BLUES 16 drew with CHIEFS 16 @ Eden Park
The Blues and Chiefs played out the 2017 season’s second stalemate on a wet night in Auckland. The hosts led 13-8 at the break after Rieko Ioane’s try and eight points from Piers Francis’ boot trumped a Damian McKenzie’s try and penalty goal. But the Chiefs scored the only try of the second stanza through centre Johnny Faauli after Francis and Aaron Cruden traded penalty goals earlier in the half.
FORCE 40 d. REDS 26 @ Suncorp Stadium
The Reds’ season sunk to a new low, with the Force all but extinguishing the Queensland team’s finals hopes with a 40-26 drubbing in Brisbane. Stephen Moore’s second try gave the Reds a 26-23 lead after they trailed 13-5 at the break, but yellow cards in the second half to Nick Frisby and Eto Nabuli proved crucial as the Force closed out the match with 17 unanswered points. The teams finished with four tries apiece, but Jono Grant’s 18-point haul with the boot was the difference.
CHEETAHS 47 d. SUNWOLVES 7 @ Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
The Cheetahs reached a high point in a dismal campaign by thumping the Sunwolves to the tune of 40 points in Tokyo. The tourists led 14-0 at halftime and went with the job, finishing seven-tries-to-one winners.
HIGHLANDERS 44 d. WARATAHS 28 @ Forsyth Barr Stadium
The freewheeling Highlanders’ attacking firepower eventually got the best of the Waratahs, who grabbed a surprise 14-13 lead at halftime. A yellow card to Dean Mumm rocked the ’Tahs, however, and the Highlanders ran in four highlight reel-worthy second-half tries to carve out a comfortable win.
CRUSADERS 41 d. REBELS 19 @ AAMI Park
The Crusaders extended their flawless 2017 record to 13-0, blasting the Rebels away 41-19 in Melbourne. The title favourites powered to a 31-7 halftime lead before taking the foot off the gas – but they still finished with the bonus point to put one hand on the crucial top seed with only three rounds remaining. Crusaders replacement Jed Brown and Rebels winger Marika Koroibete both finished with doubles.
HURRICANES 34 d. BULLS 20 @ Loftus Versfeld
A dominant second half saw the Hurricanes to a bonus-point win in Pretoria after leading only 14-13 at the interval. The defending champs scored three tries to one in the second stanza to keep the ladder-leading Crusaders honest as the regular season winds down.
SHARKS 22 d. STORMERS 10 @ Kings Park
The Sharks landed a mental blow against fellow playoffs-bound South African rivals the Stormers, grinding out a 12-point win in Durban. The home side led 15-0 at halftime, before Neil Marais scored all 10 of the Stormers’ points in the second half.
BRUMBIES 39 d. JAGUARES 15 @ Velez Sarsfield
The Brumbies landed a critical blow in the race for the Australian Conference title, demolishing the Jaguares by 24 points in Buenos Aries. The visitors led 20-10 at halftime by held a mortgage on the second-half scoring to secure a bonus point courtesy of a six-tries-to-four result. Tom Banks and Andy Muirhead both finished with try-doubles for the Brumbies.
LIONS 54 d. KINGS 10 @ Ellis Park
The Lions continue to dominate the South African Super Rugby scene, cruising to a seven-tries-to-one victory over the Kings after leading 19-3 at the break. Even winger Robbie Coetzee’s 30th-minute red card couldn’t stop the Lions running roughshod over the Kings, who had two players sin-binned in the first half.