Reds and Brumbies battle to a draw
April 20, 2013
The Reds celebrate Rod Davies' score © Getty Images
The Brumbies maintained their two-point lead at the summit of the Australian Super Rugby conference after they battled to a 19-19 draw with the Reds in Brisbane.
In a pulsating, quick-paced match, the Reds outscored their Canberra opponents three tries to one, but the boot of Christian Lealiifano kept the Brumbies' side of the scoreboard ticking over. Jake Schatz scored for the Reds after 13 minutes with Quade Cooper adding the extras but Lealiifano's try and another eight points meant the away side went into the break 13-7 to the good.
The Reds started the better of the two sides in the second 40 with Rod Davies crashing over after 49 minutes and Liam Gill's score in the last few minutes of the game was just reward for some relentless pressure on the away side's line. And despite some attempts at turning field position into points in the closing stages, the match ended locked at 19 apiece.
The Crusaders racked up their fourth win of the season thanks to a 24-8 victory over the Highlanders on Saturday. The Highlanders, who included the likes of Ma'a Nonu and Andrew Hore in their starting line-up, are still without a win in this season's Super Rugby tournament with eight defeats on the bounce to their name. The Crusaders never really had to get out of second gear against their South Island rivals with a first-half score from Robbie Fruean coupled with a late try from Tom Taylor enough to get them over the line. With Dan Carter absent, Tyler Bleyendaal slotted 14 points for the Christchurch franchise while the Highlanders' points came from the boot of Colin Slade and Jason Emery's try.
The Cheetahs briefly moved top of the South African conference with a 12-6 victory over the Sharks at Kings Park Stadium in Durban, only for the Bulls to regain top spot later in the day. The Cheetahs scored tries through wingers Willie Le Roux and Raymond Rhule, while fly-half Burton Francis converted Rhule's try. The hosts could only muster two penalties from Patrick Lambie.
The Bulls swept past the Southern Kings with a 34-0 victory in Port Elizabeth. The visitors ran in tries through Jan Serfontein, Jano Vermaak, Jaques Potgieter and Akona Ndungane while Morne Steyn hit the target with a drop-goal, penalty and two conversions. Replacement Louis Fouche also landed two conversions for the Bulls.
The Waratahs recorded their fourth win of the season thanks to a 25-20 triumph over the Chiefs on Friday evening. The 'Tahs shocked the Chiefs with a barnstorming first-half performance that saw them go into the break 15-0 in front. Winger Cam Crawford got the ball rolling in the 14th minute with his try and this was soon added to by Israel Folau who out-jumped two Chiefs defenders to collect a cross kick and score. In the second 40 the Chiefs rallied with Gareth Anscombe their hero with 15 points, including one try. Ben Tameifuna crossed for a 71st minute score to give the Chiefs the lead but replacement hooker John Ulugia's try, coupled with Brendan McKibbin's conversion, was enough to give the home side a valuable win.
Elsewhere, the Western Force unleashed a brave second-half fightback but it wasn't enough as the Hurricanes secured a 22-16 Super Rugby victory in Wellington on Friday night. The 'Canes accelerated into a 15-3 lead in the early stages of the first-half thanks to scores from Jeff Allen and Brad Shields and they added to this in the second 40 with Tusi Pisi crashing over. But credit to the Force, they attempted a fightback and Alby Mathewson's stunning solo effort, along with some accurate kicking from Jayden Hayward was enough to get the Perth side a losing bonus point.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Concussion, relegation and the mother of all surprises - it's the Monday Maul.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies