Super Rugby: Perfect Blues stay top, Crusaders march on

By Sports Desk June 04, 2021

The Blues beat the Reds 31-24 in Brisbane on Friday to stay top of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman table.

Leon MacDonald's side have now won four out of four in the competition, though they were denied a precious bonus point at Suncorp Stadium against the injury-plagued Reds.

Harry Wilson found a gap to score the opening try of the match for the home team, but Brandon Paenga-Amosa's yellow card for collapsing a maul proved to be a turning point.

Dalton Papalii and winger Mark Telea crossed over for the Blues in the space of seven minutes as MacDonald's charges took full advantage of the one-man advantage.

Patrick Tuipulotu and Finlay Christie were next to dot down for the leaders, either side of Paenga-Amosa's try, to give their side a 17-point advantage.

The Reds made a fight of it late on when a crosskick sent Filipo Daugunu over, soon followed by a successful penalty from the Fiji-born winger, but the comeback fell just short.

The Blues are one point better off than Super Rugby Aotearoa champions the Crusaders, who also made it four wins from four by defeating the Western Force 29-21 in Christchurch.

Scott Robertson's side were made to work hard for the victory after falling behind to Toni Pulu's well-taken try inside the opening four minutes.

Manasa Mataele finished soon after and Will Jordan slid over to complete a quickfire turnaround for the Crusaders, who went further ahead thanks to Whetu Douglas.

Ollie Callan's score from close range looked to have given the Force some hope, only for Sione Havili to cross the whitewash after the half-time hooter had sounded.

Jordan got his second of the game to give the Crusaders a 15-point lead and they stayed strong at the back until the final seconds.

Jordan Olowofela chased down Kyle Godwin's kick and went over, denying the Crusaders a bonus point in the process.

Related items

  • All Blacks and former Chiefs wing Sean Wainui dies in car crash All Blacks and former Chiefs wing Sean Wainui dies in car crash

    Maori All Blacks and former Chiefs wing Sean Wainui has died in a car crash at the age of 25.

    Wainui was killed in a single-vehicle accident at McLaren Falls Park near Tauranga when his car hit a tree in the early hours of Monday.

    As well as featuring 10 times for the All Blacks, he also made 44 appearances in Super Rugby for the Chiefs and broke the record for the number of tries in a single game in the competition with five against the Waratahs in June.

    The former New Zealand Under-20s international joined Bay of Plenty in May for the 2021 National Provincial Championship campaign.

    Chiefs and Maori All Blacks head coach Clayton McMillan led the tributes for Wainui, who also previously played for Taranaki and Crusaders in his homeland.

    "He was an influential member in the teams he has been a part of and his presence will be missed," McMillan said.

    "He epitomised everything you could possibly ask for in a player. He will be remembered for being a passionate, hard-working, proud Maori who was an exceptional player but more importantly father and husband."

    New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson added: "We know Sean's passing will be felt deeply by everyone involved in rugby, particularly his Bay of Plenty and Chiefs team-mates and we share their sorrow and their shock."

    The Chiefs posted on Twitter: "One of Rugby NZ's tallest totara trees has fallen. 

    "To you Sean, our Rangatira, we farewell you to the outspread arms of the multitudes who await you beyond this earthly realm. 

    "You leave us here bereft and drown in sorrow as we weep for you. Rest well in peaceful repose."

    Wainui is is survived by his wife and their two children.

  • Australia recall Skelton, Arnold and Latu for northern hemisphere tour Australia recall Skelton, Arnold and Latu for northern hemisphere tour

    Will Skelton, Rory Arnold and Tolu Latu have been recalled to the Australia squad for their upcoming tour of the northern hemisphere.

    The France-based trio were on Friday named in a 37-man party to face Japan at Oita Stadium on October 23 before travelling to Europe to take on Scotland, England and Wales next month.

    Skelton has not played for the Wallabies since 2016, but the towering La Rochelle lock is set to add to his 18 caps.

