March 30 (Reuters) – Highlights from Super Rugby week seven matches:
BLUES 24 STORMERS 9
Winger Rieko Ioane grabbed his seventh try of the season to secure the Auckland Blues their third win in succession as the home side held on after being reduced to 14 men late at Eden Park.
Blues winger Tanielu Tele’a scored a first-half try but was handed a red card in the 70th minute after a dangerous aerial clash that flattened his opposite number Dillyn Leyds.
Stormers replacement back SP Marais then missed the simplest of penalty goals that would have trimmed the lead to five points, allowing Ioane to put the game beyond the South Africans with a clever step and try at the left corner with five minutes left.
Flyhalf Otere Black grabbed the Blues’ second try under the posts in the 62nd minute after a brilliant off-load by Sonny Bill Williams, while the Stormers, who suffered their third loss, were held try-less.
All Blacks captain Read suffers injury in comeback match
Havili scores two tries as Crusaders punish Hurricanes’ errors
Rebels Cooper and Genia make thorny return to Lang Park
Sunwolves demise, sparse Singapore crowd underline rugby’s Asia problem
Relief for Bulls as Vermeulen cleared to face Sharks
Bulls must reflect on hammering by Chiefs
WARATAHS 29 SUNWOLVES 31
A hat-trick of tries from winger Semesi Masirewa and another perfect goalkicking performance by flyhalf Hayden Parker helped the Sunwolves to a win over the Waratahs, just a week after they were told they would be cut after next year’s tournament.
Lock Grant Hattingh also scored a try for the Tokyo-based side, who won their first game on Australian soil four weeks after they achieved the feat in New Zealand for the first time.
Nick Phipps, Cam Clark, Michael Hooper and Kurtley Beale all scored tries for the Waratahs, who were hosting the game in Newcastle due to the rebuilding of their home ground in Sydney.
The loss damaged the Waratahs’ hold on top of the Australia conference as they moved to 15 competition points, just two ahead of the second placed Melbourne Rebels, who play the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.
HURRICANES 8 CRUSADERS 32
David Havili capitalised on Hurricanes’ errors to score two tries as the Crusaders recorded a comfortable victory in a stop-start match on Friday.
Will Jordan and Braydon Ennor also crossed for the visitors who moved to 24 points on the table, giving themselves some breathing room ahead of the Hurricanes (19) at the top of the New Zealand conference.
Ngani Laumape scored the Hurricanes’ only try in the match in which both sides committed numerous errors while the Crusaders defence forced several turnovers when the hosts were on attack.
There could be some concerns for All Blacks coach Steve Hansen as captain Kieran Read was replaced at halftime with a knee injury after about 20 minutes. It was Read’s first match for the Crusaders this season. (Compiled by Greg Stutchbury and Ian Ransom; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)