Super Rugby

Western Force too strong for Moana Pasifika

In a physical and high-scoring match-up, the Force proved too strong and clinical for the home side scoring seven tries to four.

Run-on captain Ian Prior praised the character and resilience of the squad. "It's no secret that it's been a tough couple of weeks, but I'm immensely proud of the group," Prior explained.

"This one is for the fans. They've stuck with us through the years, and we wanted to make our family and friends proud, which I hope we did today."

Blues snatch late win

The Brumbies looked like winning a battle of the best teams from either side of the Tasman Sea when hooker Billy Pollard crashed over the line off the back of a rolling maul in the 77th minute of a contest played at almost test match intensity.

The Blues turned the ball over, however, and made their way down to the home side's line and, with the referee playing advantage, All Blacks first five-eighth Barrett calmly took the three points to give his side a 12th straight win.

Waratahs unable to identify spectator who abused Hurricane

The 25-year-old, whose father is Samoan, raised his middle finger at the crowd after the Hurricanes' 22-18 win and said it was in reaction to racial slurs.

"I love when the crowds are hyped and throw chat from the stands. But there's a line and just because you're in the crowd doesn't give you the right to talk about my mother or my race," Kirifi wrote on social media.

"Abuse from the sideline is part of our job, and it's a part I personally love - however, this doesn't justify racial slurs or comments about my family."

Crusaders beat Brumbies

Crusaders captain Scott Barrett said the 37-26 win brought a period of erratic form to a close.

"I think the last three of four weeks we've been backed into a corner."

"We've probably dug a little bit deeper with our preparation and I guess what it means to play for the Crusaders."

Leading 23-4 at half-time, the Crusaders were pushed in the second half by the Brumbies who piled on the points.

But Scott Robertson's men held on for the 37-26 win.

NZ rugby would be better if South Africa teams were in Super Rugby

Covid meant New Zealand, Australia and South Africa played their own competitions in 2020.

In 2021 New Zealand and Australia played in house tournaments followed by a cross-over series, while South African teams decided to head to the Northern Hemisphere and play in the United Rugby Championship.

Robertson said the New Zealand teams, and by extension the All Blacks, are worse off without South Africa in Super Rugby.

He believes the South African teams are missed.

"I think more and more now."

Crusaders light on locks as Dalzell cops ban

Hamish Dalzell has copped a three match Super Rugby ban after pleading guilty to a dangerous tackle.

He will be out until May 20.

The incident occurred in the 67th minute of Crusaders upset loss to the Waratahs in Sydney last Saturday.

With captain and fellow lock Scott Barrett also serving a suspension and Mitchell Dunshea, Quinten Strange and Zach Gallagher out injured the Super Rugby Aotearoa champions have now taken another hit to their already depleted second row stocks.

Drua put on a strong performance to a packed-out stadium in Suva

Showing both determination and dazzling skills the Drua thrilled their home crowd in this historic match; their first in Suva in the Super Rugby competition. Cheers and shouts of joy erupted every time a Drua player touched the ball.

Despite their heroic effort, the Drua went down fighting against the Highlanders 27-24, in front of a sold-out ANZ Stadium.

The Drua made an electric start when halfback Frank Lomani scored the game's first try, after winger Vinaya Habosi smashed through the Highlanders' defensive line.

Blues hold off Force

The Force started the match brightly, with In-form winger Manasa Mataele racing in for the first try of the match in the eighth minute.

The free-flowing scoring continued in the early stages, with Blues fly-half and All Blacks star Beauden Barrett narrowing the margin to five with a straightforward penalty goal in the 12th minute.

The Blues hit the front in the 19th minute courtesy of a close-range Sam Darry try.

Akira Ioane stormed over in the 21st minute, with AJ Lam adding a third try in the 29th minute, as the Blues took a 22-8 lead into half time.

Moana Pasifika miss another round due to Covid-19

This weekend is the first 'Super Round' of the competition where the Australian-based sides which include the Fijian Drua, and the New Zealand-based sides including Moana Pasifika, face off for the first time.

All six matches were scheduled to take place at Melbourne's Rectangular Stadium this weekend, but a rash of Covid-19 cases in the Force squad has led to the postponement of Friday's second fixture.

Goodhue back for Crusaders, but All Blacks prop ruled out

Goodhue will start at second-five against the Rebels in Melbourne on Sunday evening.

Goodhue has been out of action for 12 months after suffering a serious knee injury playing against the Hurricanes in Wellington last April.

He ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament, he damaged his medial collateral ligament and posterior cruciate ligament attempting a tackle.

The Crusaders are now preparing for a four-match tour in Australia, starting with their Anzac weekend fixture against the Rebels, the last game in Super Rugby Pacific's 'Super Round'.