Ladder leaders Crusaders consolidated their place at the top of the ultra-competitive New Zealand Conference with a fine 34-20 victory at the Chiefs.
The Chiefs were in front in an entertaining clash when Sean Wainui and Luke Jacobson cancelled out Heiden Bedwell-Curtis’ opener, but Matt Todd and George Bridge crossed to put the visitors in control.
Although Jacobson scored a second try, Damian McKenzie’s failure to match Richie Mo’unga’s consistency with his boot meant the Chiefs were chasing the game even before Luke Romano’s late effort.
— BNZ Crusaders (@crusadersrugby) June 2, 2018
The Rebels became the first Australian side to triumph in New Zealand in Super Rugby since 2015, but the victory came at a cost as Wallabies hooker Uelese was injured in a tackle on Akira Ioane just 10 minutes after arriving as a substitute.
His team-mates had already completed the scoring, pulling out of sight after a tight first half in which tries from Billy Meakes and Dane Haylett-Petty – either side of Terrence Hepetema’s effort – secured a narrow lead.
Meakes went over again after the break and the Blues failed to add to their score, but the visitors’ – and Michael Cheika – will now be concerned by Uelese’s condition.
-Equal club-highest number of wins in a Super Rugby season ?
Top of Australian Conference (for now) ?
2nd ever win in NZ ?
— Melbourne Rebels (@MelbourneRebels) June 2, 2018
The Rebels had climbed to the summit of the Australian Conference with their win, but the Waratahs reclaimed top spot by a point after a thrilling 52-41 success at the Reds.
Israel Folau scored twice for the Waratahs, who also saw Curtis Rona, Michael Wells, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Nick Phipps, Jake Gordon and Cameron Clark cross in a superb attacking display.
The Reds managed to stay in the game for long periods, too, though, going over seven times themselves, but ultimately they came up just short.
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