    Fellow second-rower Arnold, who plies his trade with Toulouse in the Top 14, and Stade Francais hooker Latu have not played for their country since the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

    Lalakai Foketi, Izaia Perese, Pone Fa'amausili and Connal McInerney are the uncapped quartet in the squad.

    Japan-based trio Quade Cooper, Sean McMahon and Samu Kerevi – who has recovered from an ankle injury – were included on the back of Australia's second-placed finish behind New Zealand in the Rugby Championship.

    Dave Rennie's side have won four consecutive games, seeing off world champions South Africa and Argentina twice.

    Head coach Rennie said: "Firstly we're extremely grateful to be able to represent Australia on the world stage in the current environment and that's something that's not lost on this group.

    "We've been building as a squad over the past 18 months or so and to get a chance to head to the northern hemisphere and test ourselves against four really strong International sides is a great opportunity to learn more about ourselves."

     

    Australia squad: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Angus Bell, Quade Cooper, Filipo Daugunu, Pone Fa'amausili, Folau Fainga'a, Lalakai Foketi, Jake Gordon, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper (captain), Len Ikitau, Feleti Kaitu'u, Andrew Kellaway, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tolu Latu, Rob Leota, Tate McDermott, Connal McInerney, Sean McMahon, James O’Connor, Hunter Paisami, Izaia Perese, Jordan Petaia, Matt Philip, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Will Skelton, James Slipper, Darcy Swain, Lachlan Swinton, Taniela Tupou, Rob Valetini, Nic White, Tom Wright.

  • South Africa's World Cup-winning captain Kolisi opens up on battle with drinking South Africa's World Cup-winning captain Kolisi opens up on battle with drinking

    South Africa's World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi has opened up on his battle with alcohol, strip clubs and pornography.

    The 30-year-old Springboks loose forward captained the side that defeated the All Blacks 31-29 on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

    Kolisi, whose new book 'Rise' is due out later this month, also led South Africa to the 2019 World Cup as skipper, having become the country's first black captain in 2018.

    The 56-cap veteran, who debuted internationally in 2013 as a 21-year-old, revealed the struggles prior to his rise and throughout his career.

    "Some people also know how I was in the past and I’m not a saint at all. I’m a sinner trying to be the best he can be every day," Kolisi told The Guardian.

    "I drank when I was happy or sad, or dealing with something. Drinking was the only way I knew to get through this stuff."

    He added: "Let’s say I’m someone’s role model. The kid will think: ‘I want to be like you one day.’ But he doesn’t know the struggles you face. No one tells him there’s temptation – alcohol, drugs, all these things are available to you.

    "I wish I’d had a mentor that told me you’re going to face these challenges and you must be prepared to fight them.

    "I had to go through the hard way. Now I want to make sure the next kid and his family can read the book and think: ‘How will we prevent that? How will we prepare you for that kind of life?'"

    Kolisi, who is a devout Christian, revealed his gender-typical struggle with articulating himself, using alcohol, strip clubs and pornography to escape his confusion.

    "I didn’t know how to speak for a long time," Kolisi said. "I’m learning as I go along with my wife.

    "We’re five years into our marriage and I’m still learning how to have a proper conversation with her. That’s why I put in [the book] the things I did in the past, some of the vulnerability, so it can tell the true story."

    Kolisi also spoke about his upbringing in Zwide, a township outside of Port Elizabeth, and losing his mother when he was 15, having seen her beaten by men. He has utilised his profile to be an advocate for gender equality.

    "You win the World Cup and get given a platform. [Kolisi's wife] Rachel said: ‘You couldn’t help your mother or your aunt but you can help other women.’ She was right," he said.

    "Gender violence hurts me even if I am a man. I have my own daughter, my wife and my sister. I would never want them to suffer this violence."

    On pornography fueling gender violence, he added: "I’m not a professional so I don’t really want to get into that. But I know it [pornography] was a problem for me. I can’t say more than that."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.