Super Rugby Saturday wrap: Highlanders edge fiery Los Jaguares game; Weber wins it for Chiefs
By Sky Sports Rugby Union
Last Updated: 11/05/19 7:34pm
A review of Saturday's Super Rugby action as Highlanders edged out Los Jaguares in a fiery clash in Dunedin and the Chiefs won a thriller at home to the Sharks.
Highlanders 32-27 Los Jaguares
Tempers flared in the closing stages as a second-half fightback from Los Jaguares was not enough as the Argentine side's four-game winning streak came to an end away to the Highlanders.
Several contentious decision went against the visitors in the last quarter, stalling their comeback and allowing the Highlanders to hold on for a win which lifted them to fifth on the overall table.
Frustrations boiled over in a melee involving almost all 30 players just before the final whistle and Jaguares captain Agustin Creevy was involved in a long conversation with referee Ben O'Keeffe after he signalled full-time.
A four-try first-half blitz saw the Highlanders storm into a 26-13 lead at the break in Dunedin, with James Lentjes, Matt Faddes, Sio Tomkinson and Liam Coltman all going over as the hosts secured the try-scoring bonus point early on.
Josh Ioane kicked three of four conversion attempts too, although Los Jaguares stayed in touch with a try from Matias Moroni, plus a conversion and two penalties from the boot of Joaquin Diaz Bonilla.
Marcos Kremer then went over for another converted try two minutes into the second half, followed by Ramiro Moyano dotting down on 64 minutes with Diaz Bonilla adding the extras to draw the visitors within five points.
But they had to settle for a losing bonus point following the controversial and fiery ending to the contest.
Chiefs 29-23 Sharks
Brad Weber completed a stunning team try from a re-start to fire the Chiefs to a 29-23 home win over the Sharks.
Stand-in captain Weber's second try at Waikato Stadium came after a breath-taking buildup, with replacement Alex Nankivell bursting out of defence and Solomon Alaimalo punching a hole through midfield before giving off to the number nine in the 70th minute.
The scrum-half's winner came only seconds after fly-half team-mate Marty McKenzie had squandered a chance to put the Chiefs in front.
After Anton Lienert-Brown shrugged off a tackle to dart over the line near the left corner in the 68th minute, trimming the Chiefs' deficit to a point, McKenzie skewed his conversion kick left of the posts, bringing a groan from the terraces.
But Weber ensured it would not matter and the Chiefs' fourth win of the season lifted them off the bottom of the New Zealand Conference into fourth with 23 points, six behind the third-placed Highlanders.
The Sharks dominated territory and possession, but went into the break 17-13 down after Marty McKenzie converted Mitchell Karpik's 35th-minute try.
Chiefs hooker Nathan Harris was given a yellow card in the 56th minute for a cynical ruck infringement deep in the opponents' 22. Then the Sharks rumbled to the line and lock Ruan Botha stretched an arm out to score.
Fly-half Curwin Bosch slotted the conversion and a penalty minutes later to give the visitors a six-point lead at the start of the final quarter.
All Blacks inside centre Lienert-Brown steadied the home side with their third try, however, before Weber led from the front to nudge his side ahead.
Lions 29-28 Waratahs
The Lions came from behind for a 29-28 win over New South Wales Waratahs in Super Rugby on Saturday, doing little to help coach Swys de Bruin's nerves on his return to duty after a break because of stress.
The hosts trailed at halftime and again midway through the second half before a Shaun Reynolds penalty with just over 10 minutes to go saw them squeeze home.
Finalists for the last three seasons, the Lions are 21 points behind overall leaders the Crusaders, the team they have lost to in the last two Super Rugby finals.
Waratahs scrum-half Nick Phipps darted through for the first try. Captain Michael Hooper and Rob Simmons also crossed for the Australian side to give them a surprise halftime lead.
But the Lions kept in touch and were ahead for the first time when wing Courtnall Skosan finished after good interplay from the forwards early in the second half.
The Waratahs hit back with their fourth try, to Tom Staniforth after a powerful run by wing Curtis Rona took the visitors close to the try-line.
Reynolds landed what was the game-deciding penalty in the 68th minute, but both teams attacked relentlessly after that in a breathless finish.
The Lions have slim hopes of making another final but are only fourth in the South African conference. The Waratahs are fourth in the Australian conference and 13th overall.