks 55mins Interesting defence & pressure from Chiefs, but a decent ref & it would be a whole new game
Chiefs 20-6 Sharks 56mins Can't figure why Chiefs fans are ringing goat bells - it's not a mountainside in Switzerland!
Chiefs 20-6 Sharks 58mins Sam Cane replaces Kane Thompson. Oh & Cruden missed a penalty at posts 5mins back...
Chiefs 20-6 Sharks 59mins Chiefs' scrum stolen by McLeod but disrupted & Chiefs have possession again...
Chiefs 25-6 Sharks 60min Keegan Daniel up to H/W but Lelia Masaga just on for Nanai-Williams intercepts & runs over T/L
Chiefs 27-6 Sharks 61mins Cruden converts & Sharks are in big trouble...
Chiefs 27-6 Sharks 63mins Meyer Bosman surprisingly replaces JP Pietersen; while Sonny Bill Williams illegally tackles
Chiefs 27-6 Sharks 67mins Hika Elliot, Ben Afeaki & Brendon Leonard on for Schwalger, Tameifuna & Kerr-Barlow
Chiefs 30-6 Sharks 70mins Sharks continue to flounder as hand over another penalty for Cruden to knock over
Chiefs 30-6 Sharks 72mins Burden on for Bismarck du Plessis; Willison & Michael Fitzgerald on for Robinson & Retallick
Chiefs 30-6 Sharks 74mins Chiefs on Sharks 22 again & have scrum...
Chiefs 30-6 Sharks 75mins Looks as if the insane jetlag-induced fatigue has caught up with Sharks finally.
Chiefs 35-6 Sharks 77mins Excellent play from Chiefs puts SBW over the try line who showboats his score à la Jerry Maguire
Chiefs 37-6 Sharks 77mins Cruden converts & Sharks can do nothing but look on
Chiefs 37-6 Sharks 80mins Final siren has gone as Chiefs celebrate for last few mins; Sharks scrum outside Chiefs 22
Chiefs 37-6 Sharks 80+1mins Sharks lose possession one last time & ball into touch, crowning Chiefs SuperRugby Champions 2012

Chiefs15 Robbie Robinson 14 Tim Nanai-Williams 13 Andrew Horrell 12 Sonny Bill Williams 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma 10 Aaron Cruden 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow 8 Kane Thompson 7 Tanerau Latimer 6 Liam Messam 5 Brodie Retallick 4 CRAIG CLARKE (C) 3 Ben Tameifuna 2 Mahonri Schwalger 1 Sona Taumalolo BENCH: 16 Hika Elliot 17 Ben Afeaki 18 Michael Fitzgerald 19 Sam Cane 20 Brendon Leonard 21 Jackson Willison 22 Lelia Masaga

SCORERS T: Nanai-Williams, Thompson, Masaga, Williams C: Cruden (4) P: Cruden (3)

Sharks15 Pat Lambie 14 Louis Ludik 13 JP Pietersen 12 Paul Jordaan 11 Lwazi Mvovo 10 Frederic Michalak 9 Charl  McLeod 8 Ryan Kankowski 7 Marcell Coetzee 6 KEEGAN DANIEL (C)  5 Anton Bresler 4 Willem Alberts 3  Jannie du Plessis 2 Bismarck du Plessis 1 Tendai Mtawarira BENCH: 16 Craig Burden 17 Wiehahn Herbst 18 Steven Sykes 19 Jean Deysel 20 Jacques Botes 21 Meyer Bosman 22 Riaan Viljoen.

SCORERS P: Michalak (2)

Referee: Steve Walsh Asst Referees: Craig Joubert, Keith Brown TMO: Garratt Williamson

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Semi Finals

Chiefs v Crusaders Stormers v Sharks

SEMI FINAL 1

Chiefs CHIEFS 20 - 17 CRUSADERS Crusaders

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - Friday 27th July 2012
KO:
19:35 NZST/17:35 AEST/09:35 SAST/08:35 BST HT: 17-11

HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED MINUTE BY MINUTE...

Chiefs 0-0 Crusaders G'day peeps! Here we are...SuperRugby semi final no.1 live from Hamilton...
Chiefs 3-0 Crusaders 3mins Saders quickly hand over a pen & Aaron Cruden punishes them with 1st 3 pointer
Chiefs 3-0 Crusaders 8mins Saders on the attack big time but Sona Taumalolo clears Richie McCaw & handbags drawn...
Chiefs 3-0 Crusaders 8mins Ref Craig Joubert's already had a word & looks like he won't take any nonsense
Chiefs 3-0 Crusaders 10mins Saders into Chiefs' 22; Homeside playing interesting game to wind up visitors...
Chiefs 3-0 Crusaders 11mins Saders' scrum inside 22...chip forward from Dan Carter straight into Chiefs' hands to clear
Chiefs 3-0 Crusaders 13mins Saders knock on & Chiefs L/O but goes long & picked up by Saders outside 22
Chiefs 3-0 Crusaders 14mins Unimpressive ball handling from Saders but saved by Chiefs offside...
Chiefs 3-3 Crusaders 15mins Penalty to the visitors & Carter equalises... but Tom Donnelly replaces Luke Romano at lock
Chiefs 3-3 Crusaders 18mins Do hope it's not pens all the way. Another to Chiefs but Cruden just misses from WAY out
Chiefs 3-3 Crusaders 20mins Chiefs putting huge pressure on Saders defence as deep into their 22
Chiefs 3-3 Crusaders 21mins Brilliant play from Cruden but ball spills fwd & cleared to 10m for Saders L/O
Chiefs 3-3 Crusaders 21mins Corey Flynn off for blood replaced by Quentin Macdonald
Chiefs 3-3 Crusaders 22min Liam Messam gets hands on ball & lightening play from Chiefs all round into 22 til intercept
Chiefs 3-3 Crusaders 24mins Saders saved by skin of teeth again but pen to Chiefs & Cruden tees up again from way out
Chiefs 3-3 Crusaders 25mins Cruden can't find his mark but from restart Chiefs directly into Saders' 22 & up to T/L...
Chiefs 3-3 Crusaders 25mins Joubert halts play & goes up to TMO coz possible that Taumalolo made it over
Chiefs 3-3 Crusaders 25mins Replay shoes ball clearly on the line but TMO must rule on double movement or not...
Chiefs 10-3 Crusaders 26mins It's all going Chief's way so far as prop is awarded try swiftly followed by conversion
Chiefs 10-3 Crusaders 28mins Saders finally head in the right direction up to Chiefs' 22, but Chiefs have he scrum...
Chiefs 10-6 Crusaders 31mins Pen Saders & Carter tees up & it's an easy 3-pointer for him...but still trailing by 4
Chiefs 15-6 Crusaders 33mins Spectacular play from Chiefs who to pen with Liam Messam try leaving Saders in wake
Chiefs 17-6 Crusaders 34mins Cruden adds the extras & Chiefs are firmly in the driving seat so far...
Chiefs 17-6 Crusaders 36mins Punches thrown in scrum on Chiefs' 22 but no clarity on who so white cards all round...
Chiefs 17-6 Crusaders 38mins Saders scrum & retain possession just 10m out before ball flies back loose...
Chiefs 17-6 Crusaders 38mins ...& suddenly Chiefs have the ball & kick it to Saders' 22 & up to T/L!
Chiefs 17-6 Crusaders 39mins ...but pen Saders for Chiefs offside so clear for L/O back in Chiefs' territory...
Chiefs 17-11 Crusaders 40mins This time good work from Saders with good hands along width finishing with Ryan Crotty try
Chiefs 17-11 Crusaders 40+1mins Carter fluffs the conversion & it's HT in Hamilton.
Chiefs 17-11 Crusaders HT T: Taumalolo, Messam C: Cruden (2) P: Cruden | T: Crotty P: Carter (2)

Chiefs 17-14 Crusaders 43mins This half starts with early pen from Chiefs & Carter narrows gap by 3...
Chiefs 17-14 Crusaders 46mins Saders return with a vengeance but pen Chiefs taken quickly & up to 22...
Chiefs 17-14 Crusaders 47mins Pen coming to Chiefs for not rolling away but fisticuffs break out again & pen reversed
Chiefs 17-14 Crusaders 48mins Saders take play back into Chiefs territory but Saders hand over pen & Cruden tees up...
Chiefs 20-14 Crusaders 49mins From the 10m Cruden is perfectly on target & negates Carter's earlier pen.
Chiefs 20-14 Crusaders 50mins Chiefs L/O on H/W but Saders all over the joint so can't throw in...
Chiefs 20-14 Crusaders 53mins Saders steal a Chiefs' L/O & make it over 10m before Robbie Fruean hands over pen...
Chiefs 20-14 Crusaders 55mins Owen Franks replaces Ben Franks in front row; Chiefs' scrum is good but gain no territory
Chiefs 20-14 Crusaders 57mins Another Chiefs L/O on Saders' 10m but again Mahonri Schwalger overthrows tho pen Chiefs
Chiefs 20-14 Crusaders 58mins Chiefs scrum but ball goes free & Saders scrum; Carter clears...badly
Chiefs 20-14 Crusaders 60mins Subs time: Sam Cane & Ben Afeaki on for Kane Thompson & Ben Tameifuna
Chiefs 20-17 Crusaders 62mins Saders regroup after words from McCaw & win pen which Carter knocks over...
Chiefs 20-17 Crusaders 66mins Saders in a good position again in Chiefs territory but lose it; Chiefs clear >win pen...
Chiefs 20-17 Crusaders 68mins Pen on H/W from just being on own 22...Cruden tees up from 55m...
Chiefs 20-17 Crusaders 68mins Kick has the distance but not the accuracy as it falls under crossbar
Chiefs 20-17 Crusaders 72mins Chiefs on H/W but go early & lose ball to Saders... visitors go for scrum on H/W too...
Chiefs 20-17 Crusaders 74mins Saders hold onto the ball as move into Chiefs territory & homeside hand over vital pen...
Chiefs 20-17 Crusaders 76mins Carter tees up in front of posts but from 48m & like Cruden has distance but not accuracy
Chiefs 20-17 Crusaders 78mins It's a time out before a Chiefs scrum but in their own 22... they clear to other end...
Chiefs 20-17 Crusaders 79mins Saders run it back > over H/W > over 10m & head towards the Chiefs' 22...
Chiefs 20-17 Crusaders 80mins Saders ball at breakdown outside 22; Carter drops back...play continue & siren's gone
Chiefs 20-17 Crusaders 80+1mins Play continues & Chiefs defence is strong...still Saders' ball at breakdown...
Chiefs 20-17 Crusaders 80+1mins Ball out to Carter but no space; Saders forced back into own half...
Chiefs 20-17 Crusaders 80+2mins Chiefs defence wins out after 22 phases & homeside thru to the SuperRugby Final 2012 rugby

Chiefs15 Robbie Robinson 14 Tim Nanai-Williams 13 Andrew Horrell 12 Sonny Bill Williams 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma 10 Aaron Cruden 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow 8 Kane Thompson 7 Tanerau Latimer 6 Liam Messam 5 Brodie Retallick 4 CRAIG CLARKE (C) 3 Ben Tameifuna 2 Mahonri Schwalger 1 Sona Taumalolo BENCH: 16 Hika Elliot 17 Ben Afeaki 18 Michael Fitzgerald 19 Sam Cane 20 Brendon Leonard 21 Jackson Willison 22 Lelia Masaga

SCORERS T: Taumalolo, Messam C: Cruden (2) P: Cruden (2)

Crusaders15 Israel Dagg 14 Adam Whitelock 13 Robbie Fruean 12 Ryan Crotty 11 Zac Guildford 10 Dan Carter 9 Andy Ellis 8 RICHIE MCCAW (C) 7 Matt Todd 6 George Whitelock 5 Samuel Whitelock 4 Luke Romano 3 Ben Franks 2 Corey Flynn 1 Wyatt Crockett BENCH: 16 Quentin MacDonald 17 Ben Franks 18 Tom Donnelly 19 Luke Whitelock 20 Willi Heinz 21 Tom Taylor 22 Sean Maitland

SCORERS T: Crotty P: Carter (4)

Referee: Craig Joubert Asst Referees: Jonathan Kaplan, Keith Brown TMO: Garratt Williamson

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SEMI FINAL 2

Stormers STORMERS 19 - 26 SHARKSSharks

DHL Newlands Stadium - Saturday 28th July 2012
KO:
17:05 SAST/01:05*AEST/03:05* NZST/16:05 BST HT: 6-13

HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED MINUTE BY MINUTE...

Stormers 0-0 Sharks 4mins V early & a nasty fall for Bismarck du Plessis halts play as all worry...
Stormers 3-0 Sharks 6mins Bismarck insists he's fine & continues while Peter Grant kicks over the 1st points for Stormers
Stormers 3-0 Sharks 10mins Sharks by charging deep into Stormers' 22 & so close to T/L but defence holding...
Stormers 3-0 Sharks 11mins Stormers battle back & win 5m scrum; goes down & reset...
Stormers 3-3 Sharks 12mins Sharks pile on the pressure & win pen. Freddie Michalak takes the kick from 22 & equalises
Stormers 3-3 Sharks 14mins Sharks L/O just next to H/W is good; chip thru but beaten by the bounce& Stormers L/O
Stormers 3-3 Sharks 16mins Good L/O for homeside & take play back over to Sharks' side but kicked back & Sharks scrum
Stormers 3-3 Sharks 17mins From just outside Stormers 22, Sharks cross the line & wave upon wave of attacks...
Stormers 3-6 Sharks 18mins Sharks don't commit too many to breakdowns & Michalak drops back into pocket to drop a goal
Stormers 3-6 Sharks 21mins Anton Bresler hands over penalty for offside & Stormers set up L/O on Sharks 22
Stormers 3-6 Sharks 23mins Stormers looking a little more composed in 22 but a k/o gives possession back to Sharks
Stormers 3-6 Sharks 25mins Sharks take advantage of Stormers inability to catch high ball & set up L/O back over H/W
Stormers 3-6 Sharks 26mins Stormers regain possession & return ball to other half; Sharks send it back...
Stormers 3-6 Sharks 27mins Jannie du Plessis slips & hands over penalty to Stormers who tactically kick for 22 L/O
Stormers 3-6 Sharks 28mins Sharks steal ball back & Sharks clear them away & L/O on Stormers' 10m
Stormers 3-6 Sharks 29mins Stormers regain ball, finally clear out of own half, Sharks k/o & Stormers have momentum...
Stormers 3-6 Sharks 30mins Stormers keep rolling forward; get over T/L but held up. Time out for Willem Alberts injury
Stormers 3-6 Sharks 31mins Stormers have vital 5m scrum from Sharks' T/L out wide...hold on & head in field...
Stormers 3-6 Sharks 32mins Ryan Kankowski comes into ruck offside but ref Steve Walsh(!) gives penalty to Sharks
Stormers 3-6 Sharks 32mins Sharks have defensive 5m scrum > reset...
Stormers 3-6 Sharks 33mins Walsh continues to not have a scooby how to ref a scrum & penalty Sharks...
Stormers 3-6 Sharks 34mins Sharks clear & have L/O nr H/W. Strong play & just outside 22 but Stormers force back to H/W
Stormers 3-11 Sharks 34mins Louis Ludik outsmarts Stormers catching high ball & soars to T/L untouched to score 1st try
Stormers 3-13 Sharks 35mins Michalak converts Ludik's excellent try that left Stormers watching...
Stormers 3-13 Sharks 37mins Stormers by heading right back to Sharks 22 & again have momentum but Walsh halts it.
Stormers 3-13 Sharks 37mins Jannie dB continually infringes; Stormers want to play quickly but Walsh insists on a chat
Stormers 6-13 Sharks 39mins Eventually Walsh finishes chatting to his mate (& lets him off) so Grant can take penalty 3points
Stormers 6-13 Sharks 40mins Siren's already gone & ball gets belted deep into crowd for H/T
Stormers 6-13 Sharks H/T P: Grant | T: Ludik C: Michalak P: Michalak DG: Michalak
Stormers 6-13 Sharks HT Sharks definitely looking superior side. Stormers uncomposed & need to pull themselves together
Stormers 6-13 Sharks HT The real shame is Steve Walsh as ref, who as per... disrupoints momentum & just ruins a good fight
Stormers 6-13 Sharks 42mins Sharks are possession & in Stormers territory; Michalak attempoints a DG but short
Stormers 6-13 Sharks 43mins Sharks L/O inside Stormers' 22 > Michalak attempting another DG which falls under crossbar
Stormers 6-13 Sharks 50mins A massive penalty kick at the uprights from Riaan Viljoen from 60m doesn't make it...
Stormers 6-13 Sharks 52mins Stormers back in possession & make some ground over Sharks' 10m...towards 22 but good defence
Stormers 6-13 Sharks 54mins Stormers have advantage so penalty coming but Bryan Habana wants more than 3 points...
Stormers 9-13 Sharks 56mins No adv & Walsh awards penalty so Grant adds 3 more points
Stormers 9-16 Sharks 57mins Completely forgot to add in Michalak's earlier penalty scored in 44th minute! Remedied...
Stormers 9-21 Sharks 58mins Superb play from Sharks leaves Stormers staring as JP Pietersen runs in try no. 2
Stormers 9-23 Sharks 59mins Try set up by Michalak, & now he adds the conversion
Stormers 9-23 Sharks 60mins Home Bench: van den Heever & Frans Malherbe on for Brok Harris & Joe Pietersen
Stormers 9-23 Sharks 60mins Away Bench: Wiehahn Herbst & Steven Sykes on for Jannie du Plessis & Willem Alberts
Stormers 9-23 Sharks 64mins Stormers in deep trouble & not much hope unless can transform ideas in last 15 minutes
Stormers 9-23 Sharks 65mins Stormers have the ball & v slowly work way over H/W, crawl over 10m & in reach of 22...
Stormers 14-23 Sharks 66mins For all the struggling, their patience & determination pays off as Gio Aplon flies of T/L!
Stormers 16-23 Sharks 67mins Grant concentrates hard from out wide & finds his mark to reduce deficit to converted try
Stormers 16-23 Sharks 69mins Stormers right back in game; Sharks ball over Stormers 10m but homeside defence improving
Stormers 16-23 Sharks 69mins Player over the top of ruck & a k/o gives Stormers the scrum on own 22
Stormers 19-23 Sharks 71mins Stormers continue to fight back with a good penalty kick from Grant to narrow gap further
Stormers 19-26 Sharks 75mins Sharks ain't taking this lying down; attack after attack & Freddie drops another goal
Stormers 19-26 Sharks 78mins Deysel, Botes & Bosman on for Kankowski, Coetzee & Whitehead
Stormers 19-26 Sharks 78mins Carstens, Armand, Steenkamp & Schreuder on for Kitshoff, Liebenberg, Bekker & Duvenage
Stormers 19-26 Sharks 78mins Possession all to the Stormers & deep in Sharks territory...
Stormers 19-26 Sharks 79mins Stormers attack the T/L repeatedly knowing they need a converted try to equalise...
Stormers 19-26 Sharks 80mins Sharks hold their defence with such determination as siren goes & play continues...
Stormers 19-26 Sharks 80mins Sharks finally win the ball back & clear ball into touch to secure the win & Final spot!

Stormers15 Joe Pietersen 14 Gio Aplon 13 Juan de Jongh 12 JEAN DE VILLIERS (C) 11 Bryan Habana 10 Peter Grant 9 Dewaldt Duvenage 8 Deon Fourie 7 Rynhardt Elstadt 6 Siya Kolisi 5 Andries Bekker 4 Eben Etzebeth 3 Brok Harris 2 Tiaan Liebenberg 1 Steven Kitshoff BENCH: 16 Frans Malherbe 17 Deon Carstens 18 De Kock Steenkamp 19 Don Armand 20 Louis Schreuder 21 Burton Francis 22 Gerhard van den Heever

SCORERS T: Aplon C: Grant P: Grant (4)

Sharks15 Louis Ludik 14 JP Pietersen 13 Tim Whitehead 12 Meyer Bosman 11 Lwazi Mvovo 10 Frederic Michalak 9 Charl McLeod 8 Ryan Kankowski 7 Marcell Coetzee 6 KEEGAN DANIEL (C) 5 Anton Bresler 4 Willem Alberts 3 Jannie du Plessis 2 Bismarck du Plessis 1 Tendai Mtawarira BENCH: 16 Craig Burden 17 Wiehahn Herbst 18 Steven Sykes 19 Jean Deysel 20 Jacques Botes 21 Odwa Ndungane 22 Riaan Viljoen

SCORERS T: Ludik, Pietersen C: Michalak (2) P: Michalak (2) DG: Michalak (2)

Man of the Match: Frederic Michalak

Referee: Steve Walsh Asst. Referees: Jaco Peyper, Marius Jonker TMO: Shaun Veldsman

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*Match KO is on Sunday 29th July


Play Offs

Crusaders v Bulls Reds v Sharks

QUALIFIER 1

Crusaders CRUSADERS 28 - 13 BULLS Bulls

AMI Stadium, Christchurch - Saturday 21st July 2012
KO: 19:35 NZST/08:35 BST/09:35 SAST HT: 16-3

HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED MINUTE BY MINUTE...

