Friday, April 19
Chiefs 23-17 Lions
The Lions produced an inspiring performance to beat the Chiefs 23-17 in Hamilton on Friday.
The Lions started the match without their coach Swys de Bruin who flew back to South Africa due to personal reasons.
Warren Whiteley was welcomed back and Malcolm Marx and Elton Jantjies were late editions to the starting side.
Leading 20-0 at the break, the men from Johannesburg put up a massive first-half effort.
As always the New Zealand sides will never give up and the Chiefs came close to stage a massive come from behind victory.
But, in the end the Lions did enough to hold on to a victory.
To win in New Zealand is always tough and it get’s tougher for the Lions as they face the Crusaders in Christchurch next week.
Sunwolves 23-29 Hurricanes
The Hurricanes had to overcome a 16-point deficit to beat the Sunwolves 29-23 in Tokyo on Friday.
The hosts was leading 23-10 at the break as the Hurricanes scored a penalty on the stroke of half-time.
The second-half started with some brilliant play from powerful centre Ngani Laumape as he stabbed through a kick for Ben Lam to chase and score.
Ten minutes later a kick was charged down as the Hurricanes scored again to make the score 23-22.
The comeback continued with a Wes Goosen try and Fletcher Smith converted.
The Sunwolves through everything at the Hurricanes in the last few minutes, but the defense of the visitors held up.
Sharks 14-21 Reds
The Reds punished a woeful Sharks side 21-14 in Durban on Friday.
This was the Sharks’s fourth loss at home this season.
The visitors scored three tries through Bryce Hegarty, Chris Feauai-Sautia and Tate McDermott.
The hosts scored two tries through Kieron van Vuuren and Dan du Preez.
It wasn’t one of the most exciting matches you would have seen, but the men from Brisbane will be pleased with the win.
For the Sharks, they let an opportunity slip to go on top of the South African Conference.
Next up for the men from Durban will be a tough away match against the Waratahs in Sydney.
The Reds will have a bye.
Saturday, April 20
Highlanders 24-12 Blues
The Highlanders managed to snap their five-match losing streak by beating the Blues 24-12 in Dunedin on Saturday.
The Blues have not managed to win away from home against a New Zealand side since 2013.
Loose forward Shannon Frizell was the standout player for the hosts.
Highlanders’ skipper Ben Smith described the win as “awesome”.
“Our defence did a good job because they’ve got x-factor right across their team and we managed to work hard for each other and shut that down.”
Waratahs 23-20 Rebels
The Waratahs overcame a 13-point deficit to beat the Rebels 23-20 in Sydney on Saturday.
Leading 20-7 at half-time, the Rebels’s discipline cost them as they conceded 12 penalties and a yellow card.
Also not a very exciting and entertaining match, the hosts scored tries through Adam Ashley-Cooper and Bernard Foley. Foley also converted the two tries and scored three penalties.
Bill Meakes and Reece Hodge scored for the Rebels and both tries were converted by Quade Cooper. Cooper also scored two penalties.
Stormers 17-19 Brumbies
The Brumbies got their tour off to a winning note as they beat the Stormers 19-17 in Cape Town on Saturday.
The men from Cape Town were their own worst enemies on the day as the dominated territory and possession. They lack the finishing skills a top quality side needs and also turned down a few kickable penalties.
The Stormers next week face a Bulls side that came off a bye weekend and the Brumbies will travel to Argentina to face the Jaguares.
Written by Carl Coertzen
Image: Getty Images