Highlanders 27 Crusaders 24
A late try from Hosea Gear helped the Highlanders win in Dunedin against the Crusaders on Saturday. At half time, they were winning 20-10 after tries from Andrew Hore and Phil Burleigh. However, they started to let Crusaders into the game in the second half. A try from Andy Ellis and three penalties from Tyler Bleyendaal kept them in the game but in the 70th minute, Hosea Gear scored after some superb hands from Tamati Ellison. Bleyendaal still had chances to steal the win for Crusaders but his drop goal sailed wide.
Rebels 19 Waratahs 35
Waratahs exposed the defensive frailties of the Rebels by outscoring them four tries to one. In a surprisingly one sided game, Tom Carter (2), Sekope Kepu and Michael Foley all crossed, while Daniel Halangahu added 12 points with the boot. Foley also slotted over a penalty. James O’Connor on debut scored 14 points and looked very impressive. The Rebels did score a penalty try in the 66th minute but by this stage, the game was already won for the Waratahs.
Lions 28 Hurricanes 30
The Hurricanes managed to grab a late win thanks to Beauden Barrett penalty. He sealed the victory after a see-saw encounter in which the lead switched hands on eight occasions. Tries from Jaco Taute, Franco van der Merwe and a late try from Butch James thought they had stolen the game for the Lions but the Hurricanes were very patient and bided their time until the referee penalised Butch James for being offside. Barrett slotted it home for their first victory this season.
Stormers 15 Sharks 12
In a kicking dominated match, it was the Stormers who managed to get the win after Peter Grant came off the bench and scored the winning kick. The fly-half took over the kicking duties from the misfiring Joe Pietersen. The fullback had landed three successful kicks but sent four wide over the course of the game. Grant kept his nerve after a superb penalty from the touchline in the 77th minute.
Cheetahs 19 Bulls 52
Bulls turned on the style this week and thrashed the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. The two-time champions ran in six tries and won with plenty to spare despite losing scrum-half Francois Hougaard to a red card. The Springbok was sent-off for a tip tackle, but his team-mates were able to close out the game with the last of their scores despite the numerical disadvantage. Props Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger, JJ Engelbrecht, Zane Kirchner (2), Bjorn Basson scored the tries for the Bulls as they stay unbeaten this season.
Reds 35 Force 20
Mike Harris maintained his imperious kicking form to guide Super Rugby reigning champions the Reds to a 35-20 victory over the Force on Saturday. The Reds’ fly-half landed two conversions and seven penalties for a personal haul of 25 points, to add to his 20 points against the Waratahs last weekend, as the Queensland franchise took charge of the Australian conference. The Reds scored two tries in Ben Tapaui and Radike Samo. The Force almost got back into the game after captain David Pocock and James Stannard scored tries but Harris had the final say kicking three further penalties.