BLUES 34 d. REDS 29 @ Apia Park
The Blues staged a come-from-behind win in a historic clash with the Reds in Samoa. The Blues led 20-12 at halftime but fell behind when young prop sensation Taniela Tupou scored his second try with 18 minutes left. Melani Nanai set up replacement flyhalf Stephen Perofeta for the match-winner in the 74 minute. The win was further soured for the Reds – and the Wallabies – with Samu Kerevi struck down by injury.
CRUSADERS 25 d. HIGHLANDERS 22 @ AMI Stadium
Replacement flyhalf Mitchell Hunt kicked one of the greatest drop goals in Super Rugby history to maintain the Crusaders’ unbeaten 2017 record after an absolute thriller against the Highlanders. The Crusaders led 19-10 at halftime, but their southern rivals grabbed a 22-19 advantage thanks to a pair of opportunist tries to All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo. After a long impasse, Hunt coolly slotted a levelling penalty goal with four minutes left. He missed a late chance to win the game with another penalty attempt, before stepping up to nail a phenomenal 43-metre drop goal in the 83rd minute after the Crusaders had held the ball for 19 phases. The nail-biting win extended the Crusaders’ record to 14-0, while ended the gallant Highlanders’ nine-game winning streak.
CHIEFS 46 d. WARATAHS 31 @ Waikato Stadium
New Zealand teams’ dominance over their Australian counterparts continued via the Chiefs’ six-tries-to-four win over the Waratahs in Hamilton. James Lowe bagged a hat-trick and Tawera Kerr-Barlow notched a double as the home side turned an 18-3 halftime lead into a comfortable win.
BRUMBIES 32 d. REBELS 3 @ GIO Stadium
The Brumbies put one hand on the Australian Conference title with a bonus-point victory over a poor Rebels outfit on Saturday night. Jordan Smiler, Tevita Kuridrani, Wharenui Hawera and Nigel Ah Wong crossed for tries in the one-sided affair in Canberra, with rookie flyhalf Hawera tallying 17 points.
HURRICANES 34 d. FORCE 12 @ nib Stadium
The Hurricanes ultimately overran a spirited Force side in Perth, chalking up a bonus-point win despite leading only 12-7 with a quarter of the match remaining. The defending champions ran in four tries in the final 18 minutes – helped by Dane Haylett-Petty’s 68th-minute yellow card. Boom centre Ngani Laumape scored two tries, but ended the night in the sin-bin.
[YouTube – SANZAAR]