Crusaders 0-0 Bulls 2mins So here we are live from the play offs It might get messy...
Crusaders 0-0 Bulls 3mins Bulls win scrum on Saders' 10m & Morne Steyn high kicks it...too far!
Crusaders 0-0 Bulls 4mins Early opportunity kicked right away & Saders end up outside Bulls' 22
Crusaders 3-0 Bulls 6mins Saders handed a penalty (all confused as to why!) & Dan Carter kicks 1st 3pts
Crusaders 6-0 Bulls 11mins Bulls may have more possession but gifting pens & it's Saders racking up pts...Carter adds 3
Crusaders 6-0 Bulls 15mins Saders knocking on the T/L with determination but BUlls t/o & Francois Hougaard clears
Crusaders 6-0 Bulls 17mins Attempt to get back into 22 fails Crusaders & Steyn forces Saders into own 22 for L/O
Crusaders 6-0 Bulls 18mins But t/o ball & Saders back & secure L/O outside Bulls' 22...
Crusaders 6-0 Bulls 20mins Another dubious pen gifted at breakdown by Bulls & Carter tees up again... but he fluffs it
Crusaders 6-0 Bulls 21mins Bad clearance from Bulls & Saders have scrum on 22...
Crusaders 6-0 Bulls 23mins Another appalling clearance kick from Steyn crawls along ground & pen Saders for k/o
Crusaders 11-0 Bulls 23mins Superior Saders hands end with Zac Guildford scoring behind posts...Bulls left watching
Crusaders 13-0 Bulls 25mins Carter adds easy conversion for long time coming try...
Crusaders 13-0 Bulls 28mins Bulls into Saders 22 again...& hand over possession to Bulls again for scrum
Crusaders 13-0 Bulls 30mins Finally a Bulls scrum just inside Saders half; having a nightmare uncontrolled game tho
Crusaders 13-0 Bulls 30mins Basson checked for injury - not good; Chiliboy Ralepelle already replaced by Willie Wepener
Crusaders 16-0 Bulls 33mins Basson still on; plays resumes, Saders deep into 22 again & Carter drops a perfect goal
Crusaders 16-3 Bulls 36mins Finally pt-scoring op for Bulls from 10m line with Saders offside & Steyn on target
Crusaders 16-3 Bulls 38mins Steyn finally kicks much better & gd clearance from deep in 22 gives Bulls L/O back nr H/W
Crusaders 16-3 Bulls 39mins Basson's finally been replaced by Francois Venter, so lost 2 but Bulls starting to improve
Crusaders 16-3 Bulls 40mins H/T siren goes & no doubt coach Ludeke's going to have a similar chat to last wk to Bulls!
Crusaders 16-3 Bulls H/T T: Guildford C: Carter P: Carter (2) DG: Carter | P: Steyn

Crusaders 16-3 Bulls 45mins Crusaders into Bulls' 22 already, win pen & Carter tees up from out wide...
Crusaders 19-3 Bulls 47mins Easy kick for Carter & Saders already increased lead.
Crusaders 19-3 Bulls 47mins Really don't need band playing constantly & thus crowds shouting even louder. *headache*
Crusaders 19-3 Bulls 50mins Steyn tackles Carter on chest & as he falls arm slips up; crowd bays for blood & Carter pen
Crusaders 22-3 Bulls 51mins Carter adds 3 more
Crusaders 22-8 Bulls 62mins Dewald Potgeiter finally finds the whitewash for the Bulls
Crusaders 22-3 Bulls 63mins Bulls definitely improving, but Steyn kick at goal from out wide bounces off post
Crusaders 25-8 Bulls 70mins Sean Maitland tries a drop goal, But ref brings it back for pen & Carter adds 3 more
Crusaders 25-8 Bulls 70mins Kirsten, Steenkamp & Vermaak on for Werner Kruge, Juandre Kruger & Ndungane
Crusaders 25-13 Bulls 76mins Wynand Olivier finds a gap to score thru Saders defence
Crusaders 25-13 Bulls 77mins Conversion comes off the post & try is too little too late sadly
Crusaders 25-13 Bulls 79mins Meanwhile no one left on Saders bench, & Carter tees up another penalty...
Crusaders 28-13 Bulls 80mins Carter racks up final 3pts with 23 of winning 28 as siren goes...

Crusaders15 Israel Dagg 14 Adam Whitelock 13 Robbie Fruean 12 Ryan Crotty 11 Zac Guildford 10 Dan Carter 9 Andy Ellis 1 Wyatt Crockett 2 Corey Flynn 3 Owen Franks 4 Luke Romano 5 Samuel Whitelock 6 George Whitelock 7 Matt Todd 8 RICHIE MCCAW (C) BENCH: 16 Quentin MacDonald 17 Ben Franks 18 Tom Donnelly 19 Luke Whitelock 20 Willi Heinz 21 Tom Taylor 22 Sean Maitland

SCORERS T: Guildford C: Carter P: Carter (6) DG: Carter

Bulls15 Zane Kirchner 14 Akona Ndungane 13 JJ Engelbrecht 12 Wynand Olivier 11 Bjorn Basson 10 Morné Steyn 9 Francois Hougaard 1 Dean Greyling 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle 3 Werner Kruger 4 Flip van der Merwe 5 Juandre Kruger 6 Dewald Potgieter 7 Jacques Potgieter 8 PIERRE SPIES (C) BENCH: 16 Willie Wepener 17 Frik Kirsten 18 Deon Stegmann 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp 20 Jano Vermaak 21 Louis Fouché 22 Francois Venter

SCORERS T: Potgeiter, Olivier P: Steyn

Referee: Jaco Peyper Asst. Refs: Keith Brown, Glen Jackson TMO: Garratt Williamson

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QUALIFIER 2

Reds REDS 17 - 30 SHARKSSharks

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - Saturday 21st July 2012
KO:
19:40 AEST/10:40 BST/11:40 SAST HT: 10-20

HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED MINUTE BY MINUTE...

Reds 0-0 Sharks 5mins No Frans Steyn or Patrick Lambie for the Sharks or Quade Cooper for Reds
Reds 0-3 Sharks 9mins Strong start for visitors with Freddie Michalak knocking over 1st pts after poor Reds defence
Reds 0-8 Sharks 11mins Sharks quickly follow up with excellent play from own 22 finished by touchdown from JP Pietersen
Reds 0-10 Sharks 12mins Neat conversion from Michalak & Sharks are firmly in control
Reds 0-10 Sharks 13mins Still debatable tho whether Reds will significantly miss Quade Cooper with his suspension...
Reds 0-10 Sharks 16mins Fisticuffs threaten after James Slipper takes down the Beast; Reds scrum
Reds 0-10 Sharks 18mins Good kick downfield & Sharks have L/O on own 22
Reds 0-10 Sharks 20mins Much more exciting match with Sharks breaking over Reds' 10m but t/o & charge other way...
Reds 0-10 Sharks 20mins But just as Reds charge towards Sharks' 22 an intercept sweeps ball in opposite direction...
Reds 0-10 Sharks 20min We'll never find out if Ben Lucas matched Cooper as goes over on ankle & replaced by Nick Frisby
Reds 0-10 Sharks 20mins Lucas had been effective so far but heyho...bit buggered now!
Reds 0-15 Sharks 22mins Meanwhile, Paul Jordaan saunters over the tryline unhindered to score try no. 2 SuperRugby Rugby
Reds 0-17 Sharks 23mins Freddie Michalak adds the simple conversion
Reds 3-17 Sharks 27mins Finally a break for the Reds & Mike Harris pops over a penalty kick
Reds 3-20 Sharks 29mins Tho penalty coming from advantage for Sharks, Michalak decides to drop a goal...perfectly
Reds 3-20 Sharks 31mins Sharks on the charge again but Keegan Daniel hands over pen & Harris kicks for L/O outside 22
Reds 3-20 Sharks 32mins Good work from Reds and over 22, but lose it fwd & Sharks scrum on own 22
Reds 3-20 Sharks 33mins Sharks clear but Reds L/O in same position on opposite side; go short but fails. Sharks L/O
Reds 3-20 Sharks 35mins L/O comes back for Reds on 22 & only 5m short but t/o ball & pen
Reds 3-20 Sharks 36mins Sharks clear & L/O outside 22; Reds have opp but lose it...
Reds 8-20 Sharks 37mins But Reds refocus, regain possession & Will Genia charges thru defence to score well
Reds 10-20 Sharks 39mins Harris converts, & suddenly it's not looking so dire for homeside
Reds 10-20 Sharks 40mins Reds L/O on Sharks 10m as siren sounds; survive 1st breakdown but lose it fwd at 2nd & its HT
Reds 10-20 Sharks H/T T: Genia C: Harris P: Harris | T: Pietersen, Jordaan C: Michalak (2) P: Michalak DG: Michalak

Reds 10-20 Sharks 41mins Sharks return & hand over pen but Harris misses it.
Reds 10-25 Sharks 43mins Whereas Charl McLeod intercepts outside own 22 & runs length of pitch to score
Reds 10-27 Sharks 44mins Michalak converts & Sharks carry on tradition of major scoring straight after HT
Reds 10-27 Sharks 47mins Handbags drawn as Sharks slow down ball at breakdown in own 22...
Reds 10-27 Sharks 49mins Reds 5m scrum & Sharks defence being severely tested...
Reds 10-27 Sharks 50mins Reds pounding on Sharks' T/L but can't find a way thru; 5m scrum again to Reds
Reds 10-27 Sharks 52mins Reds hurl ball out wide but Sharks' defence gets there quickly; come back to nearside & adv.
Reds 10-27 Sharks 52mins Sharks offside twice & pen Reds but not going for just 3pts & attack T/L again...
Reds 10-27 Sharks 53mins Another pen to Reds as ref has word with Sharks' captain for pens nr line; Reds 5m scrum
Reds 10-27 Sharks 54mins Scrum on far side & Reds throw wide again but Sharks there v quickly & pen Sharks at posts
Reds 10-27 Sharks 55mins Sharks 5m scrum; ball heads over deadball area & Reds 5m scrum...again
Reds 10-27 Sharks 56mins Immense defensive work from Sharks; Digby Ioane just short of T/L & tries again
Reds 10-27 Sharks 56mins Liam Gill collects & goes over but all unsure so TMO...
Reds 10-27 Sharks 56mins TMO rules inconclusive so Reds 5m scrum. Aussie commentators beg to differ!
Reds 10-27 Sharks 57mins Yet another scrum reset; Sharks must be exhausted since defence takes it out of you far more
Reds 10-27 Sharks 58mins More play out wide; more defence halts them but another pen to Reds...
Reds 10-27 Sharks 59mins Sharks finally force play back outside 22 tho Reds in possession until busted for holding on
Reds 10-27 Sharks 60mins Sharks clear over H/W & can breath for a second, but L/O not straight so Reds scrum
Reds 10-27 Sharks 62mins Reds head right back towards Sharks' 22; cleared back but Reds heads right back in...
Reds 10-27 Sharks 63mins Lwazi Mvovo breaks impressively & offloads before shutdown; brilliant work from Sharks
Reds 10-27 Sharks 64mins Bismarck du Plessis offloads to Basson but lands 1m short of T/L & Reds 5m scrum in own 22
Reds 10-27 Sharks 66mins Reds clear ball into touch giving Sharks L/O just inside Reds 10m line...
Reds 10-27 Sharks 67mins Sharks retain possession just on 22 & cross over but a k/o & Reds have scrum inside own 22
Reds 10-27 Sharks 69mins Stacks of replacements on from both benches...too many to name...am exhausted watching!
Reds 10-27 Sharks 71mins Reds back inside Sharks' 22 but visitors have L/O; Reds snaffle it back by H/W & attack...
Reds 10-27 Sharks 72mins Reds have the advantage & are deep in Sharks' 22; Pietersen wrist slap & Reds still have it...
Reds 10-27 Sharks 72mins Aussie commentators whoop for Ioane try on post as ref sees it spill fwd & Sharks ball
Reds 10-27 Sharks 73mins Reds must have had 90% possession this half but have not scored a point off it. Time out.
Reds 10-27 Sharks 74mins Sharks scrum in own 22 & Michalak clears it back to H/W for Reds L/O
Reds 10-27 Sharks 74mins Good L/O & Ioane breaks but Louis Ludik stops him in tracks & Pietersen saves ball kicked fwd
Reds 10-27 Sharks 76mins Play finally in Reds 22 & homeside and over another pen for Michalak to tee up for 3 more pts
Reds 10-30 Sharks 77mins A perfect penalty conversion from Freddie & Sharks secure semi final spot against Stormers
Reds 10-30 Sharks 78mins Reds right back deep in Sharks' 22 with a minute to go...for pride if nothing else...
Reds 10-30 Sharks 80mins Penalty to Reds as siren sounds...Sharks still holding them out...but (pointless) yellow card to Steven Sykes
Reds 15-30 Sharks 80mins Finally it's Radike Samo who finds the whitewash for the Reds tho way too late
Reds 17-30 Sharks 80mins Genia converts & it's all over
Reds 17-30 Sharks FT: Poor show from fans booing ref Kaplan off pitch; he didn't lose it - Reds did that themselves
Reds 17-30 Sharks FT: And the Sharks have to be commended for epic defence in 2nd half.

Stormers15 Luke Morahan 14 Dom Shipperley 13 Anthony Faingaa 12 Mike Harris 11 Digby Ioane 10 Ben Lucas 9 WILL GENIA (C) 1 Greg Holmes 2 Saia Faingaa 3 James Slipper 4 Rob Simmons 5 Adam Wallace-Harrison 6 Jake Schatz 7 Liam Gill 8 Scott Higginbotham BENCH: 16 James Hanson 17 Ben Daley 18 Radike Samo 19 Jarrad Butler 20 Beau Robinson 21 Nick Frisby 22 Ben Tapuai

SCORERS T: Genia, Samo C: Harris, Genia P: Harris

Sharks15 Louis Ludik 14 JP Pietersen 13 Paul Jordaan 12 Tim Whitehead 11 Lwazi Mvovo 10 Frederic Michalak 9 Charl McLeod 1 Tendai Mtawarira 2 Bismarck du Plessis 3 Jannie du Plessis 4 Willem Alberts 5 Anton Bresler 6 KEEGAN DANIEL (C) 7 Marcell Coetzee 8 Ryan Kankowski BENCH: 16 Craig Burden 17 Wiehahn Herbst 18 Steven Sykes 19 Jacques Botes 20 Cobus Reinach 21 Meyer Bosman 22 Odwa Ndungane

SCORERS T: Pietersen, Jordaan, McLeod C: Michalak (3) P: Michalak (2) DG: Michalak Yellow Card Sykes

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (SARU) Asst. Refs: Craig Joubert, James Leckie TMO: Matt Goddard

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WEEK 18Super Rugby Combined Table Week 18

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Week 18

New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Week 18

South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Week 18

RESULTS

Hurricanes HURRICANES 28 - 25 CHIEFS Chiefs

Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 13 July 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 18-15
Hurricanes T: Savea (2), Coles C: Barrett (2) P: Barrett (3) Yellow Card Ben May
Chiefs T: Kerr-Barlow, Tameifuna, Cruden C: Cruden (2) P: Cruden (2)

 

BrumbiesBRUMBIES 16 - 30 BLUES Blues

Canberra Stadium, Canberra - 14 July 2012
KO: 15:30 HT: 13-21
Brumbies T: Speight C: Holmes P: Holmes (2)
Blues T: Moli, Dan Braid, Parkes C: Weepu (3) P: Weepu (2), Hobbs

 

Crusaders CRUSADERS 38 - 24 FORCE Western Force

Rugby League Park, Christchurch - 14 July 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 32-3
Crusaders T: Dagg, Maitland, Ellis, Todd C: Carter (3) P: Carter (2), Taylor (2) Yellow Card George Whitelock
Force T: Godwin, Mafi, Holmes C: Sheehan (2), Godwin P: Seymour

 

RedsREDS 32 - 16 WARATAHSWaratahs

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - 14 July 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 12-11
Reds T: Higginbotham, Gill, Slipper, Shipperley, Genia C: Harris (2) P: Harris Yellow Card Quade Cooper
Waratahs T: Mitchell,Carter P: Foley DG: Ashley-Cooper Yellow Card Paddy Ryan

 

Stormers STORMERS 26 - 21 MELBOURNE REBELSMelbourne Rebels

DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town - 14 July 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 16-0
Stormers T: de Jongh (2) C: Grant (2) P: Grant (4)
Rebels T: Blake, Phipps, Vuna C: Huxley (3)

 

SharksSHARKS 34 - 15 CHEETAHSCheetahs

Mr Price Kings Park, Durban - 14 July 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 6-15
Sharks T: Daniel, McLeod, Coetzee, Kankowski C: Michalak (4) P: Michalak (2) Yellow Card Frans Steyn
Cheetahs P: Smit (5)

 

Bulls BULLS 37 - 20 LIONSLions

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - 14 July 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 20-20
Bulls T: Ndungane, Basson, Hougaard, Potgeiter C: Steyn (4) P: Steyn (3)
Lions T: Bondesio, Strauss C: Jantjies (2) P: Jantjies (2)

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WEEK 17Super Rugby Combined Table Week 17

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Week 17

New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Week 17

South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Week 17

RESULTS

Chiefs CHIEFS 21 - 28 CRUSADERS Crusaders

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - 06 July 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 16-20
Chiefs T: Retallick, Williams C: Cruden P: Cruden (3)
Crusaders T: Read, Romano, Ellis C: Carter (2) P: Carter (2) DG: Carter

 

Reds REDS 19 - 13 HIGHLANDERSHighlanders

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - 06 July 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 6-3
Reds T: Slipper C: Harris P: Harris (4)
Highlanders T: Thomson, King P: Delany

 

SharksSHARKS 32 - 10 BULLS Bulls

Mr Price Kings Park, Durban - 06 July 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 20-3
Sharks T: Bismarck du Plessis, Pietersen, Daniel, Ludik C: Michalak (2), Bosman P: Frans Steyn, Michalak
Bulls T: Kirchner C: Morne Steyn P: Morne Steyn

 

Blues BLUES 32 - 9 FORCE Western Force

Eden Park, Auckland - 07 July 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 13-9
Blues T: Latua, Piutau, Nonu, Luke Braid C: Munro (3) P: Munro
Force P: Seymour (3)

 

WaratahsWARATAHS 15 - 19 BRUMBIESBrumbies

ANZ Stadium, Sydney - 07 July 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 5-9
Waratahs T: Polota-Nau, Barnes C: Barnes P: Barnes
Brumbies T: Speight C: Holmes P: Holmes (2), Mogg (2)

 

Cheetahs CHEETAHS 6 - 13 STORMERS Stormers

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - 07 July 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 3-3
Cheetahs P: Smit (2) Yellow Card Le Roux
Stormers T: Aplon C: Grant P: Grant (2)

 

LionsLIONS 37 - 22 MELBOURNE REBELSMelbourne Rebels

Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg - 07 July 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 24-7
Lions T: Murray, Minnie (2), Kriel C: Jantjies (4) P: Jantjies (3)
Rebels T: Robinson, Pyle (2), Hilgendorf C: Huxley (3) P: Huxley (2)

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WEEK 16Super Rugby Combined Table Week 16

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Week 16

New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Week 16

South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Week 16

RESULTS

Highlanders HIGHLANDERS 21 - 27 CHIEFS Chiefs

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - 29 June 2012
 KO: 19:35 HT: 9-18
Highlanders T: Hore, Gear C: Delany P: Noakes (3)
Chiefs T: Nani-Williams, Robinson C: Cruden P: Cruden (5)

 

Melbourne Rebels MELBOURNE REBELS 17 - 32 REDS Reds

AAMI Park, Melbourne - 29 June 2012
 KO: 19:40 HT: 3-24
Rebels T: Beale, Mitchell C: Huxley, Beale P: O'Connor
Reds T: Feauai-Sautia, Shipperley, Wallace-Harrison, Frisby C: Harris (3) P: Harris (2)

 

Crusaders CRUSADERS 22 - 23 HURRICANES Hurricanes

Rugby League Park, Christchurch - 30 June 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 16-17
Crusaders T: Guildford C: Taylor P: Taylor (5)
Hurricanes T: Smith (2) C: Barrett (2) P: Barrett (3)

 

Western Force FORCE 17 - 28 BRUMBIESBrumbies

NIB Stadium, Perth - 30 June 2012
KO: 17:40 HT: 0-22
Force T: Cummins (2), Lynn C: Harvey
Brumbies T: Mogg, Alexander, Speight, Holmes C: Holmes P: Holmes (2)

 

Stormers STORMERS 27 - 17 LIONSLions

DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town - 30 June 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 13-3
Stormers T: Aplon, Sinclair, van den Heever C: Grant (3) P: Grant (2)
Lions T: Strauss, van der Merwe C: Jantjies P: Jantjies

 

Bulls BULLS 40 - 24 CHEETAHS Cheetahs

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - 30 June 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 26-0
Bulls T: Spies, Greyling, Kirchner, Hougaard, W Kruger, Basson C: Steyn (5)
Cheetahs T: Nel (2), le Roux, Brussow C: Sias Ebersohn Yellow Card Andries Strauss

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WEEK 15Super Rugby Combined Table Week 15

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Week 15

New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Week 15

South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Week 15

RESULTS

Crusaders CRUSADERS 51 - 18 HIGHLANDERSHighlanders

Rugby League Park, Christchurch - 01 June 2012
KO: 19:35  HT: 32-13
Crusaders T: George Whitelock, Guildford (2), Crotty, McCaw, Crockett, Todd C: Carter (5) P: Carter (2) Yellow Card George Whitelock
Highlanders T: Ellison, Gear C: Noakes P: Noakes (2) Yellow Card Haskell

 

