Also this weekend: Bulls get off to cracking start in defence of Super 14 title, while Stormers overpower Lions.
Sharks 18 – Chiefs 19
Chiefs flyhalf Stephen Donald kicked over a last-minute penalty to give the Kiwis a dramatic 19-18 win over the Sharks in Durban on Saturday The lead changed hands three times in the last five minutes, when the Chiefs got a penalty a minute after the referee awarded the Sharks a kick that looked to have won them the game. Photo: Reuters.
Blues 20 – Hurricanes 34
The Wellington Hurricanes slotted a record nine Super 14 penalty kicks and scored 22 unanswered points, beating the Auckland Blues 34-20 in the opening match of the 2010 season on Friday night in Auckland. Flyhalf Willie Ripia slotted five and scrumhalf Piri Weepu kicked four, while Hosea Gear scored an intercept try.
Western Force 15 – Brumbies 24
Brumbies skipper Stirling Mortlock became the first player to reach 1,000 Super tournament points in his 118th game, as his team beat the Western Force 24-15 in Perth on Friday. Two early conversions saw Mortlock reach the record, and then his pass to Huia Edmonds allowed the hooker to cross late in the match.
Cheetahs 34 – Bulls 51
The Bulls won the Super 14 last year, and a 51-34 win over the Cheetahs on Friday night in Bloemfontein saw them get off to a good start in 2010. The scoreline didn’t convey how well the Cheetahs did, and Eskom’s embarrassing blackout mid-match can only have the 2010 Soccer World Cup organisers chewing their nails.
Crusaders 32 – Highlanders 17
The Crusaders stuttered to a last-gasp 32-17 victory over the Highlanders in Christchurch on Saturday, as the Highlanders fought back from a 10-0 deficit to trail 18-17 with 13 minutes remaining. The Crusaders got a bonus point after dominating the first half, but the Highlanders continually repelled them.
Reds 28 – Waratahs 30
Wallaby No. 8 Wycliff Palu scored a last-minute try to give the Waratahs a 30-28 win over the Reds in their Super 14 clash on Saturday. The Reds were awarded a penalty try with 10 minutes left, which appeared to clinch the game, but Rory Sidey’s subsequent try pulled the Waratahs close, and Palu’s converted try won it.
Lions 13 – Stormers 26
Stormers fullback Joe Pietersen scored 21 points as the Cape Town team romped home 26-13 over the Lions on Saturday. In 10th place last year, the Stormers now have Springboks Bryan Habana, a former Bull, and Jaque Fourie, a former Lion, in their side. Pietersen scored a try, and kicked two conversions and four penalties.