Super Rugby round-up: Wins for Waratahs, Highlanders, Jaguares, Blues and Bulls
Last Updated: 14/04/18 8:39pm
Catch round-ups and highlights from all of Saturday's Super Rugby games from around the southern hemisphere below.
Waratahs 37-16 Reds
Hulking winger Taqele Naiyaravoro scored two tries as the New South Wales Waratahs hammered the Queensland Reds on Saturday in the first Super Rugby match played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The error-strewn contest was barely worthy of the iconic setting but the Waratahs always looked like winning the latest bout, in a rivalry that goes back to 1882, to claim an eighth straight victory over the Reds.
Waratahs' scrum-half Jake Gordon and replacement prop Harry Johnson-Holmes also crossed, while fly-half Bernard Foley's flawless kicking added 17 points to help them move to the top of the Australian conference.
Queensland will not consider winger Filipo Daugunu's converted try and three penalties just reward for their efforts but they were overpowered up front at times and lacked direction in attack.
Highlanders 43-17 Brumbies
Ben Smith scored twice and Waisake Naholo snatched a vital breakaway try midway through the second half in Dunedin on Saturday as Kiwi dominance over Australian opposition continued in the competition.
Lima Sopoaga, Shannon Frizell and Fletcher Smith got the other scores in a six-try haul for the hosts.
Isi Naisarani and Joe Powell were the Brumbies' try scorers.
They were just 15-10 down, dominating the second-half exchanges, after the Highlanders lost Sopoaga to the sin bin, and threatening to take the lead when Naholo intercepted near his own try line and raced the full length of the pitch to end any hopes of a first Australian success over Kiwi opposition in almost two years.
Rebels 22-25 Jaguares
The Jaguares came from 11 points behind at half-time to win a thrilling clash in Melbourne on Saturday with Bautista Ezcurra scoring a late winning try for the Argentine visitors.
Both teams scored three tries with the Rebels going over twice before half-time through Bill Meakes and Marika Koroibete to lead 14-3 at the break.
Dane Haylett Petty added a third try for the hosts soon after the break but the Jaguares fought back with scores by Sebastian Cancelliere, Ramrio Moyano and Ezcurra.
Rebels captain Adam Coleman turned down the chance to kick over a late penalty for a draw, opting instead for a scrum in search of victory. The Jaguares won a crucial turnover and held on for victory.
Sunwolves 10-24 Blues
Winger Jordan Hyland scored a brace of tries as the Auckland Blues ensured that the Sunwolves remain winless in this season's Super Rugby competition with a 24-10 victory at Tokyo's Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
The Japanese side, who defeated the Blues last season in their only previous encounter, led 10-5 at half-time thanks to Timothy Lafaele's converted try and a Yu Tamura penalty before Hyland halved the deficit with a breakaway effort for the Blues.
However, weak tackling from the hosts after the break allowed the Blues to forge 19-10 ahead on tries from Akira Ioane and replacement Dalton Papalii.
Hyland added his second try late on for the Auckland-based outfit, who will be pleased to leave Tokyo with their second victory of a slow-starting campaign. The Sunwolves have lost all seven of their matches in 2018.
Sharks 10-40 Bulls
Warrick Gelant scored a hat-trick of tries as the Bulls powered to a six-try, bonus-point victory over the Sharks in a derby at Kings Park.
The Springbok hopeful showed pace and guile to give his side a healthy early lead that they never relinquished and they moved into second in the South African Conference, 11 points behind runaway leaders the Lions but with a game in hand.
Hooker Adriaan Strauss, playing a South African record 150th Super Rugby game, and wing John-Ben Kotze also crossed the line, to go with a penalty try, as their powerful pack bullied the Sharks.
The home side's only score came courtesy of centre Andre Esterhuizen as their pre-season promise looks to be fizzling out with them having now recorded just two wins in eight games in the competition.