Super Rugby Review: Round 7

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Sunday, April 9, 2017    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

The Bulls finished their three-match tour without a win and with their worst start in Super Rugby since 2002.


New Zealand Conference
The Hurricanes will sweat on the disciplinary hearing involving Beauden Barrett after his two yellow cards for the same offence of professional fouls during the side's 38-28 win over the Waratahs on Friday. The Wellington crowd must have felt a rout was on the cards when the Hurricanes stormed out to a 33-7 lead by half-time. At 33-21 midway through the half it was getting a little close, but Ngani Laumape's try put the issue beyond doubt although the Waratahs did score again.

The Highlanders leap-frogged the Blues on the New Zealand table with a 26-20 win in Dunedin. The Blues were again strong in the first half but failed to score in the second while the home team added 13 points with the Blues guilty of again turning over ball to allow their opposition back into the game.

Scoring the try of the season was no compensation for a 26-34 loss for the Chiefs against the Stormers. Under pressure the Chiefs were unable to find the spark, or retain possession consistently, to beat off the home team's challenge. It was a significant turnaround from their last outing in the quarter-finals last year.

Australian Conference
The troubled Waratahs side showed signs of improvement during their second half recovery against the Hurricanes, but it was guilty of poor play in the first half and would have been an undeserving winner if their comeback had succeeded. The 38-28 margin was probably fair in the Hurricanes favour.

The Brumbies confirmed their place at the top of the Australian Conference by dishing out a comprehensive 43-10 win over the Reds, scoring 33 unanswered points in the second half.

In Perth, the Force benefited from a penalty try in the 72nd minute to claim a vital one-point lead which they built on with a late try to seal a 46-41 victory.

African Conference 1
The Stormers raced to a share of the top of the overall points table with 26 points as a result of their 34-26 win over the Chiefs in Cape Town. They and the Crusaders remain the only unbeaten sides this year. It wasn't the expected running class from the Stormers, the Chiefs were still tops in that regard, but it was a thorough reward for pressure applied and opportunities taken.

The Bulls had too many 'soft' moments in their game and paid the price, although the sin-binning of Jan Serfontein late in the game did not help. A 74th minute penalty goal to replacement – Tamura gave the Sunwolves the lead and in the final stages they had to hold out 15 phases as the Bulls attempted to score. They were denied by tigerish defence while Francois Brummer was unable to convert a 75th minute penalty goal chance.

African Conference 2
The Sharks gained second place in the Conference as a result of thei 18-13 win over the Jaguares in Durban. However, the South Americans have a game in hand and could yet pass the Sharks next weekend. Sharks first five-eighths Curwin Bosch proved the difference with his goal-kicking keeping the Sharks in front.

The Kings contributed to an entertaining game in Perth but couldn't deny the home team a 46-41 victory.