Sharks scrum-half Cobus Reinach manages to get a clearing kick away. @SuperRugby
Business As Usual

A head-stamping, eye-gouging and delicious offloading Super Rugby weekend

The Sharks reasserted their dominance atop the Super XV table after scoring a late try against Crusaders.

THE SHARKS ARE gunning for the Super rugby title and bounced back from a testing couple of weeks to beat four-time champions, the Crusaders.

Colin Slade continued his excellent form in the Crusaders 10 jersey by scoring all 25 points, including a fine try in the first half. The South Africans showed remarkable resilience, however, and clinched the game with a late try from replacement hooker Kyle Cooper. The Sharks played 66 minutes with 14 men after Jean Deysel was sent off for stamping on Jordan Taufua’s head.

Frans Steyn lit up the game, for the right reasons, as his brilliant offload set up a try for S’bura Sithole.


Sharks No.8 Willem Alberts was sin-binned after 64 minutes but his 13 teammates held firm to restrict Crusaders to three points in his absence. The late Cooper try stunned the home fans and put Jake White’s men five points clear at the top of the league.

There was another nasty incident in Melbourne Rebels 30-27 victory over Queensland Reds as former Ireland Wolfhounds player Ed O’Donoghue was sent off for what was deemed to be an eye gouge to Scott Higginbotham.

The ex-Ulster and Leinster lock’s indiscretion also led to a 78th minute penalty that Jason Woodward converted to deliver victory for Melbourne. Reds captain James Horwill certainly did not agree with the call. He declared:

We did some good things, did some bad things. In the end we were, once again, robbed by a stupid refereeing decision.”

The Reds also lost Quade Cooper for a month after the Australian international injured his shoulder in the loss.

The 2012 and 2013 champions, Chiefs, were not in action this weekend so it was left to the Brumbies to keep up the pressure on the Sharks. They failed to do so, however, as they fell 27-21 to the Cheetahs. The South Africans, who began game-day as the league’s bottom side, came back from 11-9 down at the break to score two tries. Heinrich Brussow was sin-binned in the closing stages and Stephen Moore scored a Brumbies try by the cheetahs clung on for a much-needed win.

In Wellington, Hurricanes scrum-half TJ Perenara made a mug out of his opposite number, Highlanders and All Blacks’ Aaron Smith, to score an opportunist’s try.

TJ Aotearoa SportsVideos Aotearoa SportsVideos

The hosts led 13-6 at one stage but some impressive goal-kicking from Hayden Parker, and a 64th minute drop goal, gave Highlanders the last laugh in an 18-16 victory.

The Stormers were simply too good for Western Force as they blew the Australians away in the opening 40 and coasted to victory. Stormers scored three tries as their pack dictated affairs and the 24-8 win sees them climb to 13th in the table.

The big movers of the weekend were the Waratahs, who beat the Lions 41-17. Leinster target Kane Douglas began in the second row for the ‘Tahs as winger Rob Horne scored a brace [his first, a bustling effort]. Bernard Foley contributed 21 points for the hosts and Wallaby internationals Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper were also on the score-sheet in the bonus point triumph for the fourth-placed Waratahs.

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Super rugby results

  • Hurricanes 16-18 Highlanders
  • Crusaders 25-30 Sharks
  • Reds 27-30 Rebels
  • Stormers 24-8 Western Force
  • Cheetahs 27-21 Brumbies
  • Waratahs 41-17 Lions

Rugby player sent off for stamping on opponent’s face

Check out Tom Youngs and Salesi Ma’afu’s brilliant Twitter reaction to their on-field scuffle

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