Reds routed in Christchurch
Trailing 15-10 after a hard-fought first half, the Reds had no answer for the rampant Crusaders during the second stanza on Friday night, crashing to a 58-17 defeat in Christchurch. Wing giant Nameni Nadolo scored two of the home side’s eight tries, while Colin Slade finished with a 23-point haul (a try, six conversions and two penalties) in a win that confirmed the up-and-down Crusaders’ status as arguably the most devastating combination in the Super XV on their day.
Rebels stay in hunt for historic finals berth
The Rebels’ season of spectacular progress continued with a rousing 42-22 thrashing of the hapless Blues. Leading 18-10 at halftime, the Rebels ran in five tries while Mike Harris kicked 18 points. Although they are back in 10th, the perennial strugglers are just five points adrift of the top six and have a game in hand over four of the teams above them on the table.
Force stun Waratahs again
The Force had endured 10 straight losses since their Round 1 upset of the Waratahs in Sydney, but the run of outs ended courtesy of their return clash with the defending champs in Perth. The home side led 13-6 at halftime and a blockbusting try to Waratahs wing sensation Taiqele Naiyaravoro was not enough to prevent the Force from climbing off the bottom rung on the table with an 18-11 triumph. The loss prevented the Waratahs from overtaking the Highlanders and Bulls into fifth.
High-fliers from Down Under choke at altitude
If the Brumbies and Highlanders miss the finals, both franchises will look back at Round 13 as an opportunity lost after giving up big leads to go down on the road against desperate South African outfits. The Brumbies surrendered a 16-3 lead before succumbing 25-24 to the Stormers, with Christian Leali’ifano’s inexplicable conversion miss in the 71st minute costing the Brumbies victory. The in-form Highlanders led the Lions 20-3 at halftime before being mowed down 28-23 at Ellis Park. The Stormers leapfrogged the Brumbies into second spot, while the Lions remain are on the edge of the top six.
SUPER XV ROUND 13 RESULTS
Crusaders 58 d. Reds 17 @ AMI Stadium
Rebels 42 d. Blues 22 @ AAMI Park
Hurricanes 32 d. Sharks 24 @ Westpac Stadium
Force 18 d. Waratahs 11 @ nib Stadium
Lions 28 d. Highlanders 23 @ Ellis Park
Stomers 25 d. Brumbies 24 @ Newlands
BYE Bulls, Chiefs, Cheetahs