Friday's Super Rugby round-up: Blues and Bulls draw; Waratahs hold on to beat Rebels
By Sky Sports Rugby Union
Last Updated: 31/05/19 2:11pm
A recap of Friday's Super Rugby action as the Blues and the Bulls had to settle for a share of the spoils, and the Waratahs won in Melbourne.
Blues 22-22 Bulls
A missed penalty from Harry Plummer on the last play of the match ensured it was honours even at Eden Park, a result which all but ends the Blues' faint hopes of securing a spot in the play-offs.
The Blues led 10-8 after a first half played in wet and slippery conditions. Manie Libbok and Plummer exchanged early penalties before Handri Liebenberg gave the Bulls the lead with the first try.
The Blues hit back with a try from prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi, which Plummer converted to edge them ahead at the break.
The hosts seemed to have gained some control of the match when they scored first in the second half through Scott Scrafton to lead 15-8.
But the Bulls refused to give up and became more threatening as the rain abated. They scored through winger Cornal Hendriks to tie the score and, when the Blues went ahead again through Akira Ioane, levelled the score again with a try from Manie Libbok which the fly-half also converted.
The Blues had late chances to clinch the match but fly-half Plummer missed touch with one critical penalty, then saw his kick from close to the left touchline fade across the posts after the clock had gone red.
Despite the draw, the Bulls kept their hopes alive as they leapfrogged the Sharks into second place in the South African conference with 34 points, two points behind leaders the Jaguares.
Rebels 15-20 Waratahs
Defence won the day for the Waratahs as they held on in the closing stages to secure victory away to the Rebels.
The Waratahs held a 13-3 lead at half-time, with fly-half Bernard Foley instrumental in the visitors' bright start.
The incumbent Australia number 10 was criticised publicly by Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson on Thursday for his lacklustre performance in the previous week's loss to the Jaguares, and he seemed eager to make amends.
Foley had a hand in the Waratahs' first try in the sixth minute, setting off a chain of passes to Curtis Rona who shrugged a tackle and thundered down the left wing.
The 29-year-old followed him into the 22, received the ball inside and then whipped it wide to Adam Ashley-Cooper, who juggled the ball before planting it down in the sixth minute.
Foley converted the try and slotted two penalties to drive the Waratahs to a handy lead at the break as the indisciplined Rebels bombed two try chances.
The Rebels muscled their way back into the contest ten minutes into the second half with a try to Quade Cooper - who had a first-half score chalked off - courtesy of a majestic offload from captain Dane Haylett-Petty at the left corner.
Rona gave the Waratahs breathing space minutes later, booting the ball forward and collecting it over the line after Ashley-Cooper dragged the Rebels' defence wide.
Scrum-half Will Genia trimmed the lead again with the hosts' second try, but the Waratahs' desperation in defence carried them home.