Melbourne Rebels MELBOURNE REBELS 19 - 27 BRUMBIESBrumbies

AAMI Park, Melbourne - 01 June 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 12-14
Melbourne Rebels T: Vuna C: Huxley P: Huxley (4) Yellow Card Owen
Brumbies T: Smith, Coleman C: Holmes P: Mogg (2), Holmes (3)

 

Blues BLUES 34 - 41 CHIEFS Chiefs

Eden Park, Auckland - 02 June 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 20-20
Blues T: Francis Saili, Munro, Wulf, Ranger C: Munro (4) P: Munro (2) Yellow Card Luatua
Chiefs T: Tikoirtuma (4), Williams C: Cruden (5) P: Cruden (2) Yellow Card Nemani, Fitzgerald

 

WaratahsWARATAHS 12 - 33 HURRICANES Hurricanes

Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney - 02 June 2012
KO: 19:40  HT: 9-13
Waratahs P: Barnes (4)
Hurricanes T: Savea, Matu'u, Smith, Eaton C: Barrett (2) P: Barrett (3)

 

LionsLIONS 38 - 28 SHARKSSharks

Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg - 02 June 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 32-11
Lions T: Hattingh, Minnie, Mapoe, Deon van Rensburg C: Janjtjies (3) P: Jantjies (4) Yellow Card Mapoe
Sharks T: Mvovo, Pietersen, Ndungane C: Lambie (2) P: Lambie (3) Yellow Card Sykes

 

Bulls BULLS vs STORMERS Stormers

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - 02 June 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 11-9
Bulls  T: Spies P: Steyn (3)
Stormers T: Habana C: Grant P: Grant (4) Yellow Card Malherbe

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WEEK 14Super Rugby Combined Table Week 14

 

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Week 14

 

New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Week 14

 

South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Week 14


RESULTS

Hurricanes HURRICANES 66 - 24 MELBOURNE REBELSMelbourne Rebels

Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 26 May 2012
KO:
17:30 HT: 38-17
Hurricanes T: Taylor (2), Leiua (2), Savea (3), Lam, Chris Eaton C: Barrett (9) P: Barrett
Rebels T: Vuna (2), Freier C: Beale (2), Kingi P: Beale

 

Blues BLUES 20 - 27 HIGHLANDERSHighlanders

Eden Park, Auckland - 26 May 2012
KO:
19:35 HT: 6-15
Blues T: Mailau, Woodcock C: Anscombe, Munro P: Anscombe (2)
Highlanders T: Ellison, Gear (2), Thomson C: Noakes (2) P: Noakes Yellow Card Burleigh

 

BrumbiesBRUMBIES 12 - 13 REDSReds

Canberra Stadium, Canberra - 26 May 2012
KO:
19:40 HT: 6-10
Brumbies  P: Holmes (4)
Reds  T: Morahan C: Harris P: Harris

 

Western Force FORCE 17 - 11 LIONSLions

NIB Stadium, Perth - 26 May 2012
KO:
19:40 HT: 3-8
Force T: Pocock, Nalaga C: Seymour (2) P: Seymour
Lions T: Killian P: Jantjies, Combrinck Yellow Card Minnie

 

Cheetahs CHEETAHS 35 - 34 WARATAHSWaratahs

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - 26 May 2012
KO:
17:05 HT: 21-31
Cheetahs T: van Zyl, le Roux (2), Andries Strauss, Nel C: Smit (4), Sias Ebersohn
Waratahs T: Dennis, Sitaleki Timani (2), Horne C: McKibbin (4) P: McKibbin (2)

 

SharksSHARKS 25 - 20 STORMERS Stormers

Mr Price Kings Park, Durban - 26 May 2012
KO:
19:10 HT: 20-6
Sharks T: Michalak, Daniel, Mvovo C: Lambie (2) P: Lambie (2)
Stormers T: Aplon (2) C: Grant (2) P: Grant (2)

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WEEK 13Super Rugby Combined Table Week 13

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Week 13

New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Week 13

South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Week 13


RESULTS

Hurricanes HURRICANES 25 - 37 BRUMBIESBrumbies

Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 18 May 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 15-13
Hurricanes T: Perenara (2), Vito, Allen C: Taylor P: Taylor
Brumbies T: Auelua, Carter, Hooper, Holmes C: Holmes (4) P: Holmes (3)

 

Highlanders HIGHLANDERS vs BULLS Bulls

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - 19 May 2012
KO: 17:30 HT: 3-6
Highlanders T: Hoeata C: Delany P: Delany (3)
Bulls T: Wepener P: Steyn (2) Yellow Card Greyling

 

Crusaders CRUSADERS 59 - 12 BLUES Blues

Rugby League Park, Christchurch - 19 May 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 31-0
Crusaders T: Todd, Adam Whitelock, McCaw, Romano, Flynn (2), Ellis, Guildford, Marshall C: Carter (6), Bleyendaal
Blues T: Munro (2) C: Anscombe

 

RedsREDS 34 - 20 LIONSLions

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - 19 May 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 13-6
Reds T: Gill, Saia Faingaa, Feauai-Sautia, Genia C: Harris (4) P: Harris (2)
Lions T: Bezuidenhout, Kriel C: Jantjies (2) P: Jantjies (2) Yellow Card van der Merwe

 

Cheetahs CHEETAHS 20 -34 SHARKSSharks

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - 19 May 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 14-21
Cheetahs T: Adrian Strauss P: Smit (3), Sias Ebersohn (2)
Sharks T: Pietersen, Michalak, Mvovo, Bosman C: Michalak (4) P: Michalak (2) Yellow Card du Plessis

 

Stormers STORMERS 19 - 13 WARATAHSWaratahs

DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town - 19 May 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 16-3
Stormers T: Pietersen, Liebenberg P: Pietersen, Grant (2)
Waratahs T: Horne C: McKibbin P: McKibbin (2)

 

Western Force FORCE 31 - 32 MELBOURNE REBELSMelbourne Rebels

NIB Stadium, Perth - 20 May 2012
KO: 14:35 HT: 15-26
Force T: Nalaga, McCalman, Mafi C: Harvey, Seymour P: Harvey, Sheehan, Seymour (2) Yellow Card Hodgson
Rebels T: Neville (2), Delve, Vuna C: Beale (3) P: Beale (2)

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WEEK 12Super Rugby Combined Table Week 12

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Week 12

New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Week 12

South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Week 12

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RESULTS

Blues BLUES 25 - 3 LIONSLions

Eden Park, Auckland - 11 May 2012
KO:  19:35 HT: 10-3
Blues T: Hobbs, Mathewson, Braid C: Anscombe (2) P: Anscombe (2)
Lions P: Jantjies Yellow Card van Rensburg

 

Waratahs WARATAHS 24 - 27 BULLS Bulls

Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney - 11 May 2012
KO:  19:40 HT: 13-10
Waratahs T: Horne, Pakalani C: Barnes P: Barnes (3), McKibbin Yellow Card Mumm
Bulls T: Hougaard, Ndungane, W Kruger C: M Steyn (3) P: M Steyn (2)

 

Highlanders HIGHLANDERS 20 - 26 HURRICANES Hurricanes

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - 12 May 2012
KO:  19:35 HT: 14-9
Highlanders T: Noakes, Thomson C: Noakes (2) P: Noakes, Delany
Hurricanes T: Levave, Savea C: Barrett (2) P: Barrett (4)

 

Melbourne Rebels MELBOURNE REBELS 28 - 19 CRUSADERS Crusaders

AAMI Park, Melbourne - 12 May 2012
KO:  19:40 HT: 10-19
Rebels T: Phipps (2), Mortlock C: Beale (2) P: Beale (3)
Crusaders T: Sam Whitelock C: Taylor P: Taylor (4)

 

SharksSHARKS 53 - 11 FORCE Western Force

Mr Price Kings Park, Durban - 12 May 2012
KO:  17:05 HT: 20-6
Sharks T: Sykes, Jordaan, Ludik, Mvovo (2), Burden, Botes C: Lambie (2), Michalak (4) P: Lambie (2) Yellow Card Burden
Force  T: Wara P: Harvey (2) Yellow Card McCaffrey

 

Stormers STORMERS 16 - 14 CHEETAHS Cheetahs

DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town - 12 May 2012
KO:  19:10 HT: 16-10
Stormers T: Etzebeth C: Grant P: Grant (3) Yellow Card Elstadt
Cheetahs T: Daniller, le Roux C: Smith (2)

 

Reds REDS 42 - 27 CHIEFS Chiefs

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - 13 May 2012
KO: 16:10 HT: 15-22
Reds T: Shipperley, Lucas, Higginbotham, Genia, Saia Faingaa C: Harris (4) P: Harris (2) DG: Harris
Chiefs T: Williams, Messam, Taumalolo, Tikoirotuma C: Cruden (2) P: Cruden

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WEEK 11Super Rugby Combined Table Week 11

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Week 11

FOR a second successive match the VODACOM BULLS conceded five tries in the Super Rugby, but still emerged with a 41-35 victory over the MELBOURNE REBELS in Melbourne, enough to take them to the top of the South African Conference.

The Rebels went toe-to-toe with their much-fancied South African visitors in a thrilling first half, the two sides both securing four-try bonus points in the opening period. But the Bulls showed experience worthy of three-time champions in holding on to a lead that Melbourne threatened to steal right up until the final whistle.

The Bulls drew first blood when  winger Akona Ndungane’s searing pace gave the helpless covering defender no chance. Morne Steyn opened his spotless kicking tally for the evening with a composed conversion from out wide for an early 7-0 lead.

Rising to the challenge, Rodney Blake smashed his way through for a try from short range. Kurtley Beale’s conversion levelled the scores, then the fly-half then set the pitch alight with a piece of individual brilliance for Melbourne’s second try, drawing in the last man and put Cooper Vuna under the posts to bring the roaring Rebels fans to their feet.

The Bulls immediately responded with a simple score for winger Bjorn Basson in the left-hand corner. Steyn added a penalty kick and a converted try of his own to stretch his side’s lead, but the Rebels made their intentions clear by spurning two possible shots at goal for set pieces in the danger zone, and scrum half Nick Phipps zipped through a gap beside the breakdown and stretched out in the tackle to score under the posts, which Beale converted.

 In the final minutes of the first half, Bulls rumbled their way over the Rebels’ line with a perfectly-executed rolling maul for CJ Stander to claim a bonus point try, before Melbourne captain Gareth Delve capitalised on fantastic build-up work from his side to smash through a gap long after the siren, reining the scoreline back in to 31-28.

After the break, the stalemate continued until  a piece of magic from Steyn gave the Bulls their fifth try, when he  stroked a beautifully-weighted chip over the Rebels defence for on-running centre JJ Engelbrecht to collect untouched.

The return of Stirling Mortlock to the field brought not only huge cheers but an instant impact, who linked beautifully with centre partner Mitch Inman, and sublime running lines and pace took him inches short of the tryline before the supporting Vuna wriggled over beside the ruck to score.

Beale kicked his fifth conversion of the night to make it 38-35, but another Steyn penalty with less than 10 minutes to play challenged the Rebels to score a converted try for the victory they so craved, but unfortunately that was not to be.

Brumbies v WaratahsHAVING dominated much of the first half, two converted tries conceded either side of the break saw the HSBC WARATAHS slump to a disappointing 23-6 loss to an on-form BRUMBIES side in a chilly Canberra Stadium.

Having held the scores level until the 40th minute with just two penalties apiece for Christian Lealiifano and Brendan McKibbin, poor defence out wide allowed the Brumbies in for the first try of the game, the first seven of the 17 unanswered points they went on to concede.  A break from Henry Speight down a narrow right-hand blindside saw him first evade Berrick Barnes and, with a step, wrong-foot Adam Ashley-Cooper and Peter Betham, allowed the winger to run in the first try of the match with the final play of the first period. Lealiifano’s conversion extended the half time score to 13-6.

Despite repelling at least nine close-range attempts at their line from the restart, the NSW defence eventually capitulated when the Brumbies widened the point of attack, allowing outside centre Andrew Smith to dive over out wide and Lealiifano to convert just 5 minutes into the period.  

Two scores behind, Foley backed his bench to recapture some momentum, replacing Douglas, Palu, McKibbin, Sitaleki Timani and Kingston with Dean Mumm, Lopeti Timani, Sarel Pretorius, Rocky Elsom and Daniel Halangahu before the 65th minute, reshuffling the pack and adjusting the back line. 

The HSBC Waratahs needed a break and they got it when Lealiifano’s third penalty attempt found the upright and the bounce allowed the visitors to mount a 60m counter attack.  But once again, they spilled the ball in contact, as Tom Carter coughed it up and allowed the Brumbies to send back into their own 22.  A successful penalty goal for Lealiifano extended the score to 23-6 on 72 minutes.

A 76th minutes yellow card for Brumbies captain Ben Mowen reduced the home side’s number and although Elsom, in his first match against his old team mates, came close with a break down the left side, the visitors were unable to add to their tally, leaving them with plenty to work on before Friday’s match against the Bulls.

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New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Week 11

The BLUES’ wretched season plummeted to new depths on Friday night as they were thrashed by the HURRICANES 35-19 at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

After a promising first half where the Blues trailed by just two points at the break, the Hurricanes inflicted the damage in the second half to completely overrun the ragged visitors.

Hurricanes v BluesThe Blues began the match in impressive style as they clattered into their tackles and piled the pressure onto the Hurricanes, forcing them to concede penalties. Four successful penalty kicks from four attempts by former Hurricanes player Piri Weepu kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Blues, but the home side used their attacking flair to rack up points via tries.

It was a superb crossfield kick from Beauden Barrett which created the first try, floating the ball out to the wing as Cory Jane managed to bat the ball out of the grasp of George Moala as Conrad Smith pounced on it to score. Jane was once again in the action for the second try in a simple draw and pass to fullback Andre Taylor who used his searing pace to cross the whitewash.

With the match evenly poised at the break, it fell to pieces in the second half as the Hurricanes blitzed their northern neighbours.

After Julian Savea was denied a try by the TMO early in the second spell, he made no mistake to crash over just minutes later following some slick handling between Barrett and Smith. Replacement prop Reg Goodes was also denied a try by the TMO following another brilliant counter attack by the Hurricanes, but Perenara, who sparked the initial raid, nailed an easy try from the ensuing five metre scrum to give his side a 28-12 lead.

The Blues did manage a consolation try to Benson Stanley after a piece of individual brilliance by wing Rene Ranger, but not before Jason Eaton scored a comical five pointer as the Blues tried to take a quick tap from inside their own 22.

TOO many unforced errors, especially while on attack, saw the MTN LIONS go down by 34-21 to the Super Rugby log leading CHIEFS in Pukekohe on Saturday.

While the Chiefs are deservedly at the top of the Combined Log, the MTN Lions only have themselves to blame that they did not make more of their opportunities in this match. Mistakes cost them dearly.

The MTN Lions made three times as many handling errors as their hosts in slippery conditions and a number of these knock-ons, especially early in the game, came when the South Africans were on the attack.

Their discipline was good, but the unnecessary mistakes with ball in hand gifted the Chiefs numerous attacking opportunities from turnovers, which they gladly accepted, and Aaron Cruden, Craig Clarke, Lelia Masaga and Brendon Leonard found the whitewash to secure a bonus point winning score.

All three the MTN Lions’ tries came from good forward play in the Chiefs’ 22. Cobus Grobbelaar scored twice and the Jo'burgers’ Captain Courageous, Josh Strauss, also got a well-deserved five-pointer.

For the Chiefs, their All Black flyhalf Aaron Cruden contributed 19 points through a try, four conversions and two penalty goals.

THE ST.GEORGE QUEENSLAND REDS scored the only try of their Super Rugby Final rematch against the CRUSADERS who come from behind to secure a narrow 15-11 victory in Christchurch.

Reds hooker James Hanson opened the scoring in the second minute of the match although the Queenslanders were eventually outdone by five Crusaders penalty goals resulting from a hefty 17-7 penalty count advantage in favour of the home side.

It was the Crusaders however who went into the halftime break ahead 6-5 following two penalty goals despite Queensland enjoying 62% of possession and a healthy 63 breakdowns won compared to the Crusaders 17 in the opening 40 minutes.

Nasty blood bins to Scott Higginbotham (eye) and Ben Lucas (head) stuttered the team’s attack just before halftime although both were courageous in returning to the field in the second stanza to produce strong displays.

The star of 19-year-old flanker Liam Gill continues to rise with the breakdown scavenger producing another stellar game against the Richie McCaw led Crusaders to disrupt what quality ball the home side enjoyed throughout the match.

Gill was also responsible for drawing a key breakdown penalty minutes into the second half to allow the Reds to surge ahead 8-6, and the Reds looked bound to repeat their championship-winning heroics of 2011 by beating the Crusaders before two late penalty goals to flyhalf Tom Taylor gave his side a late advantage and the win.

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South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Week 11

SPRINGBOK back Pat Lambie scored all of THE SHARKS’ points as they got back on the winning track by beating the HIGHLANDERS by 28-16 at Mr Price Kings Park in Durban.

Sharks v HighlandersLambie slotted seven penalty goals and converted his own try to push his career points’ tally in Super Rugby past 300. He also passed 100 points this season as he helped The Sharks win their sixth consecutive match against the Highlanders.

It was the second successive game that Lambie scored all of his team’s points. Two weeks ago, his four penalty goals constituted all of The Sharks’ points in their 18-12 defeat to the Chiefs in Durban.

Except for a first quarter equalising penalty, the Highlanders trailed the homeside throughout, and not until the 50th minute did Kurt Baker score the visitors’ only try of the match.

Sharks fans would be happy about the result as the Highlanders have been one of the better teams this year, but the quality of rugby was not the best seen thus far in 2012. For that there were too many mistakes on both sides, especially when the rain started pouring down in the second half, while the men from Otago were also not the most disciplined on the day.

It was a very valuable victory for The Sharks though, as they aim not to lose touch with the front-runners on the standings. There is still a lot of rugby to be played before the Qualifiers start and the team from KwaZulu-Natal is not out of it yet, in seventh spot on the log, just below the three wild card teams.

A classic it was not in Bloemfontein on Sunday, but the TOYOTA CHEETAHS did record their first win in almost a month when they beat the WESTERN FORCE by 17-13 at the Free State Stadium.

The Toyota Cheetahs’ last win was on April 7 in round seven against the MTN Lions. They lost against the Chiefs and the Highlanders since and also had a bye in between, but on Saturday they were too good for the Force.

The Force’s discipline let them down in this one. They were heavily penalised and conceded 16 penalties to the Toyota Cheetahs’ eight. One of these, for foul play, saw the Western Australians called back after they had crossed the home team’s try-line.

Both tries were scored in the second half. Winston Stanley crossed in the 46th minute to put the Force ahead by 13-9, but Toyota Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss pulled one back eight minutes later. At that stage the Cheetahs were ahead by 14-13 – a lead they never relinquished.

Sias Ebersohn, who missed the conversion of Strauss’ try, stretched the Free Staters’ lead to four points on the hour mark, after which both teams seemed to tire as they tried in vain to get more points on the board.

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RESULTS

Hurricanes HURRICANES 35 - 19 BLUES Blues

Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 04 May 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 16-12
Hurricanes T: Smith, Taylor, Savea, Perenara, JJ Eaton C: Barrett (2) P: Barrett (2)
Blues T: Stanley C: Munro P: Weepu (4)

 

Melbourne Rebels MELBOURNE REBELS 34 - 41 BULLS Bulls

AAMI Park, Melbourne - 04 May 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 28-41
Rebels T: Blake, Vuna (2), Phipps, Delve C: Beale (5) Yellow Card Jones
Bulls T: Ndungane, Basson, Steyn, Stander, Engelbrecht C: Steyn (5) P: Steyn (2) Yellow Card van der Merwe

 

Chiefs CHIEFS 34-21 LIONSLions

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - 05 May 2012
KO: 19:35 HT:  20-7
Chiefs T: Cruden, Clarke, Masaga, Leonard C: Cruden (4) P: Cruden (2)
Lions T: Grobbelaar (2), Strauss C: Jantjies (3)

 

BrumbiesBRUMBIES 23 - 6 WARATAHSWaratahs

Canberra Stadium, Canberra - 05 May 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 13-6
Brumbies T: Speight, Smith C: Lealiifano (2) P: Lealiifano (3) Yellow Card Mowen
Waratahs P: McKibbin (2)

 

SharksSHARKS 28 - 9 HIGHLANDERSHighlanders

Mr Price Kings Park, Durban - 05 May 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 15-9
Sharks T: Lambie C: Lambie P: Lambie (7) Yellow Card Botes
Highlanders T: Baker C: Delany P: Delany (3)

 

Cheetahs CHEETAHS 17 - 13 FORCE Western Force

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - 05 May 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 9-6
Cheetahs T: Adriaan Strauss P: Sias Ebersohn (3), de Bruyn
Force T: Stanley C: Harvey P: Harvey (2)

 

Crusaders CRUSADERS 15 - 11 REDSReds

Rugby League Park, Christchurch - 06 May 2012
KO: 16:00 HT: 6-5
Crusaders P: Taylor (5) Yellow Card Crockett
Reds T: Hanson P: Harris (2)

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WEEK 10Super Rugby Combined Table Week 10

Australia Conference

Super Rugby Australia Conference Week 10

THE DHL STORMERS set a new record for fewest tries conceded on tour by a South African Super Rugby team when they beat the FORCE by 17-3 in very wet conditions in Perth, recording their third win on tour and remained at the top of the South African Conference.

