Fullback Reece Hodge scored a hat-trick of tries as the Melbourne Rebels eased to a comprehensive bonus-point victory over the visiting Sunwolves at AAMI Park. The Rebels extended their lead at the top of the Australian conference to seven points with their six-try victory in which they punished the numerous mistakes made by the Japanese side.
Centre Bill Meakes, flyhalf Quade Cooper and scrumhalf Will Genia also crossed the tryline for the home side, who made it four wins from four in matches against the Sunwolves. The visitors were unable to repeat the intensity of their victory over the New South Wales Waratahs in their previous outing and trailed 28-8 at halftime, but did manage two tries via wing Semisi Masirewa.
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The Blues held off a Waratahs fightback and clung on to register four successive wins for the first time since 2011 in an epic contest at Eden Park. Former All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu provided passes for tries from flanker Tom Robinson and winger Caleb Clarke as the Blues cantered to a 17-0 lead. TJ Faiane scored their third after 47 minutes and Nonu added a try of his own on the hour mark.
The Waratahs got on the board through Israel Folau's record 60th Super Rugby try in the 24th minute and the fullback set up a second for winger Alex Newsome in the 55th minute after flanker Will Miller had crossed from a catch-and-drive. The visitors never quite got their noses in front, however, and Blues flyhalf Otere Black kicked five from five off the tee for 12 points that helped keep them at bay.
CANTERBURY CRUSADERS 36 ACT BRUMBIES 14 The Crusaders trailed the Brumbies 7-0 at halftime but two tries each from wingers Sevu Reece and Will Jordan as well as a five-pointer from flanker Jordan Taufua after the break safely secured the bonus point win.
A try from captain Christian Lealiifano while All Blacks prop Owen Franks was in the sin bin gave the Brumbies the lead at the break but the Crusaders rallied to win their first home match since the Christchurch shootings. The victory extended their unbeaten streak at home to 23 matches and allowed the defending champions to stretch their lead at the top of the New Zealand conference to six points, while the Brumbies slumped to a fifth loss in seven matches.
LIONS 5 SHARKS 42 Winger Makazole Mapimpi scored two tries as the Sharks stunned South African rivals the Lions with an emphatic victory at Ellis Park on Friday, taking the Durban-based side to the summit of the South African Conference.
The visitors were on top from the start, even if it took them 20 minutes to find the opening score, before the floodgates opened as they picked gaps in a makeshift Lions backline. Loose-forward Jacques Vermeulen, centre Lukhanyo Am, prop Thomas du Toit and replacement back Aphelele Fassi also crossed the tryline for the Sharks, who dominated possession in their first Super Rugby win at Ellis Park since 2014.
Sharks prop Tendai Mtawarira became the most capped South African player in Super Rugby history when he made his 157th appearance, one more than retired former Cheetahs and Bulls hooker Adriaan Strauss. REDS 24 STORMERS 12
Scrumhalf Tate McDermott scored a 67th minute try that gave the Reds breathing room as they beat South Africa's Stormers in Brisbane on Friday for their third victory of the season. Captain Samu Kerevi and hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa scored tries in the first 10 minutes of the second half with Stormers captain Siya Kolisi in the sinbin after he had received a yellow card on the stroke of halftime.
Kobus van Dyk and Damian de Allende scored second half-tries for the Stormers who had potential tries to fullback Damian Willemse, winger Sergeal Petersen and Kolisi referred to television match official James Leckie but not awarded. HIGHLANDERS 28 HURRICANES 31
Ardie Savea scored two sensational long-range tries to showcase his blistering speed and help the Hurricanes down the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday. Captain TJ Perenara and Ngani Laumape also scored tries for the Hurricanes, who were guilty of making too many errors and struggled for much of the game in the set piece but managed to score when they needed to sneak to victory.
Shannon Frizell, Ash Dixon, Kayne Hammington, James Lentjes all crossed for the home side, who had numerous attacking lineouts after the fulltime hooter but could not score. (Compiled by Greg Stutchbury/Nick Said/Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Ed Osmond/Amlan Chakraborty)
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