Rugby Union results from the first round of the 2011 Super Rugby Tournament
Super Rugby kicked off this weekend, the first Super tournament with fifteen teams and a conference system. The conference system means more local derbies between the teams, and the first round alone provided grudge matches between the Hurricanes and Highlanders, Blues and Crusaders, Lions and Bulls, and a ‘warm’ welcome to Super Rugby from the Waratahs to the Rebels.
It was a typical start to Super Rugby, some poor defense, patchy handling and attack patterns, and much talk about the merits, or lack thereof, of rugby in February – Southern Hemisphere’s summer. There were also a few upsets and near-upsets. The Highlanders surprised the Hurricanes in the opening game, winning 14 to 19. Later on Friday the Waratahs walloped the Rebels 43 nil, giving us a glimpse that it may be a long season for the new Melbourne-based team. That was the only bonus point win in the round.
Other upsets included the Blues narrowly defeating the Crusaders in Auckland and the Lions giving the Bulls a scare, although still going down 20 – 24. Likewise, the Force defied the odds and took the game to the Red, before finally going down 21-20 in a heartbreaking loss.
The Brumbies showed they could be a force this year, although they were helped by a Chiefs team who didn’t seem to have a lineout or a scrum. The Sharks easily accounted for the the Cheetahs, 24 -9.
Hurricanes 9 v Highlanders 14
Penalties: Cruden 3
Try: Sopoaga. Penalties: Sopoaga 2, Robinson
Rebels 0 v Waratahs 43
Tries: Beale 2, Mitchell 2, Polota-Nau, Horne, Waugh. Conversions: Barnes 3, Beale
Blues 24 v Crusaders 22
Tries: Stanley, Woodcock, Mealamu. Penalties: Brett 3
Tries: Maitland, Ellis. Penalties: Carter 4
Brumbies 28 v Chiefs 20
Tries: Coleman, Fainifo, Ma’afu. Conversions: Giteau 2. Penalties: Giteau 3
Tries: Sivivatu, Kerr-Barlow, Masaga. Conversion: Donald. Penalty: Donald
Sharks 24 v Cheetahs 9
Tries: Botes, B du Plessis. Conversion: Lambie. Penalties: Lambie 3, Potgieter
Penalties: Olivier 3
Lions 20 v Bulls 24
Tries: Murray, Bezuidenhout, Whiteley. Conversion:Jantjies. Penalty: Jantjies
Tries: Kirchner, Van den Heever. Conversion: Steyn. Penalties: Steyn 4
Reds 21 v Force 20
Tries: Faingaa, Hanson. Conversion: Cooper 1. Penalties: Cooper 3.
Tries: O’Connor. Penalties: O’Connor 5.