Recap: Super Round day three blog
After starting their season with an emphatic 40-point win over the Highlanders, the Blues’ championship credentials will be put to the test against the Brumbies in round two.
The Blues, who lost last year’s final to the Crusaders, dominated their New Zealand rivals at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.
Winger Mark Telea ran rampant, while All Blacks playmaker Beauden Barrett led his team around the park with both skill and poise. They were simply unstoppable.
But it’s just one match. That result will forever hold its place in the history books, but it can’t define their campaign.
Coming up against traditional Australian powerhouse the Brumbies in Super Round, the Blues will be without star flanker Akira Ioane.
Ioane will miss the semi-final rematch after injuring his knee during the win over the Highlanders. While it’s a tough blow for the Blues, they’ve named a more than handy replacement in Tom Robinson.
The Blues have named a star-studded backline for the clash, including international stars Beauden Barrett, Caleb Clarke and Rieko Ioane.
Captain Dalton Papali’i said earlier this week that the team is ready to “meet the challenge” at AAMI Park.
“You can’t stand still int his competition, otherwise teams will run straight past you,” Papali’i said in a statement.
“We know the Brumbies will bring a physical, confronting game and we have been preparing all week to meet that challenge.”
Once the full-time siren has sounded, the attention will turn to the final game in Super Round between the Western Force and Queensland Reds.
Both teams will be eager to bounce back from their opening round losses.
SUPER ROUND RESULTS
Crusaders defeated the Highlanders 52-15
Rebels were beaten by the Hurricanes 33-39
Moana Pasifika were beaten by the Chiefs 29-52
Fijian Drua lost to the NSW Waratahs 17-46
Brumbies beat the Blues 25-20
Western Force lost to the Queensland Reds 20-71
NIGHT ONE AND TWO WRAP
Defending Super Rugby champions the Crusaders returned to winning ways with a vintage display against the Highlanders on Friday.
In the opening match of Super Round, the Crusaders were relentless in their pursuit of victory against their South Island rivals.
Star playmaker Richie Mo’unga was back to his best, as he led the champion team to a convincing 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.”
Following that match, the Hurricanes beat the Melbourne Rebels in an absolute thriller.
Utility back Jordie Barrett scored the winner in the dying stages, as he replicated his heroics in last year’s Bledisloe Cup clash at Marvel Stadium.
But the match was somewhat marred by an incident involving Canes captain Ardie Savea, who made an ugly gesture towards a Rebels player.
“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.”
Moving on to night two, the Chiefs recorded another big win, this time over Moana Pasifika – but it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the New Zealanders.
After scoring six tries in the first half, the Chiefs were outplayed by Moana in the second half.
But the Chiefs can still take plenty out of the bonus point win, which was orchestrated by playmaker Damian McKenzie.
“It’s nice to be back playing in New Zealand,” McKenzie told RugbyPass.
“I’ve kind of come back feeling really rejuvenated to get back into a Super campaign.
“We were pushed tonight, particularly int that second half. Moana came out and probably were a bit hungrier in that second-half than what we were.”
Finally, the Waratahs recorded a big 46-17 win over Fijian Drua. The scoreline doesn’t reflect how close this match was for about 50 minutes.
RugbyPass will be keeping you updated on all the latest action throughout the day, which you can follow below.
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G'day, Nick. Sorry to see you've gone from the other place. It will be a poorer experience for many because of it. As others mentioned, your detailed analysis and commitment to engaging with every person commenting on your articles stood out and was the main reason I ended up joining 5 years ago. I'll be spending a bit more time over here now I think.Go to comments
Think you boys forgot that Graham Henry coached the 2011 All Blacks and that Hansen/ Smith were assistants. The cross was shouldered by Henry. Erasmus' point here is that he and Nienaber are looking to win back to back WC's as head coaching combos. A bit of a reach because he is now the DoR and not the coach with the title anymore, but we all know who the real brain behind this Bok squad/strategy is.Go to comments