Reds thrash Rebels as Highlanders stun Chiefs
June 27, 2014
Lachie Turner, who scored two tries in Melbourne, offloads under pressure © Getty Images
The Reds shook off the absence of several star players to thump their Australian conference rivals the Rebels 36-20 in Melbourne.
Despite being without influential half-back pairing Quade Cooper and Will Genia, the Reds ran in six tries against the Rebels as the Super Rugby season swung back into action after the June internationals. Lachie Turner, on as a fifth-minute replacement for Dom Shipperley, went over for two scores, while Nick Frisby also scored a brace and Mike Harris and Rod Davies chipped in with a try apiece.
The Rebels did not go quietly in the free-scoring encounter, crossing the whitewash for three of their own. Luke Burgess, Bryce Hegarty and Mitch Inman were the trio who touched down for the hosts, who had poked fun at the Reds' absentees before kick-off.
Both sides remain some way off the play-offs, but the Reds at least secured the bragging rights as they proved a strong proposition even without their Australia internationals Genia and Cooper.
The Chiefs' hopes of defending their Super Rugby title took another blow as they were defeated by the Highlanders 29-25 in a hard-fought contest in Dunedin.
The loss was the third in a row for the Chiefs and it keeps the two-time defending champions outside the top six with two rounds to go. The Highlanders, despite being outscored three tries to two, now find themselves up in third place as they bid to break a 12-year play-off drought.
The Chiefs' scored three tries with Dwayne Sweeney, Tim Nanai-Williams and Josh Hohneck all etching their names onto the scoreboard. The Highlanders managed two of their own via Patrick Osborne and Ben Smith, but it was the boot of fly-half Lima Sopoaga that secured the win for the home side.
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