Super Rugby

Waratahs humiliated by Kings

Plumbing new depths, the Waratahs lamely surrendered a 17-0 lead with a listless display in front of exasperated fans on Friday night.

The Kings are the competition's dead men walking, consigned to the scrapheap in 2018 as part of SANZAAR's Super Rugby restructuring after managing just three wins in the past season and a half.

But the lowly South Africans may well have sounded the death knell on the Waratahs' finals hopes after reversing a record 72-10 loss to NSW in the two sides' only previous meeting, in Port Elizabeth four years ago.

Hurricanes crush Brumbies in Napier

After trailing 21-14 at the break, the defending champions piled on six unanswered second-half tries on Friday night to shoot to the top of the table in devastating fashion.

Centre Vince Aso bagged a hat-trick, including two in six minutes early in the second half to blow the game open, while Callum Gibbins collected a double at McLean Park.

Boasting the best defence in the competition heading in to the match, the Brumbies simply had no answer after the break as Beauden Barrett delivered an attacking mastersclass.

Jordie Barrett ruled out of under-20 squad

Barrett was named in the side last month, but with the Hurricanes riddled with injuries he's been ruled out of the squad.

Blues first five eight Stephen Perofeta has also been ruled out due to an ankle injury.

Tana Umaga's nephew Thomas Umaga-Jensen and secondary school rep Ciarahn Matoe will join the squad for the Gold Coast tournament.

Under 20 head coach Craig Philpott said they've been following Umaga-Jensens return to rugby since his hip surgery in October.

Rebels breathe life into Super Rugby

Apart from sending a powerful message to the Australian Rugby Union, who are weighing up whether to cut the Rebels or Western Force from next year's competition, the 19-17 win in Melbourne has also breathed life into the season.

With a record 10 straight derby wins to their credit, the Brumbies seemed to be cruising to Australian conference honours for the second year in a row.

Chiefs storm back to beat Cheetahs

Tries by winger Raymond Rhule, prop Torsten van Jaarsveld and centre Francois Venter had put the home side in control with a 24-point lead after 22 minutes, but the visitors regained their composure and started to pick holes in the Cheetahs' defence.

Winger Toni Pulu scored a brace of tries as the visitors mounted a fantastic comeback to earn a bonus-point victory and avoid a second successive loss on their tour of South Africa.

Crusaders too strong for Sunwolves

New Zealand captain Kieran Read, making his first appearance following wrist surgery last year, Ben Funnell, Pete Samu, George Bridge and Whetu Douglas also crossed for the home side who were celebrating Crockett's 176th appearance.

Crockett, who led the team onto the field, surpassed the previous mark of 175 appearances racked up by former All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu.

Six changes to Chiefs team

Co-captain Sam Cane is fully recovered from the concussion he sustained in his sides game against the Bulls two weeks ago and will start at openside flanker.

Cane is one of six changes to the starting fifteen which lost 34-26 to the Stormers in Cape Town, their first loss of the season.

In the forwards, Brayden Mitchell earns his first start for the Chiefs at hooker, while Taleni Seu is promoted from the bench to join Brodie Retallick in the second row. Mitchell Brown returns to the starting fifteen to wear jersey 6.

Savea brothers back for champs

Also, who's been playing on the wing, will start at centre in place of Matt Proctor, who will miss the match due to concussion, while Julian Savea reclaims his place on the left wing after being given a week off to rest.

Former All Black Cory Jane is dropped from the wing to the bench with Wes Goosen rewarded for his strong performance against the Waratahs, he gets another start, shifting from the left to the right wing.

SANZAAR saga to drag on past Easter

ARU chairman Cameron Clyne says the governing body's initial plan to decide which franchise will be cut from the competition by Thursday had been scrapped.

Given it's then Good Friday and a public holiday long weekend, players, staff, their families and fans of the Rebels and Force are almost certain to be left on tenterhooks until at least next Tuesday before the ARU hands down its decision.

Warriors stick with winning side

The side nabbed their second NRL win in a row at the weekend beating Parramatta 22-10 in Auckland - the win lifted the Warriors to 3-3 for the season

Coach Stephen Kearney said this week's match up will mark Blake Ayshford's 150th career appearance.

"When you look at the rest of our outside backs he's not the same sort of athlete. Ken Maumalo and David Fusitu'a are big men, Sol Kata is really powerful and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has so much speed. Aysh is a lot different but he's reliable and does a tremendous job for us.

"It's great to see him getting to this mark."