Super Rugby round-up: Wins for Crusaders, Jaguares, Reds and Highlanders
Last Updated: 29/04/18 1:21pm
Highlights from week 11 of Super Rugby as the Crusaders overcome Brumbies, Jaguares continue their run of form against Blues, Reds overcome Lions and Highlanders edge past Bulls.
Brumbies 8-21 Crusaders
Replacement winger Manasa Mataele scored two tries as defending champions Crusaders produced a resolute defensive performance after being reduced to 13 men in the second half, to stretch Australia's losing sequence against New Zealand sides to 36 minutes.
Crusaders fell behind to a quickfire try by Henry Speight but soon took control of the match to lead 21-8 at the break as the eight-time Super Rugby winners scored through Tim Bateman before Mataele's double, while Brumbies' Chance Peni was on the sidelines after a high tackle on Israel Dagg.
The second-half saw the Brumbies enjoy greater territory and possession in a scoreless 40 minutes but, despite Scott Barrett and Ryan Crotty being sent to the sin bin for Cusaders, the hosts were unable to reduce the deficit.
Reds 27-22 Lions
A youthful Reds side scored four first-half tries and produced a strong defensive effort to secure a major upset with victory against South African-conference leading Lions in Brisbane.
The Lions had trailed 24-0 at half-time and 27-0 early in the second half before they struck back with two tries through hooker Malcolm Marx to get to 27-12 with 20 minutes remaining.
The errors that had blighted their first-half display, which led to tries for the Reds to JP Smith, Caleb Timu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa and George Smith, hurt their chances in the final quarter as they failed to complete the comeback despite two late tries by replacement Marnus Schoeman.
Blues 13-20 Jaguares
Jaguares extended their winning run to three matches as they overcame the Blues in atrocious conditions to claim a maiden victory on New Zealand soil, propelling them to second in the South African conference.
The visitors trailed 13-5 at half-time but heavy rain in Auckland hampered the spectacle on show, with 24 penalties conceded by both sides.
Jaguares played an efficient second period in the Blues' territory and scored tries through winger Emiliano Boffelli and replacement Tomas Lezana to overturn the deficit.
Agustin Creevy had scored the opening try of the game for the visitors from a rolling maul before the Blues replied with tries to winger Tumua Manu and fullback Matt Duffie, giving them initial hopes of their first home victory of the campaign.
Bulls 28-29 Highlanders
Lima Sopoaga kicked over a last gasp penalty to secure a dramatic away win at Loftus Versfeld for the Highlanders over their South African hosts at the end of one of the more exciting games of the season.
The All Black stand-off contributed a total of 19 points as the Highlanders came back after going 28-26 down with just two minutes left in match which saw the lead change hands four times in an even encounter.
The Highlanders' tries came from Aaron Smith and Fletcher Smith while the Bulls were awarded a penalty try and then added two more through Handre Pollard and Jesse Kriel.