The Stormers played very well tactically and used the bad conditions in their favour, but it was Emirates Western Force flyhalf Dave Harvey who opened the scoring with a penalty in the 17th minute. The visitors responded when Habana picked the pocket of the home side to sprint away from inside his own half and score under the posts.

Metres clear of any defender it seemed a certainty that the Springbok star had scored and the referee duly blew his whistle only for television replays to later show the ball slipping from his grasp before downing it over the line.

Shortly after the South Africans were on the attack again and only a desperate defensive effort from Force winger Napolioni Nalaga prevented Johan Pietersen from scoring in the corner.

The home side had an opportunity to get back to within a point right on the half time break however Harvey’s kick was pushed to the left and the margin remained four.

With the rain still falling and scoring proving to be difficult for either side, the Stormers gave themselves some additional breathing space with a Peter Grant penalty after the restart.  The playmaker then scored a try of his own in the 49th minute and when his wayward conversion hit the upright and went through the goal things were just clicking for the visitors. Grant got his second try in as many games and contributed 12 of the Stormers’ points, adding two conversions and a penalty goal to his second-half five-pointer.

To their credit the Force continued to battle bravely and the injection of fresh legs off the bench gave the home side some impetus, and young prop Salesi Manu made a late appearance to register his first Western Force and Super Rugby cap. But despite their best efforts they were unable to find the reward of a try.

Waratahs Crusaders 290412IN their most impressive display of the season so far, the HSBC WARATAHS came agonisingly close to recording a third successive victory, eventually falling just 4 points short of a physical and ruthless CRUSADERS side, but did secure a losing bonus point.

It was a great start for the home side, as they opened the scoring after 12 minutes when Atieli Pakalani marked his first game of the season with a try, set up by a midfield break from the hard working Dennis and finished by full back Adam Ashley-Cooper, who drew the last defender to send Pakalani away in the right hand corner.

The Crusaders hit back quickly later when scrum half Andy Ellis slipped a ball to Robbie Fruean, allowing the centre to charge through the midfield and cross under the posts.  Fly half Tom Taylor’s conversion levelled the scores after 17 minutes.

A McKibbin penalty on the half hour edged the home side back into the lead after Crusaders’ captain Kieran Read was caught offside at a ruck in front of the posts.  But again, the lead was short-lived as the Crusaders edged their noses back in front when another break from the powerful Fruean got him behind the defence to deliver an offload that allowed winger Zac Guildford to dive over in the left corner.  Taylor again converted to give his team a 4 point lead with 5 minutes of the half remaining.

But the home side kept their confidence and allowed McKibbin to slot his second penalty on the stroke of half time to reduce the difference to a single point, 13-14.

A Taylor penalty on 42 minutes restored the 4-point margin before a converted try from the back of a maul took the homeside back in front, courtesy of the outstanding Palu.

But Adam Whitelock crashed over in the right corner, grounding the ball despite Barnes’ and Tom Kingston’s best efforts.  A third McKibbin penalty was cancelled out by Taylor’s third 3-pointer, before Fruean added his second try of the night.  Taylor’s conversion put the visitors more than a score ahead for the first time in the match, as they led 34-23 with 54 minutes on the clock.

But the home side showed no signs of letting up, as big Sitaleki Timani and Rocky Elsom took to the field in the 57th minute, at the same time as Richie McCaw made his return.  McKibbin and Taylor again traded penalties, and going into the final 10 minutes, the visitors were 11 points clear.

Replacement Sarel Pretorius showed his speed off the mark to outpace the defence and slide over from the base of a scrum.  Having taken over the kicking duties, Barnes’ conversion set up a grandstand finish with 4 points in it and just 5 minutes left on the clock. 

With 90 seconds remaining, the HSBC Waratahs earned a penalty and a last chance at stealing victory. But the team couldn’t secure possession from the lineout and the Crusaders wound down the clock, earning an important win away from home.

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New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Week 10

THE ST.GEORGE QUEENSLAND REDS recorded their first-ever victory at Eden Park as they celebrated Digby Ioane’s 50th game for Queensland with a 23-11 Super Rugby win over the BLUES in Auckland.

Blues Reds 270412Ioane returned from a five-game suspension to spark the Reds’ three tries to one success as he commenced the scoring within the opening 60 seconds with a burrowing effort close to the line. The effort in his milestone 50th provincial game for Queensland set the tone for what would be a dream start to the match when flyer Luke Morahan capitalised further with a try in the left hand corner just 6 minutes later, giving the Reds a handy 12-0 lead after just seven minutes.

Both centre Anthony Faingaa and lock Adam Wallace-Harrison made successful returns from injuries which have severely limited the Reds to date.

The Blues could ill afford to give away the ball as much as they did tonight without expecting to come off second best. A malfunctioning lineout, lack of urgency at the breakdown and poor ball security all conspired to bring about their demise, with a lack of tactical nous central to their downfall.

The chants and cheers of the home supporters in the miserable conditions were eventually rewarded when stand-in captain Luke Braid crashed over for a try after 24 minutes. His decision to go for the touchline and lineout from a penalty rather than take the 3 points at goal reaped rewards as he came off the back of a rolling maul to barge past two defenders on his way to the line. Gareth Anscombe could not convert the try, but a penalty 10 minutes from the break narrowed the deficit to 8-12.

The tandem-act of Beau Robinson and Liam Gill worked wonders for the second consecutive occasion with their efforts giving the Queenslanders a real presence at the breakdown and securing a crucial penalty on the stroke of halftime to put the Reds ahead 15-8 at the midway point.

After the break, Dom Shipperley added just one more unconverted try for the visitors, and Anscombe a penalty for the Blues, as well as one final penalty for Mike Harris, for whom the night also marked a special occasion who played an influential role against his former province, scoring eight points through a conversion and his two successful penalty goals.

THE CHIEFS confirmed their status as Super Rugby title contenders with a comprehensive 33-14 victory over the HURRICANES in Hamilton.

There was a moments silence before kickoff in honour of the late great All Black captain Fred Allen, while for Chiefs captain Craig Clarke it was his 50th cap.

Aaron Cruden began in a fashion similar to previous weeks, kicking the Chiefs in front with a penalty and doubled the lead soon after. The Canes playmaker Beauden Barrett kept his side in touch as he closed the gap with a penalty to make it 6-3 after, but ill discipline hurt the visitors as Cruden knocked home a further two penalties to stretch the Chiefs lead out to 12-3.

The Hurricanes struck a blow before halftime with a brilliant individual effort by fullback Andre Taylor blitzing down the sideline as he faked out Chiefs fullback Andrew Horrell to dot down in the corner to make it 12-8. But Barrett was unable to convert the try and the score remained through to the halftime break. 

The Chiefs returned with intention as winger Lelia Masaga brushed off a Hurricanes defender to score under the posts. Barrett replied with a penalty goal and followed up with another one as the visitors looked to stay in the game with the score at 19-14. But that was the last the Canes would see of a points increase just before the final quarter.

Sona Taumalolo rumbled over for the Chiefs second try, and replacement prop Toby Smith added a third in the 76th minute. Cruden simply converted both scores, and the crowd went into a state of euphoria.

Referee Jonathon White signalled for full time as the Chiefs earned a 33-14 victory. The win makes it the Chiefs eighth consecutive win while retaining their spot at the top of the overall Super Rugby standings.

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South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Week 10

THE MTN LIONS lost their seventh match of the Super Rugby season when they got beaten by the BRUMBIES by 34-20 at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg on Friday evening.

Lions Brumbies 280412The Brumbies scored six tries to two and if it was not for some very wayward kicking by the visitors, the score would have been much bigger. Between Christian Lealiifano and Jesse Mogg they missed six out of eight kicks at goal, worth 14 points.

The MTN Lions had very few answers for the Brumbies’ attacking play as the men from J’burg missed way too many tackles. It was the team from Canberra’s first win at Coca-Cola Park since 2007.

Winger Henry Speight got two tries, while props Ruaidhri Murphy and Ben Alexander, as well as Andrew Smith and Joseph Tomane crossed for the visitors.

The MTN Lions’ tries were both scored in the final 20 minutes of the match when Jaco Taute and Caylib Oosthuizen went over.

MTN Lions flyhalf Butch James was suspended from all forms of the game for four weeks because of a dangerous charge into a ruck. He will be out of action up to and including Saturday 26 May 2012 (that includes four scheduled Vodacom Super Rugby matches).

IT was not pretty at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein as the HIGHLANDERS fought back from 21 points down in the last 25 minutes to beat the Toyota CHEETAHS by 36-33 on Saturday, letting slip a massive lead to lose their seventh straight game against the visitors, a team the Central South African franchise have never beaten.

The Cheetahs should have put this game away with less than half an hour left on the clock, but it seemed that they ran out of steam towards the end as the visitors from Otago ran in three unanswered tries to clinch an unlikely victory.

The home team lead 23-9 at the break, with Coenie Oosthuizen and Andries Ferreira crashing over, and they extended that to 30-9 shortly after when Johan Goosen pounced on a loose ball and sprinted 60 metres to score.

Goosen injured himself in the process, but his replacement, Sias Ebersohn, stepped up and converted from the tryline. Ebersohn missed a sitter late in the match, but it was not his fault that the Free Staters lost this one.

After Goosen’s try, Chris Noakes and Jimmy Cowan scored three tries for the visitors in just 8 minutes. Noakes added two penalty goals, the match winner coming in the 79th minute.

Goosen picked up what looked like a serious shoulder injury in the process of scoring his try. He could be out of action for as long as four months, meaning he will miss the Junior World Championship that will be held in South Africa in June.

James Haskell of the Highlanders has been cited for alleged foul play during this match, SANZAR has announced. The England international is alleged to have contravened Law 10.4 (a) Punching or Striking when he struck Cheetahs player Justin Downey twice as he left a scrum that was being completed.

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RESULTS

Blues BLUES vs REDSReds

Eden Park, Auckland - 27 April 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 8-15
Blues T: L Braid P: Anscombe (2)
Reds T: Ioane, Morahan, Shipperley C: Harris P: Harris (2)

 

LionsLIONS 20 - 34 BRUMBIESBrumbies

Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg - 27 April 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 6-17
Lions T: Taute, Oosthuizen C: Jantjies (2) P: Jantjies (2) Yellow Card Butch James
Brumbies T: Murphy, Speight (2), Smith, Tomane, Alexander C: Mogg, Lealiifano

 

Chiefs CHIEFS 33 - 14 HURRICANES Hurricanes

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - 28 April 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 12-8
Chiefs T: Masaga, Taumalolo, Smith C: Cruden (3) P: Cruden (4)
Hurricanes T: Taylor P: Barrett (3)

 

Western Force FORCE 3 - 17 STORMERS Stormers

NIB Stadium, Perth - 28 April 2012
KO: 17:40 HT: 3-7
Force P: Harvey
Stormers T: Habana, Grant C: Grant (2) P: Grant

 

Cheetahs CHEETAHS 33 - 36 HIGHLANDERSHighlanders

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - 28 April 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 23-9
Cheetahs T: Oosthuizen, Ferreira, Goosen C: Goosen (2), S Ebersohn P: Goosen (3), S Ebersohn
Highlanders T: Noakes, Cowan (2) C: Noakes (3) P: Delany (3), Noakes (2) Yellow Card Hore, Haskell

 

WaratahsWARATAHS 33 - 37 CRUSADERS Crusaders

Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney - 29 April 2012
KO: 16:10 HT: 13-14
Waratahs T: Pakalani, Palu, Pretorius C: McKibbin (2), Barnes P: McKibbin (4)
Crusaders T: Fruean (2), Guildford, A Whitelock C: Taylor (4) P: Taylor (3)

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WEEK 9Super Rugby Combined Table Week 9

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Table Week 9

SPRINGBOK flyhalf Peter Grant contributed 18 points as the DHL STORMERS beat the defending Super Rugby champions, the REDS, by 23-13 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Friday.

Reds StormersThe DHL Stormers delivered a great first-half performance and scored two tries in this period, with Gio Aplon and Grant crossing for the visitors. It was their second victory in their third tour match this season.

The visitors had to withstand periods of sustained attack from the Reds, but thus far this season their defensive organisation and tackling have been superb, with the DHL Stormers keeping up that high standard against the Reds.

Aplon’s try was a great example of how the DHL Stormers hit back then the moment was right. After an early penalty goal by Grant, the Reds attacked strongly, but Juan de Jongh forced a turnover with a massive hit. The Capetonians pushed the home team back into their own 22 and from the ensuing lineout the Springbok flyer went over to take the visitors to a 10-0 lead with eight minutes gone in the game.

Grant, who had a big hand in Aplon’s try, scored his first of the season shortly before the break from a move that started deep in the DHL Stormers’ own half. This try put the South Africans ahead by 17-3 and all but sealed the win at Suncorp.

In their eight games to date this season, the DHL Stormers have only conceded nine tries, with Wallaby captain James Horwill crossing late in the match on Friday for the Reds.

A three-try victory over the MELBOURNE REBELS tonight saw the HSBC WARATAHS win the Weary Dunlop Shield for a fourth successive time, helping them to a 30-21 win at the Allianz Stadium, as well as to the top of the Australian Conference for the first time.

Waratahs RebelsIn a perfect start to the match, the HSBC Waratahs regathered their own restart to score a try within 30 seconds, Bernard Foley finishing off a backline move under the posts that started with a midfield run from Wycliff Palu, giving Brendan McKibbin an easy conversion.

Two further penalties extended the home side’s lead to 13 points within 17 minutes but the Rebels soon hit back, with hooker Ged Robinson diving over from a driving maul.  James O’Connor’s conversion closed the gap to 13-7 after 25 minutes but McKibbin maintained his 100% record with the boot, slotting a third successful penalty after 32 minutes.

The HSBC Waratahs’ discipline was tested in the closing stages of the first period as the Rebels sought to add to their tally before heading into the sheds.  Despite retaining the ball for 15 phases, the visitors were unable to penetrate the NSW defensive line and the home side’s patience was rewarded when they eventually earned a penalty and the chance to clear the ball, maintaining their 16-7 lead into the break.

With Foley not returning to the field after taking a knock to the shoulder, Daniel Halangahu took over at fly half, with Barnes dropping back to 15.  Man of the match for a physical all round performance, Tatafu Polota-Nau added his name to the scoresheet.  McKibbin’s touchline conversion gave the home side a comfortable 23-7 lead with 34 minutes remaining.


The home side maintained their momentum when Rob Horne snuck through the defence from a ruck to score the third try of the night.  But within minutes the centre was in the bin, yellow carded by referee Jonathan Kaplan for a dangerous tackle on former team mate Kurtley Beale. 

The Rebels were quick to take advantage of the extra man, stretching the Tahs’ defence and allowing replacement flanker Tim Davidson to cross in the right corner.  Beale’s kick clawed back an extra two points, taking the score to 30-14.

A 73rd minute try from right wing Lachie Mitchell, set up by Beale and converted by Julian Huxley, took the score to 30-21.  A Sitaleki Timani effort with only eight seconds remaining was held up over the line, denying the home side a four-try bonus point.

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New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Table Week 9

THE BLUES put themselves in a position to close out a tight game only for it to slip agonisingly out of their grasp as they were defeated 30-27 by the HIGHLANDERS in Dunedin on Friday night, over seen by the infamous Bryce Lawrence who’s dubious referring has blighted many a game across the rugby world.

In what became a see-sawing affair dictated by Bryce Lawrence who had to call for a replacement whistle in the second half, Mike Delany and Gareth Anscombe traded countless shots at goal as the lead changed hands nine times during the match.

Ma’a Nonu got himself into the game early with a number of trademark busts up the middle of the field, and when the Highlanders fluffed their own scrum on their 10 metre line, the All Black midfielder was on hand to pounce on the ball. From there Peter Saili threw a cut out pass to Hadleigh Parkes who crashed over in the corner as the Blues claimed a 5-0 lead after 8 minutes.

However the Highlanders’ response was swift and effective as Hosea Gear sliced through a poor defensive line before offloading to Sean Treeby who shrugged off George Moala to score. Mike Delany slotted the sideline conversion and two further penalties to give his side a 13-5 lead.

Three consecutive penalty kicks by Blues sharpshooter Gareth Anscombe got the Blues right back into the match before Delany slotted a penalty kick three minutes before the end of the half to give the home side a 16-14 lead at the break.

Penalties continued to dominate the second half as Bryce Lawrence refused to tolerate indiscretions at the breakdown, with Delany and Anscombe slotting two more penalty kicks each before the Blues looked to have struck the killer blow with a try after 53 minutes. After a patient build up as the forwards worked in tight and inched closer towards the try line, Piri Weepu popped a ball up for Rene Ranger who burst onto it at pace and used all his strength to crash over for the try.

Delany’s sixth penalty goal of the night got the home side to within two points of the Blues before the match-winning try came with 20 minutes to go as Kurt Baker was awarded a try by the TMO who was asked only if the ball was grounded and could not comment on the previous infringement which should have discounted the try.

The Blues but they fought their way back into the match and got themselves in a situation to clinch the win with a five metre scrum after the siren had sounded, but the Highlanders managed to turn over the ball and claim the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy for the first time in six years.

THE CRUSADERS gained more momentum in their 2012 Super Rugby campaign with a spectacular 42-14 away win over the HURRICANES

Hurricanes CrusadersDan Carter who ran out for his 100th Super Rugby game, and George Whitelock and Owen Franks who each notched up 50 Super Rugby caps – started off in perfect fashion as the Crusaders captain, Kieran Read crossed the line within 5 minutes, off a set piece move, which Tom Taylor converted.

Hurricanes first five Beauden Barrett missed two penalty kicks in the next 10 minutes, but his Crusaders counterpart wasn’t going to let three points go when his team was awarded a penalty in the twentieth minute. Taylor slotted it right between the sticks to increase the Crusaders lead to 10-0.

The remaining quarter of the first half saw Carter, Robbie Fruean and Israel Dagg fly over the whitewash, and Taylor converting all three tries, bagging the bonus point within 35 minutes. And the only reply from the Canes was a last minute try from Andre Taylor, and this time Barrett was on target with his conversion, but this still left the homeside trailing 7-32 going into the break.

The Hurricanes came out firing in the second half, attacking the Crusaders line from the whistle. The Crusaders’ fierce defence initially held the Hurricanes at bay, but a sly tap-penalty from Victor Vito allowed them to cross the line after almost 20 phases. Barrett converted the kick to make the score 32-14.

The Crusaders, however, never looked threatened and after another successful penalty from Tom Taylor, Israel Dagg scored a classic Crusaders try to stretch the lead out of the Hurricanes reach, 42-14.

The Hurricanes had one last ditch effort before the fulltime whistle, but a knock-on brought a close to a match that was dominated by one team the Crusaders.

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South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Table Week 9

THE CHIEFS showed why they arrived in Durban as New Zealand Conference leaders when they beat THE SHARKS by 18-12 in a scrappy match on Saturday afternoon.

Sharks ChiefsThe humid conditions did not make handling easy and both sides struggled to gain proper momentum because of too many handling errors.

But while they spilled the ball quite frequently, the Chiefs’ defence held firm. They did not concede a single try at Mr Price Kings Park and are the leading defensive team in the competition thus far this year, having only given away eight tries from their eight matches in 2012.

The Sharks had a fair share of the possession, but did not manage to do too much with it, with handling errors and the visitors’ defence snuffing out a number of scoring opportunities. The KwaZulu-Natalians also struggled to gain the upper hand in the set pieces.

Aaron Cruden scored early for the Chiefs, after which an arm wrestle ensued. The Sharks fought back well and had an opportunity to take the lead late in the match, but the penalty attempt by Springbok Pat Lambie fell short.

In the dying seconds Chiefs replacement Augustine Pulu stretched his team’s lead with a sneaky try around the blind side when the Sharks’ players thought he was going to kick the ball out and end the match. Cruden’s conversion hit the upright, which meant the home team left with a losing bonus point.

THE VODACOM BULLS were outscored by five tries to two, but still beat the BRUMBIES by 36-34 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday evening, mainly thanks to a superb kicking display by Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn.

Defensively the Vodacom Bulls were not great, but thanks to their pressure game, the Brumbies conceded too many kickable penalties, which Steyn gladly turned into points. It was the first time in 12 home games, since they lost to the Highlanders last year that the Bulls conceded a try-scoring bonus point.

Steyn, who overtook Johan Goosen of the Toyota Cheetahs at the top of the points’ scorers list for 2012 with 128, passed 1,100 Vodacom Super Rugby career points. Steyn scored 26 points against the Brumbies and moved to 1,101 points, second only to the Crusaders’ Daniel Carter (1,289).

Had the Brumbies played more than only 20 odd minutes of rugby, the score could’ve been different. They scored all their tries in the first 13 and final 12 minutes. But the Vodacom Bulls were supreme for much of the game, although their attacking play often let them down when tries were on the table.

The home team probably lost some momentum when coach Frans Ludeke made a host of replacements late in the game, but in the end they had enough left in the tank, mainly thanks to Steyn, who was successful with eight out of nine of his kicks at goal.

