Recap: Super Round night two live blog
The Gallagher Chiefs may have snatched the Super Rugby Pacific ‘favourites’ tag off the Crusaders last Friday, as they opened their campaign with a 31-10 win on Christchurch.
But one match doesn’t win you a championship. Following on from their stunning victory, the pressure is on the Chiefs to repeat their heroics in round two and beyond.
After an entertaining evening in Melbourne on Friday, which saw the Crusaders and Hurricanes claim important wins, the Chiefs will play Moana Pasifika on the second day of Super Round.
The Chiefs will be without world-class centre Anton Lienert-Brown who was ruled out of this clash with an injury. That’s one of the three changes that they’ve made to their starting XV.
Playmaker Damian McKenzie was simply incredible upon his return to Super Rugby last week, after previously leaving the rugby mad nation for a stint in Japan.
Rugby World Cup winning All Black Israel Dagg believes McKenzie “nailed” his role in the No. 10 jersey.
“All eyes were on Damian McKenzie and seeing how he could take to that 10 position and I thought he absolutely nailed it and potentially outplayed Richie Mo’unga,” Dagg told SENZ Breakfast earlier this week.
“I thought Damian showed great signs going forward… (he’s) more than capable of taking that 10 jersey.”
McKenzie has been named to start in the No. 1 jersey again this week, and will partner Super Rugby veteran Brad Weber in the halves.
As for Moana Pasifika, they’ll need to lean on the experience and skill of veteran flyhalf Christian Lealiifano.
But once the full-time siren has sounded at AAMI Park, and either the Chiefs or Moana after left victorious, the attention will quickly shift to another highly anticipated blockbuster tonight.
Fijian Drua will look to repeat last weekend’s heroics against the NSW Waratahs.
The Waratahs, who lost to the Brumbies in a thriller at Allianz Stadium to open their campaign, will be hungry to get their season back on track with a victory.
For all four teams playing today, there’s plenty on the line.
NIGHT TWO SCORES
Moana Pasifika were beaten by the Chiefs 29-52
Fijian Drua were beaten by the NSW Waratahs 17-46
NIGHT ONE RECAP
Crusaders defeated the Highlanders 52-15
Rebels were beaten by the Hurricanes 33-39
Defending Super Rugby Pacific champions the Crusaders bounced back with a vintage display against the Highlanders to kick-off Super Round at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.
After losing their season opener to the Chiefs last weekend – as they conceded a staggering 24 unanswered points at home – the Crusaders left no stone unturned against their South Island rivals.
Star playmaker Richie Mo’unga was back to his best, as the he led the champion team to a confidence building 52-15 win.
“It was awesome to get the win and more importantly play some footy as the Chiefs played all the footy last weekend,” Mo’unga told Stan Sport.
“We wanted to come out and impose ourselves against the Highlanders and I think we did a good job.
“I was pretty disappointed in myself as the driver last week, not putting us in the right areas of the field so today is very satisfying.”
As for the second match of the night, it was a thriller between the hosts Melbourne and Hurricanes.
For rugby fans in Melbourne, they may have experienced some deja vu as Jordie Barrett scored the winner in the dying stages – similarly to his heroics in last year’s Bledisloe Cup clash.
The Canes kept their unbeaten start to the season alive with a tense 33-39 win – but the match was somewhat marred by a controversial moment.
Captain Ardie Savea made an ugly gesture towards a Rebels player during the Super Round clash, after he’d been shown a yellow card.
The All Black ran his thumb across his throat, and directed the gesture at Rebels halfback Ryan Louwrens.
Savea apologised for his behaviour after the match.
“I understand that can be taken the wrong way and like in the post (match interview) I apologised, I apologised to the player I did it too as well after the game,” Savea told reporters.
“It’s just the heat of the moment mate, it’s a warrior game but I’ve got to lead by example being the skip so I got that wrong.
“Something that I can keep learning and growing from.”
RugbyPass will be keeping you updated on all the latest action throughout the night, which you can follow below.
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What a miserable life you must have Hamish - every article a negative slant on what might otherwise be good news stories. Despite your claims, NZRU did OK in terms of process in appointing a new coach - they were dammed if they did, dammed if they didn't so there was no perfect time to do this appointment. In the meantime, most of us rugby fans are delighted and excited by what Scott will bring to this ABs team - it will be one of the most looked forward to coaching appointments for years...Go to comments
The wales South Africa game was far more physical than the England NZ semi. Empty the tank, what a joke. They got beaten by smart tactics by Rassie in the final. The same way Eddie outwitted Hansen. Wales emptied the tank against the Springboks. They clearly had nothing left.Go to comments