Rugby

Foreign Exchanges – Round 14 Super Rugby

Foreign Exchanges – Round 14 Super Rugby

Welcome to Round 14 of FOREIGN EXCHANGES, the place to go for a run down on what happened in this week’s non-Aussie Super Rugby matches.

Foreign Exchanges will be back in five weeks to cover the Round 15 games, which are played on 1 – 3 July. Hope you enjoy the June Internationals and good luck to your favourite team.

Hurricanes 27 – 20 Highlanders

by “Rich_E”

A try in the last minute to Hurricanes flanker Ardie Savia, his second for the match, broke the deadlock and secured the win against the Highlanders in Wellington. Both teams had a bye in Round 13 and needed to win to stay in touch with the Crusaders and Chiefs in the NZ Conference.

The Hurricanes, who had welcomed back five players from suspension for breaking a team curfew, came out marginally ahead in possession, territory and other key match stats. But the Highlanders, who had won the last two encounters including last year’s Super Rugby Final, were equal on the scoreboard until the dying moments when Savia struck.

Savia grabbed the ball from the base of a maul five metres out from the Highlanders line close to the posts, and crashed through five defenders to score. The try made for a dramatic finish, but the Ref had already blown penalty advantage to the Hurricanes. So had Savia not made the try, a successful penalty kicked would have been somewhat inevitable.

Brad Shields (6) also crossed for a five pointer for the Hurricanes, as did Lima Sopoaga (10) and Dan Lienert-Brown (1) for the Highlanders. The win means the Hurricanes have moved above the Highlanders into third spot in the NZ Conference.

ESPN match details here

 

Kings 29 – 22 Jaguares

by Marcelo Cardozo

Poor discipline cost the Jaguares another win, this time going down to fellow cellar dwellers, the Kings, at Port Elizabeth.

With a quarter of the game played, the Jaguares were winning by two penalty kicks to one. Then the Argie side suffered the expulsions of Tomas Lavanini (5) in the 25th minute and Ramiro Herrera (3) in the 32nd, both the result of dirty play.

Lavanini was sent off for a dangerous charge when his shoulder hit the head of replacement hooker Schalk Oelofse during a ruck and a try to Jaguares winger Emiliano Boffelli was reversed because of the incident.

Herrera was given his early shower for a similar dangerous charge when he made contact with lock Steve Sykes’ head while the Kings captain was on the ground in a ruck.

In the second half, the Jaguares increased their half-time lead of 6 – 3 despite being down to 13 men, with three penalty kicks by Nicholas Sanchez (10) and a try to Faundo Isa (8) which Sanchez converted.

But when Tomas Lezana (6) was yellow-carded with 10 minutes left, the Kings took control and scored four times to win the match, with the tries going to Schalk Ferreira (1), a penalty try, Dewald Human (replacement fullback) and Wandie Mjekevu (11).

ESPN match details here

 

Crusaders 26 – 21 Blues

by Brent Craig aka “waiopehu oldboy”

The Crusaders are back on top of the Super Rugby table after a mostly unconvincing win over a gutsy and, many would say, unlucky Blues.

Gutsy, as despite only having a one-third share of possession, they tackled like demons throughout, though with some crucial first-up misses late in the game.

Unlucky, as the penalty that took the Crusaders out to an uncatchable 26 – 18 lead should probably have gone their way. Blues centre Piers Francis was penalised for taking Crusaders 5/8 Richie Mo’unga out after the whistle, but Mo’unga had tackled the Blues acting half from an offside position.

Earlier, Crusaders wing Nemani Nadolo scored the opening try, with Blues 5/8 Ihaia West and centre George Moala replying.

The Blues took a 15 – 10 lead into half-time playing into a stiff breeze. Mo’unga and West traded penalties to begin the second half and the Blues lead 18 – 13 going into the final quarter.

A 62nd-minute break by Crusaders centre Kieron Fonotia (who had easily his best game in Crusaders colours) resulted in a try to halfback Andy Ellis and proved to be the game-breaker.

But Mo’unga’s six goals from seven attempts were ultimately the difference between the sides.

ESPN match details here

 

Stormers 31 – 24 Cheetahs

by Trevor Robertson

Most of the first half was a typically physical, torrid affair. Early point scoring was restricted to an exchanging of penalties. After 35 minutes the score was 9 – 9 with the highlight being an Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager scuffle.

As good as Australia is at producing 7s, the South African’s ability to produce big, raw boned locks is quite something.

The Stormers took the lead in the 35th minute with a well taken try by centre Daniel Du Plessis off a Stormers lineout to go into half-time up 14 – 9.

Early in the second half, the Cheetahs were pressing the Stormers line, when Stormers Centre Leolin Zas swooped on a Cheetahs long ball to go 80 metres, and it was instead the Stormers who increased their lead.

The Cheetahs were able to stay in touch, with tries to flanker Paul Schoeman and a flying Sergeal Petersen (14) who scoped up a shin high ball at full pace too dive over.

But in between, Jean-Luc Du Plessis (10) kicked a penalty, and when Kobus van Wyk (14) won the race to a hoof down field to dive over, the Stormers had done enough to win.

ESPN match details here

 

Lions 56 – 20 Bulls

by “mst”

The Lions arrived at Loftus Versfeld ready for the clash of the two African conference leaders.

The Lions needed to inflict the first home loss on the Bulls to continue their winning ways, while the Bulls had to win to retain the top spot in the Africa 1 conference.

The loss of Elton Jantjies to a pre-game injury had Marnitz Boshoff stating at fly-half for the Lions. The opening minutes were a tight affair with the Lions taking penalty shots to get on the scoreboard.

At the 19 minute mark, the Lions enlivened the game with the first try that was countered by a Bulls try five minutes later. The Lions then found there attacking groove, crossing the line twice more before half-time.

The second half initially mirrored the first with a slow start until the Lions crossed the line at the 54 minute mark, then the Bulls countered again three minutes later.

Momentum then swung to the Lions scoring the next try and, with the game slipping from their grip, the Bulls received a yellow card for slowing the ball.

The Lions couldn’t be stopped crossing for two more, with a late consolation try for the Bulls.

ESPN match details here

 

Rugby

An ex-piggy who once played with lots of passion and not much panache, with the bravehearts, beasts and blue giants.

More in Rugby