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RESULTS

Highlanders HIGHLANDERS 30 - 27 BLUES Blues

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - 20 April 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 16-14
Highlanders T: Treeby, Baker C: Delany P: Delany (6)
Blues T: Parkes, Ranger C: Anscombe P: Anscombe (5)

 

Reds REDS 13 - 23 STORMERS Stormers

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - 20 April 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 3-17
Reds T: Horwill C: Harris P: Lucas, Harris
Stormers T: Aplon, Grant C: Grant (2) P: Grant (3)

 

Hurricanes HURRICANES 14 - 42 CRUSADERS Crusaders

Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 21 April 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 7-32
Hurricanes T: Taylor, Vito C: Barrett (2)
Crusaders T: Read, Carter, Fruean, Dagg (2) C: Taylor (4) P: Taylor (3)

 

WaratahsWARATAHS 30 -21 MELBOURNE REBELSMelbourne Rebels

Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney - 21 April 2012
KO:
19:40 HT: 16-7
Waratahs T: Foley, Polota-Nau, Horne C: McKibbin (3) P: McKibbin (3) Yellow Card Rob Horne
Rebels T: Robinson, Davidson, Mitchell C: O'Connor, Beale, Huxley

 

SharksSHARKS 12 - 18 CHIEFS Chiefs

Mr Price Kings Park, Durban - 21 April 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 3-10
Sharks P: Lambie (4)
Chiefs T: Cruden, Pulu C: Cruden P: Cruden (2)

 

Bulls BULLS 36-34 BRUMBIESBrumbies

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - 21 April 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 19-13
Bulls T: Basson, Stander C: M Steyn P: M Steyn (7) DG: M Steyn
Brumbies T: Speight, Mogg, Smith, Prior, Hegarty C: Lealiifano (3) P: Lealiifano

 

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WEEK 8Super Rugby Combined Table Week 8

 

Australia Conference

Super Rugby Australia Conference Table Week 8

New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Table Week 8

South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Table Week 8

RESULTS

Blues BLUES 23 - 29 SHARKSSharks

Eden Park, Auckland - 13 April 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 13-15
Blues T: Woodcock, Stanley C: Anscombe (2) P: Anscombe (2) DG: Anscombe
Sharks T: Sykes, Burden, Daniel, Whitehead C: Lambie (3) P: Lambie

 

Western Force FORCE 18 - 23 WARATAHSWaratahs

NIB Stadium, Perth - 13 April 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 3-10
Force T: SHeehan, Mafi C: Harvey P: Harvey (2) Yellow Card Ma'afu
Waratahs T: Kingston, Dennis C: McKibbin (2) P: McKibbin, Barnes (2) Yellow Card Foley

 

Crusaders CRUSADERS 31 - 24 STORMERS Stormers

Rugby League Park, Christchurch - 14 April 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 19-13
Crusaders T: Taylor C: Taylor P: Taylor (8) Yellow Card Crockett
Stormers T: de Jongh, Habana C: Pietersen P: Grant (2), Pietersen (2) Yellow Card Elstadt

 

BrumbiesBRUMBIES 37 - 6 MELBOURNE REBELSMelbourne Rebels

Canberra Stadium, Canberra - 14 April 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 30-6
Brumbies T: McCabe, Hooper, Fardy (2), Mowen C: Lealiifano (3) P: Lealiifano (2)
Rebels P: Cipriani, O'Connor

 

Cheetahs CHEETAHS 33 - 39 CHIEFS Chiefs

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - 14 April 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 9-10
Cheetahs T: Johnson, Goosen C: Goosen P: S Ebersohn (4), Goosen (3)
Chiefs T: Masaga, Taumalolo (2), Williams, Kahui C: Cruden (4) P: Cruden (2)

 

LionsLIONS vs BULLSBulls

Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg - 14 April 2012
KO: 19:10

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WEEK 7Super Rugby Combined Table Week 7

 

Australia Conference

Super Rugby Australia Conference Table Week 7

New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Table Week 7

South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Table Week 7

RESULTS

Melbourne Rebels MELBOURNE REBELS 34 - 23 BLUES Blues

AAMI Park, Melbourne - 05 April 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 11-9
Melbourne Rebels T: Beale, O'Connor, Delve C: O'Connor (2) P: O'Connor (5)
Blues T: Wulf, Lowrey C: Anscombe (2) P: Anscombe (3)

 

Hurricanes HURRICANES 42 - 18 SHARKSSharks

Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 06 April 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 25-3
Hurricanes T: Taylor, Lam, Savea, Smith, Bateman, Thrush C: Barrett (3) P: Barrett (2)
Sharks T: Pietersen, Burden C: Michalak P: Michalak (2)

 

Reds REDS 20 - 13 BRUMBIES Brumbies

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - 06 April 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 14-0
Reds T: Higginbotham (2) C: Lane (2) P: Lane (2) Yellow Card Gill
Brumbies T: Tomane C: Lealiifano P: Lealiifano (2)

 

Western Force FORCE 12 - 20 CHIEFS Chiefs

NIB Stadium, Perth - 06 April 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 6-7
Force P: Harvey (4)
Chiefs T: Masaga, Nanai-Williams C: Cruden (2) P: Cruden (2)

 

Highlanders HIGHLANDERS 6 - 21 STORMERS Stormers

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - 07 April 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 6-15
Highlanders P: Noakes (2)
Stormers T: Aplon, Pietersen C: Grant P: Pietersen, Grant (2) Yellow Card Liebenberg

 

Cheetahs CHEETAHS 26 - 5 LIONSLions

North West Stadium Welkom - 07 April 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 23-0
Cheetahs T: R Ebersohn (2) C: Goosen (2) P: Goosen (3), S Ebersohn
Lions T: Grobbelaar

 

Bulls BULLS 32 - 30 CRUSADERS Crusaders

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - 07 April 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 9-13
Bulls T: Greyling, Olivier C: Steyn (2) P: Steyn (6)
Crusaders T: Read, Guildford, Marshall C: Carter (3) P: Carter, Taylor DG: Carter

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WEEK 6Super Rugby Combined Table Week 6

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Table Week 6

Brumbies SharksTHE SHARKS won in Canberra for the first time since 1998 when they hung on at the death to beat the BRUMBIES by 29-26 in a pulsating Super Rugby match on Saturday morning.

With two minutes left on the clock, The Sharks were leading comfortably by 29-19, but a late try by Jesse Mogg and some enterprising attacking play by the Brumbies after the hooter had fans of the KwaZulu-Natal side on the edge of their seats before the home side spilled the ball and Charl McLeod kicked out.

After last week’s heart-breaking defeat to the Waratahs in Sydney, The Sharks finished much stronger in Canberra and also upped the ante on defence. They tackled much better and managed to keep the Brumbies down to two tries, while scoring four themselves.

Riaan Viljoen got two tries in the first half, while Lwazi Mvovo rounded off a move that started with a turn-over on their own try-line. The Springbok winger showed some magnificent pace in the last 30 metres to the line.

Big Willem Alberts got the Sharks’ fourth try after good attacking play and a lucky bounce close to the Brumbies’ try-line.

Since beating the Brumbies by 41-23 in 1998, The Sharks have lost seven straight games in the Australian capital – including the final in 2001 – before Saturday’s great victory. This win put to an end their joint second worst run against any opponent in Australasia.

The Sharks have never beaten the Crusaders away from Durban and last week they lost their seventh successive match against the Waratahs in Sydney.

THE ST.GEORGE QUEENSLAND REDS will make a timely return to Suncorp Stadium next Friday night after a gruelling stretch of away matches ended with a round seven Super Rugby loss to the WESTERN FORCE in Perth.

The incumbent champions entered the match determined to replicate their round two success against their Perth-based rivals despite their ridiculously high injury toll, but were unable to overcome a determined Force line up who walked away 45-19 winners.

The Force took control of the match from the early stages with a 21-0 lead thanks to tries from James Stannard and Nathan Sharpe as well as an on song David Harvey who nailed three penalties and a conversion. This was too much for the Queenslanders to overcome despite tries to prop James Slipper, lock Van Humphries and winger Dom Shipperley.

Slipper recorded his first Super Rugby try to get the Reds back into the game on the stroke of halftime before the Force regained their advantage following the break.

Just 5 minutes after the restart, Brett Sheehan charged down a kick from Reds’ flyhalf Dallan Murphy and off-loaded to Seymour who turned on the jets and powered past some hapless defence for his first Super Rugby try.

While Van Humphries responded for the visitors a short time later, any thoughts of a fight back were extinguished when Samu Wara and Matt Hodgson added a fourth and fifth try for the Emirates Western Force.

Again Seymour found himself in the thick of the action as he placed a perfectly weighted kick through the Reds defence where Wara was on hand to accept the kind bounce and outpace a chasing pack to score. Hodgson’s try six minutes from the end put the exclamation mark on a wonderful night for the club and their home supporters.

Harvey nailed all three conversions in the second half as well as another penalty goal to take his personal tally to 20 points in another strong display.

Humphries continued a Reds fight back midway through the second half with a try down the right flank although it wasn’t enough despite Shipperley crossing for his fourth try this season as the fulltime siren sounded.

The Reds will now turn their attention to playing the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium on Friday 6 April before their schedule bye the following week will allow numerous injured players to return to action.

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New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Table Week 6

ON a mild night in Invercargill the HIGHLANDERS turned a cold start into a super hot finish to beat the MELBOURNE REBELS 43-12 to collect their first 4-try bonus point win of the season. The Highlanders went into the shed with a 12 points on the scoreboard, the same as the Rebels, but seven tries in the second half saw the home team run out convincing winners.  Adam Thomson starred for the Highlanders scoring three tries and he was supported by a forward pack that dominated the majority of the match.  Ben Smith was another standout, assisting Thomson with his efforts across the line and bagging a brace of tries himself.

The first-half was impressive for the Rebels at Rugby Park, shooting out to a 9-0 lead thanks to the laser-like boot of James O’Connor, with the home side dominating possession but unable to penetrate the Melbourne defence.

However, Rebels centre Lloyd Johansson was sent to the sin bin after 22 minutes for a dangerous tackle and the tide began to turn.

Despite O’Connor kicking another penalty during Johansson’s 10-minute spell, the Highlanders scored their first try of the night through fullback Smith on 33 minutes. Five-eighth Chris Noakes added the extra 2 points and suddenly the Highlanders were back in the game.

Five minutes later O’Connor slotted his fourth penalty of the night, but right on the stroke of half-time the Highlanders drew level.

With 43 minutes on the clock Adam Thomson scored the first of his three tries for the night. Winger Hosea Gear threw a brilliant pass to find the loose forward who crossed untouched to send the teams into the break at 12-apiece.

Just 3 minutes into the second-half Thomson scored his second after a line break from Prop Chris King, before winger Kade Poki crossed just two minutes later to blow the game wide apart.

Noakes added the extras to extend the lead out to 12 points, 24-12.

Three more tries to Highlanders captain Jamie Mackintosh, Smith and another to Thomson rounded out the scoring for the Highlanders in a dominant display over a tiring RaboDirect Rebels outfit.

THE TOYOTA CHEETAHS won their first ever match in New Zealand since the Cats franchise split when they beat the HURRICANES by 47-38 in a highly entertaining Super Rugby match at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday morning.

Hurricanes Cheetahs Andre Taylor tryFree State beat the Otago Highlanders in the Land of the Long White Cloud way back in 1997 (scoring seven tries to nil in their 49-18 win), but this was the Toyota Cheetahs’ first since they became a franchise in 2006.

They will also return to Bloemfontein with a haul of 11 log points from their tour – the best ever for the Toyota Cheetahs. They won two games on tour and got losing bonus points in their other two.

It was a remarkable performance by the Toyota Cheetahs. After 31 minutes, they were behind by 32-11, the Hurricanes scoring the quickest four-try bonus point yet this season.

But three late first half tries by the Toyota Cheetahs, by Hennie Daniller, Rayno Benjamin and the impressive Coenie Oosthuizen saw the teams go into the break at 32-32.

The second half was much more even, but the visitors from Central South Africa used their opportunities better, with Oosthuizen and his prop-partner WP Nel crashing over as the Hurricanes could only slot two penalty goals in the final 40 minutes.

The Toyota Cheetahs set a number of other records on Saturday morning.

The six tries the Toyota Cheetahs scored, is the most they’ve ever scored in Australasia and only the second time they recorded a try-scoring bonus point on tour Down Under (the first time was on 21 April 2006 against the Chiefs, but they still lost 33-32).

Their score of 47 is also the highest by the Toyota Cheetahs on tour to Australasia.

A strong first half performance for the HSBC WARATAHS was not enough to keep them in contention for a victory over a rampant CHIEFS’ side in Hamilton who convincingly won 30-13.

It started well for the Australian side, as Tom Kingston got them on the scoreboard, capitalising on an effective driving maul by collecting an inside ball from scrum half Brendan McKibbin to jink his way towards the try line, stretching out to ground the ball.  McKibbin converted but the Chiefs capitalised on their first real possession from the restart, making some good yards up the middle before moving it wide to full back Robbie Robinson to cross in the left corner.  Aaron Cruden’s successful conversion levelled the scores after 11 minutes.

The first quarter saw some impressive carries from the big NSW forwards, with the likes of Wycliff Palu punching holes in the Chiefs’ defence, creating opportunities for  Kingston, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Berrick Barnes.

McKibbin and Cruden traded penalties, keeping the teams neck and neck past the half hour.  A second Cruden penalty put the home side ahead for the first time just 6 minutes from the break. 

The Waratahs’ decision to go for 7 points rather than take an easy 3 looked to have paid off when breakaway Chris Alcock burrowed over after a maul, only for the TMO to adjudge his effort short and leave the Waratahs trailing by 3 at the break. 

Minutes into the second period Arizona Taumalolo, the Chiefs’ leading try scorer, crossed after a grubber kick from Sonny Bill Williams took a lucky deflection from Dave Dennis’ leg, popping up for Richard Kahui to send the prop over.

McKibbin clawed 3 points back with a penalty on 47 minutes but despite a renewed physicality in attack, too many handling errors prevented them from building any momentum.

Several desperate efforts in defence, first out wide then under the posts, repeatedly denied the Chiefs their third try, leaving them to settle for 3 points.

As the final quarter approached the enormous efforts of recent weeks starting to show.  Despite an injection of replacements to revive the NSW effort, a lucky intercept from Chiefs’ newcomer Sam Cane off the back of a Waratahs scrum brought his side their third try through flanker Liam Messam, with Cruden maintaining his 100% record to slot the conversion.

The visitors hit back, drilling the ball long and winning a turnover with a strong kick chase, only to knock on with the line in sight, such was the story of their night.

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South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Table Week 6

IT probably was not the most memorable Super Rugby match ever, and for the MTN LIONS is was yet again a case of what could have been as they went down to the CRUSADERS by 23-13 at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.

Lions Crusaders Dan CarterThe MTN Lions were ahead after the first 40 minutes, but they were kept scoreless by the Crusaders in the second half, as the team from Canterbury showed why they are the most successful in Super Rugby history, without really playing to their full potential.

The home team had the better of territory and possession, but their attacking play was not up to scratch. The MTN Lions had a number of chances to score but only converted one of them when Pat Cilliers crashed over in the first half.

The Crusaders, on the contrary, had fewer opportunities, but made sure they scored when they could, with both wings, Zac Guildford and Sean Maitland, scored their tries. It was the Crusaders’ 20th win in South Africa from 39 matches played here.

To rub salt in the MTN Lions’ wounds, flyhalf Butch James pulled wide a penalty kick in injury time that would’ve meant a losing bonus point.

THE DHL STORMERS remained composed at the death to beat the VODACOM BULLS by 20-17 in a pulsating Super Rugby derby at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday evening, mainly thanks to a Peter Grant penalty goal with five minutes left on the clock.

The match lived up to the hype as the two best-placed South African teams on the log gave it their all in a Test match atmosphere.

It was a classic “game of two halves” as the DHL Stormers went into the break 14-0 up, only to see the Vodacom Bulls claw their way back to level the scores at 17-17 with 12 minutes left.

The Vodacom Bulls struggled with the pressure heaped on them in the first half as their discipline failed them – something the DHL Stormers grabbed with both hands to keep the score board ticking over. Because of the number of penalties they conceded, the visitors from Pretoria could not get going and struggled to get their hands on the ball in the opening stanza.

Joe Pietersen slotted three first half penalty goals and Tiaan Liebenberg crashed over for the DHL Stormers’ only try on the stroke of half time to see the home team go into the break with a handy lead.

Although Vodacom Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe was yellow carded early in the second half, his team mates played with much more vigour as narrowed the DHL Stormers’ lead to 14-10 after just 10 minutes of the second half, with Bjorn Basson scoring his fifth try of the season.

Pietersen made it 17-10 before Wynand Olivier went over in the corner for a converted try for the three time champions in the 68th minute. It was an arm wrestle after that, but when the Vodacom Bulls transgressed at a late scrum, Grant stepped up to the plate and repeated his heroics from a month ago against the Sharks by slotting the winning penalty goal.

Although the Vodacom Bulls scored two tries to one, Morné Steyn missed two penalty kicks, while the two DHL Stormers’ kickers, only missed the conversion out of six attempts at goal.
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RESULTS

Highlanders HIGHLANDERS 43 - 12 MELBOURNE REBELSMelbourne Rebels

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - 30 March 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 12-12
Highlanders T: B Smith (2), Thomson (3), Poki, Mackintosh C: Noakes (4) Yellow Card Tietjens
Rebels P: O'Connor (4) Yellow Card Johansson

HurricanesHURRICANES 38 - 47 CHEETAHSCheetahs

Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 31 March 2012
KO: 17:30 HT: 32-32
Hurricanes T: Coles, Barrett, Taylor, Perenara C: Barrett (3) P: Barrett (4)
Cheetahs T: A Strauss, Daniller, Benjamin, Oosthuizen (2), Nel C: Goosen (4) P: Goosen (3)

ChiefsCHIEFS 30 - 13 WARATAHSWaratahs

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - 31 March 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 13-10
Chiefs T: Robinson, Taumalolo, Messam C: Cruden (3) P: Cruden (3)
Waratahs T: Kingston C: McKibbin P: McKibbin (2)

BrumbiesBRUMBIES 26 - 29 SHARKSSharks

Canberra Stadium, Canberra - 31 March 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 16-15
Brumbies T: Mogg, White C: Lealiifano (2) P: Lealiifano (4)
Sharks T: Viljoen (2), Albert, Mvovo C: Michalak (3) P: Michalak

Western ForceFORCE 45 - 19 REDSReds

NIB Stadium, Perth - 31 March 2012
KO: 18:40 HT: 21-5
Force T: Stannard, Sharpe, Seymour, Wara, Hodgson C: Harvey (4) P: Harvey (4)
Reds T: Slipper, Humphries, Shipperley C: Murphy (2)

LionsLIONS 13 - 23 CRUSADERSCrusaders

Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg - 31 March 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 13-10
Lions T: Cilliers C: James P: James (2)
Crusaders T: Guildford, Maitland C: Taylor (2) P: Taylor (3)

StormersSTORMERS 20 -17 BULLSBulls

DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town - 31 March 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 14-0
Stormers T: Liebenberg P: Pietersen (4), Grant
Bulls T: Basson, Olivier C: Steyn (2) P: Steyn Yellow Card van der Merwe

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WEEK 5Super Rugby Combined Table Week 5

WEEK 5 HIGHLIGHTS

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Table Week 5

A gutsy second half fight back from the EMIRATES WESTERN FORCE fell just short as the Perth side was left to rue an opportunity lost against the MELBOURNE REBELS who snatched a 30-29 win in Melbourne on Friday night.

Despite outscoring the Victorian’s four tries to three, Force were left to lament a slow start that let the home side race to a 21-0 lead before poor discipline gave the Rebels shots on goal that earned them the victory late in the game.

Lachlan Mitchell, Lloyd Johansson and Danny Cipriani scored all three tries and 21 points for the Rebels in 21 minutes, before David Pocock and Winston Stanley found the whitewash twice. The try was Stanley’s first in Super Rugby. With the Rebels lead trimmed to 12 at the break, the Force had weathered the storm and regrouped to play a much improved second period.

Flying winger Alfie Mafi gave the visitors the perfect opening when he danced through the Rebels line to dot down under the posts early in the second half.  David Harvey’s conversion and successful penalty a short time later saw Force score back to back points for the first time and brought them within 2 points of the Rebels.

Julian Huxley added his second penalty points, after which the match turned into an arm wrestle as both teams sought the critical breakthrough.

Nick Cummins found himself scoring in the 63rd minute and Force hit the lead for the first time to mark a dramatic turnaround from the earlier malaise they had found themselves in. The conversion took them just 2 points clear, but Mark Gerrard was given a chance to get the Melbourne side back into the lead and he nailed a long range penalty with 7 minutes left.

Despite the best efforts of the visitors they were unable to get deep into their attacking half as the clock quickly became their enemy.  One last push following the hooter came to nothing when the referee awarded a touchy penalty and the Rebels were able to boot the ball into touch.

NEWCOMER Brendan McKibbin celebrated his run-on debut with a dream start, earning the man of the match award and scoring 17 points to help the HSBC WARATAHS to an inspiring 34-30 victory over THE SHARKS in Sydney.

In a flawless kicking display, McKibbin slotted two first half penalties and converted his own try to keep the home team in touch at the break, paving the way for a passionate second half fight back that saw converted tries from centre Tom Carter, fullback Bernard Foley and wing Tom Kingston.

Caught short out wide, the home side were 7 points down within 3 minutes when wing Lwazi Mvovo touched down from a simple draw and pass but McKibbin hit back with the first of two penalties on 12 minutes.

Sharks’ fly half Patrick Lambie added a three-pointer minutes later to extend his team’s lead to 10-3 on the 15-minute mark.  Undeterred, McKibbin dived over the top of a ruck to crash over under the posts, converting his own try to level the scores.

A converted try from Sharks’ captain Keegan Daniel and a second McKibbin penalty took the half time score to 13-17, before the visitors extended their lead 7 minutes into the second period through a Bismarck du Plessis try.

