Super Rugby round-up: Hurricanes, Reds, Sharks, Blues victorious
Last Updated: 10/03/18 9:18pm
Super Rugby is into its fourth week of action, as we were treated to a host of quality games on Friday and Saturday!
Catch round-ups of all the action, plus highlights of each game below...!
Hurricanes 29-19 Crusaders
The Hurricanes scored three early tries through Chris Eves, scrum-half TJ Perenara and winger Ben Lam to race out to a 21-0 lead before they withstood a relentless fightback from the Crusaders.
The eight-time champions had reduced the deficit to 26-19 with 25 minutes remaining through tries for Manasa Mataele, Jordan Taufua and Michael Ala'alatoa.
Matt Proctor had scored the Hurricanes' fourth in the first half, while Jordie Barrett slammed over a long-distance penalty to give them a 10-point advantage they held on to.
Reds 20-14 Bulls
The Reds came back from an 11-point deficit to claim back-to-back Super Rugby victories for the first time since 2014 as they dominated possession and territory against the Bulls in Brisbane.
Full-back Warrick Gelant and scrum-half Andre Warner scored tries to put the South African side in the ascendancy after 25 minutes, but after that the game swung in the home side's favour.
Tries either side of half-time by No 8 Caleb Timu and full-back Aidan Toua gave the Reds the lead, before fly-half Jono Lance extended their advantage with a late penalty.
The Bulls remain winless in Brisbane in Super Rugby.
Sharks 50-22 Sunwolves
Wing Makazole Mapimpi scored a brace of tries as South Africa's Sharks recorded a first win of the Super Rugby season and inflicted a third defeat of the campaign on the Sunwolves in Durban on Saturday.
The home side scored seven tries in what was a far from polished performance, but one in which they had too much pace and power for their Japanese visitors.
The Sunwolves had chances beyond the three tries they scored through wings Lomano Lemeki and Will Tupou, and scrum-half Yutaka Nagare, but in truth never looked as though they would claim a victory.
Lions 35-38 Blues
Backrow Murphy Taramai scored a try on the stroke of full-time to earn a jubilant Blues a first Super Rugby victory of the season with an excellent comeback win over the previously unbeaten Lions at Ellis Park.
The visitors had been trailing by 11 points with six minutes remaining, but after flanker Jimmy Tupou had scored a try to bring them within touching distance, Taramai barged his way over with what proved to be the last play of the game.
The Lions will rue their errors in coughing up possession and wing Aphiwe Dyantyi had a chance to seal the game for the home side in between the Blues' final two scores.
The ball was charged down in the visitors' goal area and without a defender in sight, Dyantyi knocked the ball on as he tried to ground it. The visitors then went upfield and scored the winning try.
Jaguares v Waratahs, 9.40pm, Sky Sports Mix
On Friday, the Highlanders hosted South Africa's Stormers in New Zealand, while the Rebels welcomed fellow Aussies the Brumbies to Melbourne.
Here's how both games went...
Highlanders 33-15 Stormers
The Highlanders extended the Stormers' losing streak on New Zealand soil to 10 matches on Friday after a 33-15 bonus-point win in Dunedin.
The Highlanders ran in five tries to two against the South Africans, including a brace for All Black scrum-half Aaron Smith, making it two wins from two for the season for the Kiwi outfit.
Flanker Liam Squire, winger Waisake Naholo and No 8 Luke Whitelock also crossed for the home side, but the winning margin could have been much bigger had they finished off four other clear-cut opportunities.
The Stormers were threatening for most of the match and twice held the lead in the first half with tries from Chris van Zyl and Damian Willemse. But their finishing often let them down and the Highlanders were able to prey on their errors while making many of their own.
The Stormers have only registered one win from four Super Rugby games so far, despite frequently dominating territory, leaving captain Siya Kolisi frustrated at his side's error rate in attack.
"It's the same story every time...we didn't hold onto the ball, we didn't come away with points when we got to the 22 and they did," he said.
"We can't keep making the same mistakes every week."
Rebels 33-10 Brumbies
Reece Hodge's second try blew the game open as the Rebels thrashed a directionless Brumbies side in Melbourne on Friday to win three successive games for the first time.
Hodge's 64th-minute try extended the Rebels' slim 14-10 lead to 21-10 and the home side then quickly notched further tries through winger Jack Maddocks and replacement scrum-half Michael Ruru, blowing the scoreline out.
The Rebels' Japan international No 8 Amanaki Mafi, who scored a first-half try, produced several storming runs that got his team over the advantage line in a match that never really developed a flow.
The Brumbies, who have been Australia's best team the last two seasons, initially dominated in the scrum but were on the back foot after the first 20 minutes and their only points came via unconverted tries for wingers Chance Peni and Henry Speight.