Sharks stunned by Stormers
May 31, 2014
Nizaam Carr of the Stormers wraps the Sharks' Cobus Reinach in a tackle © Getty Images
A last-gasp drop goal from Jaco Taute secured a surprise 21-19 victory for the Stormers over Super Rugby leaders the Sharks in Durban.
It looked as though the home side were going to eek out an uninspiring 19-18 win, with the only try of the match coming from Sharks scrum-half Jacobus Reinach. But Stormers fullback Taute struck 20 seconds into stoppage time to ensure an upset against the South African heavyweights.
The Bulls saw their hopes of making the play-offs take a knock with a 32-21 loss to the Lions in Johannesburg.
The two sides were even in the try-scoring stakes, with Alwyn Hollenbach and Warwick Tecklenburg crossing for the Lions, while William Small-Smith and Jacques du Plessis went over for the Bulls. But Lions fly-half Marnitz Boshoff held his nerve to kick a late penalty in a 22-point personal performance that broke the Lions' seven-match losing streak.
The Brumbies grabbed their easiest win of the 2014 Super Rugby season by running over the top of the Melbourne Rebels 37-10 at GIO Stadium in Canberra.
After enduring a horrible tour of South Africa, the Brumbies got their season back on track with a victory that moves them into the top six. The Brumbies started well, grabbing two early tries through Matt Toomua and Pat McCabe. In total they ran in six tries with Toomua scoring a second and Scott Sio grabbing the bonus point before half-time. Sam Carter and Leon Power also crossed with Scott Higginbotham getting a consolation for the Rebels.
The Hurricanes' hopes of securing a Super Rugby wild card place suffered a blow as they were beaten 37-24 by the Blues.
Lolagi Visinia, Jerome Kaino, George Moala and Patrick Tuipulotu went over for the Blues, who were also awarded a controversial penalty try for a deliberate knock-on, with Ihaia West booting 12 points. Faifili Levave scored two tries for the Highlanders, with Julian and Ardie Savea also crossing and Beauden Barrett adding two conversions.
A late rally from the Waratahs saw them stun the Chiefs 33-17 in New Plymouth on Saturday.
Tries from Dave Dennis and Bernard Foley in the final 10 minutes saw the Waratahs secure a win which keeps them in the hunt for the Super Rugby play-offs. In total, the Waratahs outscored the Chiefs three tries to two but it was nip and tuck for much of the game.
The Chiefs' scores came from Connacht-bound Bundee Aikee who crossed twice in the space of six minutes in the second-half with Aaron Cruden keeping the scoreboard ticking over. But they had little answer to the Waratahs' sprint finish after an Israel Folau penalty, who also crossed the try line in the early stages of the first-half, gave them a 19-17 lead in the 69th minute. Dennis and Foley then crossed as the Chiefs slipped to their second defeat in as many matches.
The Reds' Beau Robinson shakes off the attentions of the Highlanders' defence © Getty Images
The Reds bundled over for five tries, including three in the first 35 minutes as they stormed to a 21-0 lead at half-time. Scores came through Curtis Browning, Rod Davies, Dom Shipperley and Jake Schatz, whose two tries bookended a frantic second half.
The Highlanders did their best to match the Reds with four scores of their own, going over twice in the closing ten minutes to make it a nervy ending for the hosts. Lima Sopoaga, Richard Buckman, Patrick Osborne and Fumiaki Tanaka were the men on the scoresheet for the Highlanders, who drew level at 31-31 with a minute remaining before Schatz's try at the death snatched victory for the Reds.
Earlier, the Crusaders comfortably saw off the challenge of the Western Force with a 30-7 victory in Christchurch.
The home side out-scored the Force by three tries to one, but two of the Crusaders' scores came thanks to penalty tries brought about by their powerful rolling mauls. Johnny McNicholl was the Crusader to get his name on the scoresheet, while Dane Haylett-Petty scored a second-half consolation try for the Force.
The match was marred by a sickening injury to Force flanker Angus Cottrell, who was stretchered off after his left ankle twisted awkwardly in the 78th minute under the weight of two Crusaders tacklers. The injury marked a disappointing outing for the Force, who started the weekend fourth in the overall standings but could find themselves in ninth by Sunday night.
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