Trailing by nine, the home side launched Carter through the midfield, slicing through the drifting defence to crash over under the posts. Carter’s try – his 14th in Super Rugby - put his side ahead for the first time in the match and propelled the centre into the top 10 try scorers in NSW Super Rugby history, just one behind Drew Mitchell.

McKibbin maintained his 100% record with the boot, adding the conversion before making way for NSW’s South African recruit Sarel Pretorius.  Two Lambie penalties nudged the visitors ahead after 73 minutes but the Tahs stuck to their game plan, and Lopeti Timani’s offload found Tatafu Polota-Nau on the charge, the hooker showing his skills to put Kingston away in the right corner for the all-important fourth try which set the crowd alight.  A touchline conversion from Barnes put the icing on the cake, extending the final score to 34-30.

TWO tries to a flying Joe Tomane have handed the BRUMBIES a 33-26 win over the competition-leading HIGHLANDERS at Canberra Stadium on Saturday.

In a highly physical encounter that saw All Black Colin Slade carried off with a badly broken leg, the Brumbies managed to dominate the breakdown and claim plenty of ball from set-piece against what shaped as the best forward pack in Super Rugby.

For a side written off by most at the start of the year as too young to be successful, the Brumbies remained composed and patient throughout the testing encounter, taking their chances when they arose despite having just 30 percent of possession in the opening half.

The scoring opened after just 4 minutes, with speedster Joseph Tomane snatching an intercept against the run of play, then darting 80 metres to score. It was the former league star’s first touch of the game, first try in Super Rugby and first glimpse of the brilliance he displayed in rugby league.

A drop goal to Slade 2 minutes later had the Highlanders back with a sniff, but Tomane was not done burning the left touchline, this time finding himself on the end of some quality work from the inside backs to score his second of the game. Again Lealiifano was successful with his conversion attempt and the Brumbies had a 11-point lead with 17 minutes of the first half played. 

Two more penalties from Lealiifano gave the Brumbies a 20-13 lead heading into the break, but not before scrumhalf Aaron Smith, a talented youngster who has kept Jimmy Cowan on the bench all year, produced the Highlanders highlight of the first half with a quick dart through traffic, ducking under a high tackle to register his side’s first try of the evening. Slade added the extra along with an earlier penalty.

The Highlanders were the first side to score after the break, World Cup winner Slade knocking over 3 points for a line-out infringement to keep his side in the fight, 20-16. His shot at goal was followed by the Highlanders second try when Shaun Treeby darted across to pull his side back into the game.

Slade’s conversion will almost certainly be the last point-scoring he does for 2012 after breaking both bones in his lower-leg and being rushed into surgery. It has been an unlucky run for Slade, who had just returned from two broken jaws suffered in the last 12 months.

For the next 20 minutes, both teams absorbed plenty of pressure allowing their opposition to penetrate into enemy territory, and eventually Man of the Match, Michael Hooper showed his quality scooping up a loose ball to score the most important try of his career. 

It gave the Brumbies a 7 point lead at 33-26 with 10 minutes to play. And although they were pressured by the Highlanders, the Brumbies managed to hold on for the win to go top of the Australian Conference. 

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New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Table Week 5

THE HURRICANES grabbed a sensational 26-25 victory over the BLUES in their round five clash at Eden Park on Friday night, scoring a converted try on fulltime to clinch the win.

Captain Conrad Smith finished off a breathtaking broken field break from halfway by Beauden Barrett to put the Hurricanes behind by a point, and with the last play of the game, Barrett calmly added the extras. Smith’s try was the fourth for the visitors and bagged them the bonus point.

By the 79th minute, the Canes had outscored the Blues three tries to one, all tries coming in the first half from Andre Taylor, Cory Jane and Smith with his first of the evening. They had then held on throughout the second spell as the Blues mounted a comeback and regained their lead from earlier in the game. But they did it through penalties only, fullback Lachlan Munro kicking three second half penalties to go with his three in the opening 40 minutes.
Following a lively start by both sides, Blues fullback Lachlan Munro opened the scoring with a penalty in the 8th minute, after an excellent defensive battle preventing Victor Vito from scoring, the Blues regrouped and Ma’a Nonu crashed over from close range to score. Munro’s conversion from in front put the Blues ahead 10-0. Two more penalties were added by Munro, but at half time the Canes were ahead 19-16.

From a scrum penalty early in the second half, Munro kicked a penalty from 40 metres to make it 19-19. The Blues regained the lead through Munro, who kicked his fifth penalty. He kicked his sixth 3 minutes later, putting the Blues ahead at 25-19 heading into the final quarter.

Barrett missed with a penalty that would have closed the deficit back to 3 points for the visitors. Then the Blues had the opportunity to close out the game and even extend their lead, but for a determined Hurricanes side that weathered the storm and counterattacked brilliantly to clinch their third win of the competition.

THE TOYOTA CHEETAHS delivered their best-ever Super Rugby performance against the CRUSADERS in New Zealand when they were pipped at the post by 28-21 by the seven-time champions in Christchurch on Saturday.

In their three previous visits to Canterbury, the Toyota Cheetahs lost by respectively 39 points (2010), 48 points (2008) and 36 points (2006). On Saturday, they were still level with the Crusaders with less than 5 minutes on the clock, but then Israel Dagg scored the winning try for the home side after a period of relentless pressure.

Tom Taylor started the match with two penalties, followed up with a try from Sean Maitland, answered only by a penalty from Johan Goosen. Going into the break, the Crusaders were 11-3 ahead.

Home fans were thrilled at the return of Dan Carter from his injury during the Rugby World Cup as he ran on to replace Ryan Crotty in the second half.

Robbie Fruean came out and quickly added a second score, but quickly the visitors retorted; Goosen’s try started with a turnover deep in the Cheetahs’ half of the field and ended with the SA Under-20 flyhalf, who is currently at the top of the points’ scorers list for 2012, crossing in the corner after some good handling and running down the left side of the field.

Taylor added his third penalty, but Robert Ebersohn kept the visitors in the hunt with a try of his own. Goosen’s conversion and subsequent penalty levelled the scores at 21-all with just 10 minutes on the clock.

The Crusaders were determined to top off this momentous occasion -their first match back in Christchurch since May 2010 following last year’s devastating earthquakes- with a win, and three players pushed over the try line within 4 minutes.  Unfortunately the first two attempts from Andy Ellis and Tom Taylor were judged to be no try by the TMO, but there was no mistaking the third attempt from Israel Dagg.  Taylor’s conversion provided the fulltime score of 28-21 to the home team.

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South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Table Week 5

THE WARATAHS put in a solid second-half performance as THE SHARKS seemed to lose steam in their 34-30 defeat to the team from Sydney in an entertaining Super Rugby encounter at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

The Sharks could not keep their performance up for the full 80 minutes. At times, the KwaZulu-Natalians looked very dangerous, but the home side finished stronger, scoring three second half tries to one in a very even match.

The Sharks were quick out of the blocks, with Lwazi Mvovo crossing in the fourth minute. Keegan Daniel’s try later in the first half put the visitors ahead at the break, but the Waratahs came out stronger in the second stanza.

The home side fought back with two quick tries midway through the second half, but John Plumtree’s men were ahead on the score board going into the final 10 minutes, thanks to Bismarck du Plessis’ earlier second half try and some pin-point goal kicking by Pat Lambie, who slotted six from seven shots at goal to surpass 250 Super Rugby career points.

Then their concentration slipped again as young Waratah-winger Tom Kingston broke Sharks hearts with the winning try five minutes from full time.

IT was one-way traffic at Loftus Versfeld as the VODACOM BULLS crushed the defending Super Rugby champs, the REDS, by 61-8 on Saturday afternoon. It’s the biggest defeat ever by a team that is defending their title and also the joint-seventh biggest victory in this competition.

The home side scored eight tries – seven of those coming in the second half – against a depleted Reds side that struggled with the physicality and intensity displayed by the Vodacom Bulls. The tries came from Zane Kirchner, Wynand Olivier, Flip van der Merwe, Jaque Potgieter, Jano Vermaak, CJ Stander, JJ Engelbrecht and Bjorn Basson. The visitors only try came from Dominic Shipperley.

The Reds’ defence was also not up to scratch as they recorded their biggest defeat since the final round robin match of 2007, when they were also slaughtered by the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria (92-3).

It was also the Vodacom Bulls’ biggest victory since that day at Loftus Versfeld and the ninth time since they won the title for the first time in 2007 that they scored 50 points.

The Vodacom Bulls squandered a number of try-scoring opportunities in the first half, but still went into the break 16-3 up. The second half was a completely different story as they almost scored at will. Three of the Pretorians’ tries came in the final 10 minutes, while Morné Steyn slotted all eight his kicks at goal for a personal contribution of 19 points.

THE DHL STORMERS had to dig deep to hold on to the first position on the Super Rugby log as the only unbeaten side in 2012 when they beat the MTN LIONS by 24-19 at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

It was a game in which the Capetonians dominated early and then took control again towards the end, as the MTN Lions never gave up. The DHL Stormers raced to a lead of 18-0 in the first half hour, but the home team clawed their way back to 18-16 after 60 minutes.

The MTN Lions enjoyed the bulk of the possession. As a result, the DHL Stormers had to make almost three times as many tackles as their hosts, but their defence held firm.

Unfortunately for the MTN Lions, their discipline let them down towards the end as two Joe Pietersen penalty goals put any hopes of a victory beyond them. They did get a well-deserved bonus point at the end though, thanks to a dropped goal by Andries Coetzee.

Early in the match the DHL Stormers scored two “milestone tries” – first by Tiaan Liebenberg in his 50th Vodacom Super Rugby match for the Cape side before Bryan Habana got his 50th try in this competition, making him the first South African and sixth overall to reach this landmark.

The first five players to pass 50 Super Rugby tries were Doug Howlett (59 for the Hurricanes, Highlanders and Blues), Caleb Ralph (58 for the Chiefs and Crusaders), Joe Roff (57 for the Brumbies), Christian Cullen (56 for the Hurricanes) and Stirling Mortlock (55 for the Brumbies and Rebels).

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RESULTS

BluesBLUES 25 - 26 HURRICANESHurricanes

Eden Park, Auckland - 23 March 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 16-19
Blues T: Nonu C: Munro P: Munro (6)
Canes T: Taylor, Jane, Smith (2) C: Barrett (2), Smith

Melbourne Rebels MELBOURNE REBELS 30 - 29 FORCEWestern Force

AAMI Park, Melbourne - 23 March 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 24-12
Rebels T: Mitchell, Johansson, Cipriani C: Cipriani (3) P: Huxley (2), Gerrard
Force T: Pocock, Stanley, Mafi, Cummins C: Harvey (3) P: Harvey

WaratahsWARATAHS 34 - 30 SHARKSSharks

Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney - 24 March 2012
KO: 15:35 HT: 13-17
Waratahs  T: McKibbin, Foley, Carter, Kingston C: McKibbin (3), Barnes P: McKibbin (2)
Sharks T: Mvovo, Daniel, B du Plessis C: Lambie (3) P: Lambie (3)

CrusadersCRUSADERS 28 - 21 CHEETAHSCheetahs

Rugby League Park, Christchurch - 24 March 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 11-3
Crusaders T: Maitland, Fruean, Dagg C: Taylor (2) P: Taylor (3)
Cheetahs T: Goosen, R Ebersohn C: Goosen P: Goosen

BrumbiesBRUMBIES 33 - 26 HIGHLANDERSHighlanders

Canberra Stadium, Canberra - 24 March 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 20-13
Brumbies T: Tomane (2), Hooper C: Lealiifano (3) P: Lealiifano (4)
Highlanders T: A Smith, Treeby C: Slade (2) P: Slade (2), Noakes DG: Slade

BullsBULLS 61 - 8 REDSReds

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - 24 March 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 16-3
Bulls T: Kirchner, Olivier van der Merwe, Potgieter, Vermaak, Stander, Engelbrecht, Basson C: Steyn (5) Fouche P: Steyn (3)
Reds T: Shipperley P: Lance

LionsLIONS 19 - 24 STORMERSStormers

Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg - 24 March 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 7-18
Lions T: Meyer C: James P: James (3) DG: Coetzee
Stormers T: Liebenberg, Habana C: Pietersen P: Pietersen (4)

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WEEK 4Super Rugby Combined Table Week 4

WEEK 4 HIGHLIGHTS

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Table Week 4

IN an excitingly close match in Sydney, the EMIRATES WESTERN FORCE dispelled doubts they were brittle in close encounters after a comeback from just behind one point to win against the WARATAHS.

Despite going in as firm underdogs, and on the back of seven changes to their run-on side, the West Australian’s produced their best effort of 2012 and were duly rewarded. After signing with the club last week, David Harvey enjoyed a dream first outing with the opening try of the game as well as clutch kicking to finish with 16 of the club’s 21 points.

The Waratahs were able to maul their way from a lineout not far from the try line and Adam Ashley-Cooper fell over to open the scoring. Daniel Halangahu converted to give the home side a strong start in the opening 5 minutes.

Harvey reduced the margin with a successful penalty a short time later and Force then hit the lead when they opted to take a lineout deep in their attacking zone rather than the kick for goal after the Waratahs went a man down following Dean Mumm’s yellow card. It decision was justified when Stannard put Harvey through a big gap to dot down over the line and celebrate his elevation to the elite level.

Tom Kingston | Force v TahsThe home side were able to secure their second try when halfback Sarel Pretorius knocked the ball out of the hands of his opposite number and the spill was cleaned up by Tom Kingston who strolled over for the points. As the clock wound down towards the, Force drove their way forward and a penalty gave Harvey another chance to shoot and he ensured that just one point was all that would separate the sides at half time, 14-13.

Adam Ashley-Cooper had his second try disallowed for an earlier obstruction, and a penalty from Harvey in the 53rd minute put the Force in the lead once more, but two in a row from Halangahu gave the Tahs the lead before Sam Wara silenced the Sydney Football Stadium crowd with his maiden try.

With time still on the clock for the home side to respond, Force dug deep to keep the ball in their own half and despite a penalty with 30 seconds remaining allowing the Tahs one final crack, there wasn’t going to be any let up from the visitors.

THE TOYOTA CHEETAHS got their second-ever Vodacom Super Rugby victory in Australia when replacement scrumhalf Pieter van Zyl rounded off a move that started deep in their own half that saw the Free Staters beat the MELBOURNE REBELS by 33-26 in an enthralling match at AAMI Park on Sunday morning.

It was a brilliant performance by the Toyota Cheetahs for their first win of the season, even though they struggled at times after a very strong start. The match was played at a very high intensity by both sides.

Willie le Roux scored two tries in the first 10 minutes, but was then yellow carded for knocking the ball down with Rebels on attack. The Toyota Cheetahs conceded only three points while a man down and went into the break leading by 20-10.

The Rebels fought back early in the second half and with 15 minutes to go, the score was 26-26, following a number of penalty goals by the two fly halves, James O’Connor and SA Under-20 star Johan Goosen, who is now the top scorer in the competition with a personal haul of 65 points.

The final moments of the game were frantic as both sides attacked with vigour, mindful of giving away a penalty. The Toyota Cheetahs put the ball through 16 phases before Ashley Johnson hit the half-gap, fed the ball to Sias Ebersohn who put the livewire Van Zyl away for an incredible try – his first at this level.

Last year the Toyota Cheetahs beat the Waratahs in Sydney for their first victory in Australia. Last week they came close to a second win Down Under against the Brumbies and on Sunday their never-say-die attitude paid off in Melbourne.

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New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Table Week 4

AN exhilarating match saw the CHIEFS make it three wins in a row as they walked away 29-22 victors against the BRUMBIES at Bay Park Stadium in Mount Maunganui.

With the sad loss of former All Black captain and NZRU chairman Jock Hobbs earlier this week both sides honoured his contributions on and off the field with a moment’s silence.

The Chiefs showed their intent early moving the ball around the park, but it was the visitors who posted first points through Christian Leali’ifano’s boot to give a 3-0 lead.  But by half time, both teams went into the break with 3 penalties apiece.

The second half was much of the same with both sides trading penalties at 15-all, but it became all the more interesting  when the Chiefs continued to plug away at the Brumbies tryline and it paid off when Sona Taumalolo scored under the posts in trademark fashion on a back of a great effort from Kane Thompson at the base of the scrum in the 68th minute.

The Brumbies showed determination and hit back with a try of their own to replacement lock Sam Carter. While Leali’ifano calmly kicked the conversion to once again draw it up at 22-22.

With four minutes remaining a crucial error by halfback provided the Chiefs with one last opportunity to win the game;  the home side strung more phases together and quickly swooped an opportunity and centre Jackson Willison was able to slide in at the corner to clinch the game, and Cruden added the extras.

THE HURRICANES missed out 19-17 to the HIGHLANDERS at Westpac Stadium in Wellington in round four of the Investec Super Rugby competition on Saturday night.

In a stop-start match, the Hurricanes had almost done enough to hold off the southern franchise after coming back from a 13-0 deficit after the opening half hour to lead 14-13 at halftime.

Colin Slade was successful with the first points of the night, which he followed up by crashing over under the uprights in the 15th minute to score the Highlanders’ sole try of the encounter. Slade converted his own try to put the visitors ahead 10-0. Slade extended the lead in the 25th minute with a 39-metre strike.

Cory Jane try Hurricanes v HighlandersThe Hurricanes then hit back with two penalties from Beauden Barrett,  and a patient team build-up led to both Hurricanes wings, Julian Savea and Cory Jane, combining to score a decisive try 3 minutes before halftime. Barrett missed the conversion but added one more penalty before the whistle.

In a try-less second half, both sides traded penalties - the Hurricanes maintaining a one-point advantage until Noakes kicked the winning points.

The Highlanders were unlucky not to score their second try following a 60-metre break by left wing Hosea Gear and an adjudged forward pass from the next play by centre Tamati Ellison to right wing Kade Poki. And the visitors missed further points scoring opportunities through a dropped pass in the opposite corner and a failed Slade penalty attempt, before the Hurricanes very nearly scored what would have been a thrilling try.

But in a match dominated by a high penalty count, the Hurricanes were penalised for leaving their feet in a ruck and the left footed Noakes kicked the final points of the night.

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South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Table Week 4

SPRINGBOK wing Bryan Habana scored his 49th Vodacom Super Rugby try as the DHL STORMERS kept their unbeaten record for 2012 intact with a good 27-17 victory over the BLUES at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Friday evening.

Built on a very good performance by the DHL Stormers pack, especially at scrum time, the Capetonians showed why they were regarded as one of the favourites before the competition had started.

Although their performance was probably still not as polished as they would have liked, the DHL Stormers remain unbeaten and occupy the top spot on the log as they beat the Blues thanks to a pressure game.

Habana’s try, after a clever box kick from scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage that flummoxed the Blues defenders with a funny bounce, was his 49th at this level and 12th try for the DHL Stormers.

Only five players have scored more tries in the history of Vodacom Super Rugby – Doug Howlett (59 for the Hurricanes, Highlanders and Blues), Caleb Ralph (58 for the Chiefs and Crusaders), Joe Roff (57 for the Brumbies), Christian Cullen (56 for the Hurricanes) and Stirling Mortlock (55 for the Brumbies and Rebels).

DHL Stormers captain Jean de Villiers scored his first try of the season and 22nd overall at Vodacom Super Rugby level.

THE SHARKS fought back from 17-0 down to beat the defending Vodacom Super Rugby champions, the REDS, by 27-22 at Mr Price Kings Park on Saturday afternoon.

Radike Samo shut down Sharks v Reds In arguably their most impressive performance yet of 2012, The Sharks knuckled down when it mattered and became the first South African side to beat the Reds since they did so on 4 April 2010, also in Durban.

The team from Brisbane won seven consecutive matches against South African opposition in this time.

Conditions in Durban were very bad, with a strong wind and rain wreaking havoc on the pitch. At first that didn’t bother the Reds though, as they raced to a 17-0 lead in the first 32 minutes.

A try on debut by former SA Under-20 player Jandré Marais got the Sharks on the board with a well-worked try, only six minutes after he replaced the injured Steven Sykes in the middle row.

Reds for Africa Three tries in a frantic six minutes midway through the second half – No 8 and captain Keegan Daniel and fullback Riaan Viljoen scored for The Sharks – set the scene for an exciting final 20 minutes, but at that stage, both sides were severely disrupted by injuries and struggled for cohesion.

There were no less than six injury replacements during the match, while The Sharks had to reshuffle their backline when Springbok wing JP Pietersen got injured during the warm-up. Because of all the injuries, the game ended with uncontested scrums, while the Reds had to move regular scrumhalf Will Genia to flyhalf.

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RESULTS

ChiefsCHIEFS 29-22 BRUMBIESBrumbies

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - 16 March 2012
KO:  19:35 HT:  9-9
Chiefs T: Taumalolo, Wilson C: Cruden (2) P: Cruden (5)
Brumbies T: Carter C: Leali’ifano P: Leali’ifano (5)

StormersSTORMERS 27-17 BLUESBlues

DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town - 16 March 2012
KO:  19:10 HT:  17-3
Stormers T: Habana, de Villiers C: Pietersen P: Pietersen (5)
Blues T: Stanley, Faumuina C: Anscombe (2) P: Munro

HurricanesHURRICANES 17-19 HIGHLANDERSHighlanders

Westpac Stadium, Wellington - 17 March 2012
KO:  19:35 HT:  14-13
Hurricanes T: Jane P: Barrett (4)
Highlanders T: Slade C: Slade P: Slade (3), Noakes

WaratahsWARATAHS 20-21 FORCEWestern Force

Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney - 17 March 2012
KO:  19:40 HT:  14-13
Waratahs T: Ashley-Cooper, Kingston C: Halangahu (2) P: Halangahu (2) Yellow Card Mumm
Force T: Harvey, Wara C: Harvey P: Harvey (3)

SharksSHARKS 27-22 REDSReds

Mr Price Kings Park, Durban - 17 March 2012
KO:  17:05 HT: 10-17
Sharks T: Marais, Daniel, Viljoen C: Lambie (3) P: Lambie (2)
Reds T: Hanson, Higginbotham, Frisby C: Harris, Lucas P: Lucas Yellow Card Ioane

Melbourne Rebels MELBOURNE REBELS 26-33 CHEETAHSCheetahs

AAMI Park, Melbourne - 18 March 2012
KO:  16:10 HT: 10-20
Rebels T: Freier, O'Connor C: O'Connor (2) P: O'Connor (4)
Cheetahs T: Le Roux (2), van Zyl C: Goosen (3) P: Goosen Yellow Card Le Roux

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WEEK 3Super Rugby Combined Table Week 3

WEEK 3 HIGHLIGHTS

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Table Week 3

THE TOYOTA CHEETAHS were pipped at the post with a last-minute penalty as they came very close to only their second victory in Australia, the BRUMBIES eventually winning this high intensity Vodacom Super Rugby encounter by 24-23 in Canberra on Saturday morning.

Toyota Cheetahs fans would feel their team was unfortunate as they conceded a slew of penalties late in the game, which saw the Brumbies fight back from being 23-10 behind with half an hour to go.

Apart from the penalties which ultimately cost them the game, the Toyota Cheetahs showed a vast improvement from last weekend. Their defence was generally very good and Springbok flanker Heinrich Brüssow was at his brilliant best at the breakdowns, turning over a lot of possession for the visitors.

Brumbies CheetahsThe Toyota Cheetahs scored two good tries, first by left wing Willie le Roux off a set move from a line-out in the first half and then shortly after the break by scrumhalf Tewis de Bruyn.

Toyota Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen, who is part of the South African Under-20 training squad, missed his first kick at goal in 217 minutes of Vodacom Super Rugby this season when his attempt at a 62 metre penalty goal fell short. That was his 17th kick at goal this season.

THE ST.GEORGE QUEENSLAND REDS equalled their best start to a Super Rugby season since 1999 with a hard-fought 11-6 victory over the MELBOURNE REBELS at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

In front of a season-best crowd of 34,126, the Reds made it three wins from three games, scoring the only try of the match through winger Dom Shipperley in the 55th minute.

Reds flyhalf Mike Harris' perfect kicking record of 24 from 24 in Super Rugby unfortunately came to an end in the 17th minute of the match when he missed a tough penalty attempt 45 meters out.

Courtesy of two penalty goals from the boot of James O’Connor, the Rebels held a 6-0 lead in the 32nd minute but a penalty to Harris pulled the lead back to three, sending the Reds to the sheds trailing 6-3.

Despite attacking valiantly throughout the second half, the Rebels were unable to capitalise on any opportunity and their score remained stuck on 6 points.

A host of changes in the 51st minute gave the Reds the spark they needed; fullback Luke Morahan had a try denied 54th minute, when Kurtley Beale bundled his opposite number over in the corner before he was able to ground the ball.

Man of the match and captain James Horwill stole the ensuing lineout on the Rebels five metre line which led to the Reds first try through Shipperley in the 55th minute.

The Reds attack on the Rebels line continued with a number of opportunities going begging and after electing to take a couple of quick taps to keep the pressure on the Rebels, Horwill eventually pointed to the sticks to take the three-points and push their lead out to 11-6 with 20 minutes to play, but the score would remain the same at fulltime.

THE EMIRATES WESTERN FORCE had the lion’s share of possession in their clash against the HURRICANES on Friday night but luck certainly was not in their favour, nor was there any compassion from the New Zealanders who capitalised on any loose play to record a bonus point win.

The final 19-46 score line reflected the attacking astuteness of the Wellington side that ran in six tries to one, including three to young halfback TJ Perenara who was making his first start in FxPro Super Rugby.

The last of Perenara’s tries came in the 49th minute and was the result of a wicked bounce that eluded the clutches of Emirates Western Force back Alfie Mafi to land in the lap of the on running scrumhalf.

With the temperature still hovering in the 30’s as the game kicked off it was the Hurricanes who applied the heat to the home side in the opening quarter of the half as they raced out to a 10 point lead after just 10 minutes.

Matt Hodgson helped his side back into the contest when he crossed for Force’s only try of the night.  James Stannard converted and the margin was just 3.

The Aussies could have taken the lead after winning two penalties within kicking distance but Stannard narrowly missed.  He did though bring the homeside back to level pegging with a successful attempt in front of goal.

The final 4 minutes of the opening half however belonged to the Hurricanes as they added another two tries to their total and within a blink of an eye the margin had blown out to the biggest of the night, 10-22.

Force made several changes at the half time interval with some tactical substitutions as well as a few forced injury adjustments and cleared his bench as the game wore on.

Another successful penalty attempt from Stannard saw the Force trail by just 9 with just a touch over 30 minutes to play, and he found the uprights twice more to take the Force tally to 19. However, as they had done in the opening half, the Canes enjoyed a purple patch late in the half to score another two tries from Jason Eaton and Charlie Ngatai to add to the third from Perenara, and collectively they put the result beyond doubt.

Star lock Nathan Sharpe played strongly in his milestone game as he became the first player to reach 150 FxPro Super Rugby caps in the history of the SANZAR competition.

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New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Table Week 3

AN old-fashioned encounter saw the CHIEFS walk away with a hard-earned 24-19 win over the CRUSADERS at McLean Park in Napier.

SBW Crusaders v ChiefsWearing black arm bands in tribute to winger Asaeli Tikoirotuma’s mother, who passed away during the week, the side looked to back up last week’s impressive performance against the Blues.

Aaron Cruden gave the Chiefs an early 3-0 lead after a Crusaders player was deemed to be in an offside position. His counterpart, Tyler Bleyendaal was able to level the scores through his boot making it 3-3 soon after.

Despite the slippery conditions both sides looked content to keep the ball in hand and was highlighted when inside centre Sonny Bill Williams busted the Crusaders defence.  Eventually the pressure the Chiefs were applying took its toll on the Crusaders defence as they were rewarded with a try to co-captain Liam Messam.  And the try scorer turned try-saver minutes later, getting a hand up to stop an almost certain try to Crusaders captain Kieran Read.

Crusaders halfback Andy Ellis was denied a try by referee Garrett Williamson, but young Bleyendaal slotted a penalty to close the gap to 6-13. Cruden restored the earlier Chiefs’ lead through another penalty making it 6-16 at the break.

Handling errors marred the opening stages of the second half as Crusaders looked threatening with every touch, and Robbie Fruean crossed over on the back of an offload by Read to put the Crusaders firmly back in the game. Bleyendaal’s conversion narrowed the gap to 13-16.

But a costly error from the Crusaders gave the Chiefs a prime opportunity to attack and Sona Taumalolo made them pay scoring in trademark fashion rumbling over from a breakdown.  No conversion followed, and a pair of Bleyendaal penalties kept the Crusaders in touch on the scoreboard making it 21-19 and setting up a tight finish. 

Minutes from fulltime, Williamson gave the Chiefs a timely penalty in which Cruden calmly nailed to give his team a 24-19 victory. 

A try for returning flanker Pat McCutcheon and four Daniel Halangahu penalties weren’t quite enough to secure a second away victory for the HSBC WARATAHS in an agonisingly close contest against a highly competitive HIGHLANDERS outfit. 

Despite leading the thriller 9-8 at half time, the game ended in heartache for the visitors, with both teams scoring a second half try and penalty apiece and only a conversion separating them.

There was some consolation for the NSW side, the single point defeat earning them a second losing bonus and taking their tournament tally to seven points after three matches. 

After opening up a 6 point lead in the first 15 minutes, the visitors looked like going behind just a minute later, when Highlanders’ scrum half Aaron Smith scored from a tapped penalty but the home side were unable to add the extras, a charge down from Adam Ashley-Cooper causing the ball to strike the left hand upright.

A penalty from Slade, and one more form his opposite number, Halangahu, saw the Tahs go into the break just 1 point clear of the homeside.

As quickly as McCutcheon scored his unconverted try after the break, the Highlanders wasted no time hitting back, attacking the midfield and eventually creating space on the wing for breakaway John Hardie to dive over, with Slade’s successful effort putting his team ahead for the first time. And matters worsened for the visitors as McCutcheon was forced from the field, dislocating his left ankle in a tackle as he drove for the line.

A penalty for hands in the ruck saw the visitors regain the lead after 54 minutes. And a thrilling final quarter of high tempo rugby saw both sides launch multiple attacks that had players across the park blowing and Slade kicked over what would be the winning penalty in the 66th minute. The Tahs had one last opportunity with 8 minutes left with a penalty but Halangahu’s effort fell short, leaving the Highlanders to defend a single point advantage into the closing minutes and secure a closely fought victory.

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South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Table Week 3

THE SHARKS scored their first victory of the 2012 Vodacom Super Rugby season when they beat a depleted MTN LIONS side by 32-20 at Mr Price Kings Park in Durban on Saturday, scoring their fourth try for a valuable bonus point at the death.

Jacques Botes’ try in the 79th minute, from a rolling maul, gave The Sharks their third bonus point of 2012, but for the first time this season it was for try-scoring alongside a win.

This followed first half tries by Riaan Viljoen and Lwazi Mvovo, both in the left corner of the field.

The MTN Lions, despite losing three props as well as their playmaker, Elton Jantjies, to injuries this week, never gave up and scored two tries in the second half, by fullback Jaco Taute and replacement prop Ruan Dreyer.

When Dreyer drove over with five minutes left, the score was 27-20 to the home side, but they kept their eye on the prize and pushed through when it really mattered.

Gareth Anscombe Blues YOUNG BLUES flyhalf, Gareth Anscombe, made sure the Loftus Versfeld faithful will not forget his name soon as he scored all of the Aucklanders’ points in their 29-23 victory – their first of 2012 – over a lacklustre VODACOM BULLS side on Saturday.

The home side managed a bonus point for losing by fewer than seven points when Bjorn Basson scored his second try of the night and Morné Steyn added the conversion, but it was scant consolation as the Blues recorded only the second away victory ever in matches between these sides.

It was almost ironic that this kick, probably Steyn’s most difficult of the night, bagged the Vodacom Bulls a bonus point, as the Springbok flyhalf had been wayward with the boot for most of the match, missing four of his seven kicks at goal.

Steyn’s opposite number, the 20-year-old Anscombe, in his first Vodacom Super Rugby start, scored two tries, converted both and added five penalty goals for 29 points. He got on the score sheet in second minute thanks to an intercept try and again in the 39th minute with his second try. He hit seven from nine of his attempts at goal.

The Vodacom Bulls also kept themselves under pressure with a slew of unnecessary mistakes, while the Blues used their opportunities and kept calm heads when it was required.

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RESULTS

CrusadersCRUSADERS 19-24 CHIEFSChiefs

Rugby League Park, Christchurch - 09 March 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 6-16
Crusaders T: Fruean C: Bleyendaal P: Bleyendaal (4)
Chiefs T: Messam, Taumalolo C: Cruden P: Cruden (4)

Western ForceFORCE 19-46 HURRICANESHurricanes

NIB Stadium, Perth - 09 March 2012
KO: 19:05 HT: 10-22
Force T: Hodgson C: Stannard P: Stannard (4)
Canes T: Perenara, (3), Taylor, JJ Eaton, Ngatai C: Barrett (3), Kirkpatrick (2) P: Barrett, Kirkpatrick

BrumbiesBRUMBIES 24-23 CHEETAHSCheetahs

Canberra Stadium, Canberra - 10 March 2012
KO: 15:35 HT: 10-13
Brumbies T: Speight, McCabe C: Lealiifano P: Lealiifano (4)
Cheetahs T: le Roux, de Bruyn C: Goosen (2) P: Goosen (3)

Highlanders HIGHLANDERS 18-17 WARATAHSWaratahs

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - 10 March 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 8-9
Highlanders T: Smith, Hardie C: Slade P: Slade (2)
Tahs T: McCutcheon P: Halangahu (4)

RedsREDS 11-6 MELBOURNE REBELSMelbourne Rebels

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - 10 March 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 3-6
Reds T: Shipperley P: Harris (2)
Rebels P: O'Connor (2)

SharksSHARKS 32-20 LIONSLions

Mr Price Kings Park, Durban - 10 March 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 17-6
Sharks T: Viljoen, Mvovo, Bosman, Botes C: Lambie (3) P: Lambie (2)
Lions T: Taute, Dreyer C: James (2) P: James (2)

BullsBULLS 23-29 BLUESBlues

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - 10 March 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 8-20
Bulls T: Spies, Basson (2) C: Steyn P: Steyn (2)
Blues T: Anscombe (2) C: Anscombe (2) P: Anscombe (5) Yellow Card Ranger, Williams

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WEEK 2Super Rugby Combined Table Week 2

WEEK 2 HIGHLIGHTS

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Table Week 2

THREE first half tries, including a pair for inside centre Tom Carter helped secure the HSBC Waratahs a well deserved away win in a physical 35-19 victory over the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.

It took only 10 minutes before the Tahs pressure led to their opening try coming as a result of recycled possession.  Earning a ruck in front of the posts, scrum half Sarel Pretorius found inside centre Tom Carter, who sliced through the defence to dive under the posts. 

Carter added his second 15 minutes later after a break from dynamic openside flanker Chris Alcock.  A second Halangahu conversion and a Bernard Foley penalty took the score to 17-6 on the half hour, before a converted try from prop Sekope Kepu, created by a darting break from fullback Foley, extended the visitors’ lead to 22-6 at the end of the first period, whilst all the homeside had mustered was two penalties from James O’Connor.

Foley further strengthened his case for the No. 15 jersey by scoring a well deserved try of his own on 44 minutes but the Rebels hit back with two more penalties before being awarded with a penalty try in the 65th minute, referee Bryce Lawrence penalising NSW for illegally halting a driving maul. 

Two more three-pointers from Halangahu sealed the victory for the visitors.

THE ST.GEORGE QUEENSLAND REDS claimed their second straight FxPro Super Rugby win over an Australian Conference rival to continue their perfect start to 2012 with a hard-fought 35-20 victory against the Western Force at Suncorp Stadium.

Reds v Force Patrick Dellit tackledThe Reds were fastest out of the blocks and held a 26-6 halftime lead courtesy of five-pointers to Ben Tapuai and Radike Samo, converted by Mike Harris who added three penalties to the tally , and was a standout as he continued his immaculate form with the boot to kick nine from nine in a display that takes his career kicking tally to a perfect 24 from 24 in FxPro Super Rugby. Force’s James Stannard managed to knock over just two penalties before the break.  

In the second half, Force took advantage of the Reds tiring defence, and  two quick converted tries to the Force early in the second stanza brought the deficit back to six with 25 minutes remaining, with David Pocock and Stannard providing the touch downs.

Wholesale changes on both sides led to no more tries, but Harris added three further penalties which took the homeside clear out of reach of the visitors making any comeback.

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New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Table Week 2

IN a dominant display the Chiefs proved too strong for the Blues with an impressive 29-14 win despite atrocious conditions at Waikato Stadium.

Barely 4 minutes had elapsed and the Chiefs were on the board through prop Sona Taumalolo after he bustled his way through Blues defence to score it the corner. Aaron Cruden’s sideline conversion ensured the home side got off to a dream start putting them ahead 7-0.

Chiefs v Blues Almost immediately from the kickoff the Blues were penalised again near halfway where Cruden made no mistakes nailing the penalty to put the Chiefs up 10-0.

Blues five-eighth Michael Hobbs was able to close the gap through a pair of penalties to make it 10-6.

A blistering break by Chiefs fullback Robbie Robinson was able to send winger starting debutant Asaeli Tikoirotuma over in the corner for the second try, and Cruden continued his good kicking form to add the extras. 

The Chiefs continued to pile on points, this time standout halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow dotted down after he sneaked past the back-peddling Blues defence, and Tim Nanai-Williams was rewarded for his earlier work in the lead up to Kerr-Barlow’s try with a five-pointer of his own showing great support after Robinson was able to slice through again.  Referee Keith Brown brought an end to a very entertaining half as the Chiefs went into the sheds 29-6 ahead with the bonus point locked up. 

The Chiefs did not add to their tally after returning to the paddock for the second half, but Hobbs added 3 points to make it 29-9. The Blues looked a different side from the first half as they were able to keep possession while keeping the Chiefs firmly in their half. However, the Chiefs continued to defend stoutly and a late consolation try by replacement winger Sherwin Stowers was the last of the scoring after Gareth Anscombe who replaced Hobbs was unable to convert.

THE HIGHLANDERS played with passion in front of their home crowd on Saturday night and gave the fans at Forsyth Barr Stadium something to celebrate by downing the Crusaders 27-24.

An early penalty to the Highlanders put the first 3 points on the board, but this was reciprocated by Tyler Bleyendaal for the Crusaders soon after to match things up.

Crusaders’ Israel Dagg was ready for an offload from Matt Todd and dotted down for the first try of the game. Bleyendaal’s conversion put the Crusaders ahead 10-3. But the Highlanders wasted no time in evening things up again though, with a try from hooker Andrew Hore and conversion from first five Lima Sopoaga making it 10-all.

The Highlanders kept up a consistent attack for the remainder of the first half and were rewarded with another penalty then a converted try from Phil Burleigh. That left the Crusaders trailing by 10 points to the Highlanders’ 20 at the halftime whistle.

Within 15 minutes of the second half the visitors had taken back the lead by 1 point, thanks to 6 penalty points off Bleyendaal’s boot and 5 from Andy Ellis flipping over the tryline.  Another successful penalty in the 65th minute gave the Crusaders 24 points to the Highlanders’ 20.

The Highlanders had one more try up Hosea Gear’s sleeve, and Sopoaga managed the conversion from wide to put them on 27 points. 

Some confusion over the clock saw the Highlanders kick the ball out with 3 minutes left to play according to the referee but not the scoreboard.  Bleyendaal attempted to turn a loss into a draw with a drop goal, but the last gasp effort was unsuccessful.

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South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Table Week 2

WITH a little more than a minute left on the clock, it looked like the MTN Lions were on their way to a second victory on the trot, but Hurricanes flyhalf Beauden Barrett had the last laugh at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg as his late penalty goal gave the team from the New Zealand capital victory by 30-28.

The home team were left ruing injuries to two of their props, JC Janse van Rensburg and CJ van der Linde, which lead to uncontested scrums for the last 45 minutes of the match. Up until that stage, the MTN Lions had the upper hand upfront, but they could not capitalise on it in the second half.

Although the Hurricanes lead 14-8 at the break, the MTN Lions fought back with a try by Franco van der Merwe and were in front by 18-17 when the visitors scored two tries in three minutes around the hour-mark.

Still the MTN Lions didn’t let go, Butch James crossing the tryline and Elton Jantjies adding the extras, and with a minute to go, they were in front by 28-27. But a transgression in their own 22 gave Barrett the opportunity to slot his fifth penalty goal to clinch the match.

DESPITE finishing the game with only 13 players, the Vodacom Bulls outscored the Toyota Cheetahs by six tries to one at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein to record the first four-try bonus point on South African soil of the 2012-season.

Zane Kirchner Cheetahs BullsIt was the second biggest victory for the Vodacom Bulls over their opponents from Bloemfontein. The biggest of their eight wins over the Toyota Cheetahs came in the Free State capital in 2008, when the team from Pretoria won by 60-20. In 2010 the Bulls also scored 51 points, but then they conceded 34.

The Vodacom Bulls were ahead by 31-12 at the break and built their victory on a massive forward onslaught. Both props, Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger, scored tries, while fullback Zane Kirchner crossed for a brace.

In the second half, scrumhalf Francois Hougaard was sent off with a red card for a tip tackle and flanker Jacques Potgieter got a yellow card for a shoulder charge, but that did not break the Vodacom Bulls’ momentum.

Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn contributed 21 points, which saw him become the first South African and third player overall to reach 1,000 Vodacom Super Rugby points. The Bok pivot is now on 1,012 points.

IT was not a game that will be remembered for too long, but the DHL Stormers got what they wanted as they beat The Sharks by 15-12 in a tight affair at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday evening.

The difference was a late penalty goal from the sideline by DHL Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant, who only joined the team this week from Japan. Before Grant took to the field, regular kicker Joe Pietersen was only successful with three from seven attempts at goal.

Neither side really threatened the other’s tryline as the kickers dominated. Pat Lambie slotted four penalty goals from six for The Sharks, who lead by 9-6 at the break.

It was the DHL Stormers’ second victory of the season as The Sharks returned to Durban with their second bonus point for losing by less than seven points.

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RESULTS

ChiefsCHIEFS 29-14 BLUESBlues

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - 02 March 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 29-6
Chiefs T: Taumalolo, Tikoirotuma, Kerr-Barlow, Nani-Williams C: Cruden (3) P: Cruden
Blues T: Stowers P: Hobbs (3)

Melbourne Rebels MELBOURNE REBELS 19-35 WARATAHSWaratahs

AAMI Park, Melbourne - 02 March 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 6-22
Rebels T: PT C: O'Connor P: O'Connor (4)
Tahs T: Carter (2), Kepu, Foley C: Halagahu (3) P: Foley, Halangahu (2)

LionsLIONS 28-30 HURRICANESHurricanes

Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg - 02 March 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 8-14
Lions T: Taute, van der Merwe, James C: Jantjies (2) P: Taute, Jantjies (2)
Canes T: Taylor, Coles, Jane P: Barrett (5)

Highlanders HIGHLANDERS 27-24 CRUSADERSCrusaders

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin - 03 March 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 20-10
Highlanders T: Hore, Burleigh, Gear C: Sopoaga (3) P: Sopoaga (2)
Crusaders T: Dagg, Ellis C: Bleyendaal P: Bleyendaal (4)

RedsREDS 35-20 FORCEWestern Force

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane - 03 March 2012
KO: 18:40 HT: 23-6
Reds T: Tapuai, Samo C: Harris (2) P: Harris (7)
Force T: Pocock, Stannard C: Stannard (2) P: Stannard (2)

CheetahsCHEETAHS 19-51 BULLSBulls

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - 03 March 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 23-31
Cheetahs T: Strauss C: Goosen P: Goosen (4)
Bulls T: Greyling, W Kruger, Basson, Kirchner (2) Engelbrecht C: Steyn (6) P: Steyn (3) Yellow Card Potgeiter Red Card Hougaard

SharksSTORMERS 15-12 SHARKSStormers

DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town - 03 March 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 6-9
Stormers P: Pietersen (3), Grant (2)
Sharks P: Lambie (4)

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WEEK 1Super Rugby Combined Table Week 1

WEEK 1 HIGHLIGHTS

Australia ConferenceSuper Rugby Australia Conference Table Week 1

The Emirates Western Force produced a vastly improved performance from that of their trial form by collecting a point in Canberra to open the 2012 season but fell just short of the home town Brumbies in a 19-17 heart stopper.

Leading 12-9 at the break thanks to the accurate boot of flyhalf James Stannard, the visitors were made to pay for a short lapse to start the second half where the Brumbies scored two easy tries.

Rather than let their heads drop, a period of sustained pressure by the Emirates Western Force saw them back within touching distance not long after when Matt Hodgson flicked a pass out of a tackle to Stannard who ran over untouched in the corner. A former Australian Sevens Player of the Year and a prolific scorer in the abbreviated form of the game, Stannard took his personal points tally to 17 in a solid start to the season in the playmaker role.

Brumbies debutant Jesse Mogg had the crowd on its feet steaming onto a short ball close to the posts to nudge his team into the lead.

Eight minutes later, Coleman crossed the line again for the University of Canberra Brumbies. This try was a culmination of sharp passing and support from the team, fly-half Matt Toomua spotting Coleman out wide and hitting him with a lofty pass to run into space.

Desperate defence ensued in the final 25 minutes as neither side was able to add to the score line.  Emirates Western Force marquee recruit Napolioni Nalaga got closest for the visitors when he was released on the left wing and forced out just shy of the try line by three defenders.

The uprights also played their part in the result with both Stannard and Brumbies kicker Nic White hitting the posts and their shots deflected away from goal.

A frantic final few minutes were played out with the Force doing everything they could to get within range of a drop goal or secure a breakdown infringement against the home side. However, a knock-on allowed the Brumbies a scrum feed with just seconds remaining and they happily booted the ball out to finish the match.

A heartbreaking last gasp try from wing Dom Shipperley clinched an historic win for the Queensland Reds over the HSBC Waratahs at ANZ Stadium.

The HSBC Waratahs opened the scoring  in the third minute, with Daniel Halangahu kicking a penalty to give the home side a 3-0 lead.  But the Reds hit back minutes later with Mike Harris levelling the scores.

Indiscipline at the breakdown allowed Harris to slot a pair of penalties to kick the Reds into a 9-3 lead after the home side were twice penalised for entering the ruck from the side. 

Shortly afterwards, the 35th minute brought the home side its first scoring chance when the Reds outside backs were caught behind their own goal line.  Despite losing the resulting scrum, a tackle from debutant Sarel Pretorius caused Will Genia to spill the ball and Wycliff Palu was on hand to scoop it up and dive over in the left hand corner.  Halangahu went close with the conversion but could not quite find the angle to put his team ahead.  With the half time hooter sounding, it looked like the HSBC Waratahs would head into the break trailing by a single point 8-9, only for prop Benn Robinson to be caught offside after a ruck, giving Harris the chance to send the Reds in to the sheds with a 12-8 lead.

In the opening exchanges of the second half, a Halangahu penalty was cancelled out almost immediately by another successful effort from Harris.  Next it was the Reds’ turn to impede at the ruck, only for Halangahu’s effort to go wide.  Another chance was ruled out minutes later as Tom Kingston fielded a high ball, which fell to Tatafu Polota-Nau, for the hooker to sprint 20 yards to dive over the try line, before being called back after referee Jaco Peyper adjudged that the ball had gone forward.

As the teams traded kicks, only 4 points separated the sides for most of the third quarter.  Pretorius burrowed under James Slipper to touch down and send the HSBC Waratahs ahead for the first time since the seventh minute, with Halangahu’s conversion extending the lead to 21-15.

A sixth successive penalty for Harris narrowed the gap to 3 points with only 5 minutes remaining.  As the clock counted down the final seconds, the home side looked to have sealed victory, before a heartbreaking break from Reds centre Ben Tapuai resulted in a ruck that allowed Genia and Harris to combine to find Dom Shipperley, the wing slipping through a gap in the defence to touch down for the winning try, as the final buzzer sounded.  Mike Harris completed a faultless night with the boot, adding the extras to take the final score to 25-21 to the Reds.

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New Zealand ConferenceSuper Rugby New Zealand Conference Table Week 1

THE Crusaders and Blues provided a nail-biting opening to the 2012 Investec Super Rugby season, with a score line that tipped between the teams and never had more than 2 points between them for the last 39 minutes of the match, but the Crusaders eventually won by a single point.

The Blues looked dangerous with a 5th minute try to Chris Lowery after Jerome Kaino charged down a kick from Israel Dagg.  5 minutes later the Blues got their 2nd try scored by wing David Raikuna in the corner.  One successful conversion to Blues number 10 Michael Hobbs, and two successful penalties to Crusaders rookie number 10 Tyler Bleyendaal left the score at 12-6 to the Blues by the 13th minute.

But just as the rain became relentless at Eden Park, so did the Crusaders, and they were eventually rewarded with a try from centre Robbie Fruean.  Bleyendaal’s boot hit the mark again to put the Crusaders in front for the first time. A strong attack from the Blues leading into the halftime break did not result in any points on the board, so it was the Crusaders who took a 16-12 half-time lead.

That lead was short-lived in the second half though, as the Crusaders infringed at the ruck in their own 22, giving Hobbs an easy shot at goal.  The Crusaders were penalised twice more in the next few minutes for leaving feet in the ruck, but Hobbs only converted one of those into points putting Auckland in the lead 18-16.

With 15 minutes to go the Crusaders looked dangerously close to scoring a try, but had to settle for another 3 penalty points – enough to give them a one point lead. Piri Weepu attempted a last minute drop goal but Dagg and Adam Whitelock both dashed for the ball and managed to thwart his attempt, securing a narrow victory for the Crusaders.
 A new era in Chiefs rugby kicked off with a hard fought loss 23-19 to the Highlanders in front of a large home crowd.

First points on the board were from a penalty against the Chiefs, allowing Highlanders first-five Chris Noakes to slot the first points of the evening. But All Blacks hero and new Chiefs signing, Aaron Cruden levelled the scores with a penalty of his own.

A wayward pass by Highlanders halfback Jimmy Cowan was swooped on resulting in a try to Lelia Masaga, giving the Chiefs a 10-6 lead following Cruden’s conversion, and was soon followed by two more penalties which Cruden calmly nailed.

Three penalties in total from Noakes were not enough and the homeside headed into the break 16-9 up.

It was more of the same in the early stages of the second half with strong defence by both sides and another Cruden three-pointer as the Chiefs pushed ahead 19-9. But injuries continued to hinder the Chiefs after Brendon Leonard and Masaga were assisted from the field. By the end of the game, the Chiefs also lost both props to long term injuries, Toby Smith and Ben Afeaki who broke his arm.

The final quarter was where the visitors made their comeback, first with a try from replacement halfback Aaron Smith who bustled over, quickly followed up by midfielder Phil Burleigh –who was in the Chiefs camp less than three weeks ago– who scored to give the Highlanders the lead after replacement hooker Jason Rutledge charged down an attempted kick then setting up the former Chief to go over in the corner.

Noakes showed his composure to slot both conversions to give his side a 23-19 advantage with 15 minutes remaining.

The crowd urged their team on as they went in search of the game-winning try but the Highlanders managed to hold on as referee White awarded a penalty to guests which they booted into touch to end the game.

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South Africa ConferenceSuper Rugby South Africa Conference Table Week 1

NOT a single point was scored in the first 43 minutes of this match between the Vodacom Bulls and The Sharks that played in the 2007 Vodacom Super Rugby final, with stern defence and unnecessary errors – as well as wayward kicking at goal – dominated proceedings on Friday evening in Pretoria.

When Vodacom Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn finally got the first points of the match on the Loftus Versfeld score board with a penalty goal, it was the first of six three-pointers scored in 15 minutes as both sides started to feel the pressure.

At that stage the home team lead by 15-3. A second penalty goal by Sharks flyhalf Patrick Lambie and a dropped goal by Steyn saw the Vodacom Bulls take the lead 18-6 with less than 10 minutes left on the clock.

The Sharks scored the only try of this encounter, in the 71st minute, when replacement loose forward Jacques Botes finished a move that started with turned over possession deep in their own half.

But the Vodacom Bulls’ defence held out as The Sharks attacked with a lot of vigour in the final stages of the match to start the season with a win.

Between Steyn, Lambie and Sharks fullback Riaan Viljoen (fullback), they missed five kicks at goal in the first half, but all nine their kicks in the second half, including the drop goal by the Bulls’ pivot, were successful.

The DHL Stormers might have won their Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes comfortably by 39-26 on Saturday afternoon in Cape Town, but they probably would not have complained had they managed to score that elusive fourth try.

DHL Stormers wing Gio Aplon had the DHL Newlands crowd on their feet in the fifth minute with a brilliant try and when replacement flanker Siya Kolisi, who replaced captain Schalk Burger in the 14th minute, crashed over just before the half hour mark, it looked like the home side might cut loose.

The Capetonians were on the front foot, with both the Hurricanes props spending time in the sin bin for ill-discipline late in the first half reducing them to playing with only 13 men for a few minutes.

It wasn’t to be though and a late try in the first half by Hurricanes centre Tim Bateman saw the DHL Stormers lead by only seven points at the break.

The ‘Canes drew level seven minutes into the second half when flyhalf Beauden Barrett converted his own try, but the DHL Stormers regrouped as fullback Joe Pietersen put them back in the lead with three penalty goals.

When referee Marius Jonker awarded a penalty try to the DHL Stormers – and gave the Hurricanes their third yellow card of the match – it was all over for the visitors.

A new Vodacom Super Rugby record for Elton Jantjies meant the MTN Lions started their 2012 campaign with a grinding 27-25 victory over the Cheetahs in Johannesburg on Saturday evening.

Jantjies was successful with nine penalty goals out of his 11 attempts at the posts, wiping out of the record books four players who have slotted eight three-points in one match in the past.

The previous record was jointly held by Jannie Kruger (Northern Transvaal v Highlanders in Pretoria, 1996), Willie Walker (Highlanders v Chiefs in Hamilton, 2003), Meyer Bosman (Toyota Cheetahs v DHL Stormers in Cape Town, 2006) and Derick Hougaard (Vodacom Bulls v Crusaders in Pretoria, 2007).

The Toyota Cheetahs, whose prop WP Nel scored the only try of the match, will not be happy with their discipline as referee Mark Lawrence also sent two of their players, inside centre Andries Strauss and flyhalf Johan Goosen, to the sin bin.

Goosen underlined his massive potential in this game as he contributed 20 points, including a massive dropped goal from the halfway line.

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RESULTS

Blues BLUES 18 - 19 CRUSADERS Crusaders

Eden Park, Auckland - 24 February 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 12-16
Blues T: Lowrey, Raikuna C: Hobbs P: Hobbs (2)
Crusaders T: Fruean C: Bleyendaal P: Bleyendaal (4)

 

BrumbiesBRUMBIES 19 - 17 FORCE Western Force

Canberra Stadium, Canberra - 24 February 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 9-12
Brumbies T: Mogg, Coleman P: White (3)
Western Force T: Stannard P: Stannard (4)

 

Bulls BULLS 18 - 13 SHARKSSharks

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria - 24 February 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 0-0
Bulls P: Steyn (5) DG: Steyn
Sharks T: Botes C: Lambie P: Lambie (2)

 

Chiefs CHIEFS 19 - 23 HIGHLANDERSHighlanders

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton - 25 February 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 16-9
Chiefs T: Masaga C: Cruden P: Cruden (4)
Highlanders T: A Smith, Burleigh C: Noakes (2) P: Noakes (3)

 

Waratahs WARATAHS 21 - 25 REDSReds

ANZ Stadium, Sydney - 25 February 2012
KO: 19:40 HT: 8-12
Waratahs T: Palu, Pretorius C: Halangahu P: Halangahu (3)
Reds T: Shipperley C: Harris P: Harris (6)

 

Stormers STORMERS 39 - 26 HURRICANES Hurricanes

DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town - 25 February 2012
KO: 17:05 HT: 23-16
Stormers T: Aplon, Kolisi, Penalty Try C: Pietersen (3) P: Pietersen (5) DG: van Aswegen
Hurricanes T: Bateman, Barrett C: Barrett (2) P: Barrett (4) Yellow Card Moran, May, Allen

 

LionsLIONS 27 - 25 CHEETAHSCheetahs

Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg - 25 February 2012
KO: 19:10 HT: 12-19
Lions P: Jantjies (9)
Cheetahs T: Nel C: Goosen P: Goosen (5) DG: Goosen Yellow Card Strauss, Goosen

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SCHEDULE 2012

Super Rugby Schedule 2012


CATCH UP ON 2011

Super Rugby 2011


THE TEAMS

Super Rugby MapInteractive Super Rugby: click on club to go to official site...


2012 PRE-SEASON FIXTURES

21st Jan

Stormers 45 - 14 Boland

Boland Rugby Stadium

27th Jan

Stormers 28 - 6 Lions

Newlands

28th Jan

Kings 20 - 33 Cheetahs

Port Elizabeth

31st Jan

Cheetahs 38 - 7 Griffons

North West Stadium, Welkom

3rd Feb

Rebels 0 - 36 Chiefs

Simonds Stadium, Geelong

3rd Feb

Crusaders 47 - 19 Highlanders

Rugby Park, Greymouth

4th Feb

Bulls 16 - 12 Kings

Port Elizabeth

4th Feb

Western Force 0 - 25 Brumbies

Darwin

4th Feb

Blues 36 - 22 Hurricanes

Whangarei

4th Feb

Stormers 14 - 22 Cheetahs

Newlands

10th Feb

Waratahs 83 - 5 Samoa

Tamworth

11th Feb

Stormers vs Eastern Province Kings

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

11th Feb

Reds 27 - 20 Brumbies

Barlow Park, Cairns

11th Feb

Highlanders 36 - 38 Chiefs

Wakapitu Park, Queenstown

11th Feb

Bulls 39-16 Cheetahs

P Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane

11th Feb

Hurricanes 8 - 19 Crusaders

Spuds Farm, Mangatainoka

11th Feb

Rebels 21 -31 Blues

AAMI Stadium, Melbourne

14th Feb

Lions 88 - 0 Southern Kings

Outeniqua Park, George

16th Feb

Western Force 10 - 40 Reds

NIB Stadium

16th Feb

Brumbies 66 - 0 ACT XV

Viking Park, Canberra

17th Feb

Blues 29 - 12 Highlanders

Uni Tec, Auckland

17th Feb

Chiefs 19 - 23 Hurricanes

Owen Delany Park, Taupo

17th Feb

Waratahs 52 - 0 Tonga

Sydney Football Stadium

17th Feb

Sharks 38 - 13 Kings

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

18th Feb

Rebels 14 - 19 Crusaders

AAMI Park

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WaratahsWARATAHS 83 - 5 SAMOA A Samoa

Woodleys Volvo Challenge Match
Scully Park, Tamworth - Friday February 10, 2012
KO: 7.30pm HT: 38-5 Att: 4,000

THE HSBC Waratahs braved torrential rain to kick off the 2012 season with an impressive display, running in 13 tries against a physical Samoan side, including two for centre Tom Carter and a second half hat-trick for hooker Damien Fitzpatrick.

The trial match that played 4 different quarters by 30 minutes each gives the local coaching staff an opportunity in sorting out combinations before the official start of the Super Rugby tournament.

Making his debut in sky blue, South African scrum half Sarel Pretorius showed his class, having a hand in three first half tries and almost crossing himself early in the second quarter.

The first of those tries went to inside centre Tom Carter , who opened the scoring after 6 minutes, leaving captain Berrick Barnes just enough time to slot the conversion before the heavens opened.

But the darkened skies and driving rain didn’t dampen the ambition.  Although both teams had to work harder to hold on to the ball, Pretorius and Barnes did well to control the game in their first outing together, with Barnes’ astute decision making and tactical kicking ensuring providing some early scoring opportunities for his pacey backline.  A Pretorius chip kick allowed fellow long-awaited debutant Brackin Karuaria-Henry to score on 15 minutes, before the South African was on hand again, this time off the back of a ruck to set up Lachie Turner, with Carter crossing for his second before the quarter was up.

Tahs Samoa Paddy RyanKeen to impress his home town crowd was Tamworth local Paddy Ryan, who made the most of his opportunities with ball in hand, making good yards on several occasions. Playing at No. 8, Pat McCutcheon put in a try scoring performance in an unfamiliar position.  His main rival for the openside spot, Chris Alcock, was physical and abrasive before being forced to leave the field to have a cut lip stitched up, shortly before the half hour was up. 

Tahs Samoa Sekope KepuWith McCutcheon already on the scorecare, Sekope Kepu soon joined him, courtesy of a driven lineout and although the HSBC Waratahs clearly dominated possession and territory, it wasn’t all one way traffic.  The Samoan back row in particular tested the defence with some big ball carries that eventually resulted in a try for Maene Mapusaga, who touched down in the left hand corner on 52 minutes to give the Samoans a well-deserved score and take the half time score to 38-5.

It was a new look team that took to the park for the second half and a new set of conditions that greeted them, as the rain finally stopped.  

Tahs Samoa Brendan McKibbonScrum half Brendan McKibbon opened the scoring after just three minutes, darting in from 15m out, after evading several Samoan tackles. Winger Nathan Trist touched down 10 minutes later, with fly half and second team captain, Daniel Halangahu converting both.  A well executed blindside move from a No. 8 pick up set up full back Toby Browne shortly afterwards, before Damien Fitzpatrick crossed for his first, before completing his hat trick within half an hour.  The 22-year-old hooker was on hand to capitalise on a 30m driven maul, before following up a disallowed effort with a further two touchdowns, all of which Halangahu converted.

With all the replacements getting a run, the second half was noticeably scrappy in parts but the Samoan attacks served as a robust test for the NSW defence, which held firm despite the personnel changes.  Centre Michael Hodge’s try and Halangahu’s fifth conversion took the final score to 83-5, with the second half team notching up pleasing 45 unanswered points. 

Report courtesy of HSBC Waratahs Media Unit

Waratahs1st XV: 1 Sekope Kepu 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau 3 Paddy Ryan 4 Dean Mumm 5 Kane Douglas 6 Dave Dennis 7 Chris Alcock 8 Pat McCutcheon [VC] 9 Sarel Pretorius 10 Berrick Barnes [C] 11 Tom Kingston 12 Tom Carter 13 Rob Horne 14 Lachie Turner 15 Brackin Karauria-Henry

Waratahs2nd XV: 1 Jeremy Tilse 2 Damien Fitzpatrick 3 John Ulugia4 Richard Stanford 5 Greg Peterson 6 Tevita Metuisela 7 Seilala Lam 8 Lopeti Timani 9 Brendan McKibbin [VC] 10 Daniel Halangahu [C] 11 Peter Betham 12 Bernard Foley 13 Michael Hodge 14 Nathan Trist 15 Toby Browne

Samoa1st XV: 1 Tuliloa Malaga 2 Ofisa Smith 3 Lolesio Lavea 4 Maselino Paulino 5 Maene Mapusaga 6 Suamalie Tuiletufuga 7 Oneone Faafou 8 Misioka Timoteo [C] 9 Faatalatala Fagasoaia [VC] 10 Patrick Faapale 11 Faleniu Iosi 12Meki Magele 13 Jame Roache 14 Tupu Ulufale 15 Tenari Saumani

Samoa2nd XV: 1 Gody Schuster 2 Sefo Selesele 3 Aifala Taelega 4 Sale Pii 5 Emie Faanene 6 Afioae Maiava 7 Iosefa Timu Sa 8 Suamalie Tuiletufuga 9 Ionatana Tino 10 Teofilo Lepou 11 Soa Manuele 12 Fale Sooialo 13 Vailoa Kereti 14 Tifaipaia Sila 15 Titi Jr Esau

Referees: Steve Walsh, James Leckie
Asst Referees: Angus Gardner, Will Houston, Darrell Jones, Daniel Kahl

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