Round 2 of Super Rugby delivered a mixed bag of results, but none were bigger than the defeat of 10-time champions, The Crusaders. In Hamilton, The Chiefs recorded a 28 points to 18 victory over The Crusaders, in what would be back to back victory’s against the defending champions whom they also beat 40 – 27 the last time they played in June 2019.
There was also a shock loss by the Waratahs who went down to the Blues by 32 to 12.
The Lions pulled their match against The Reds out of the bag, to scrape home a 27 to 20 win whilst the DHL Stomers maintain their solid defence performance as the only side not to concede any points as they earned a hard fought victory over the Bulls.
Having eased to a 43-25 opening victory over the Waratahs, the Crusaders headed to Hamilton with arguably their strongest possible side on paper, with nine All Blacks starting and another three on the bench. With a backline consisting nearly entirely of internationals, fullback Will Jordan the only player yet to play Test rugby and a forward pack consisting of no less than three All Blacks.
That did not seem to faze the Chiefs on their way to becoming the only New Zealand team to have beaten the Mighty Crusaders in the last 15 matches played by the 3 time defending Super Rugby Champions.
There’s something about the Chief’s belief following the opening Two Rounds of the competition, many attributing it to the return to New Zealand Rugby for Warren Gatland. The Welsh Wonder has already won two Kiwi derbies against the Chiefs’ biggest rivals, both of them involving comebacks with 15 minutes to go in the match.
As it stands, the Chiefs are the only unbeaten team in New Zealand and although it’s early in the season but their credentials are pretty clear.
Across the Tasmanian Sea in New South Wales Australia, it was a night of firsts in Newcastle, but for all the wrong reasons. The Warathas and the Blues who came off defeats at the hands of the Crusaders and the Chiefs respectively, squared off to try and finally get their opening points on the board for the season.
Rob Penney’s men travelled up the Pacific Highway looking to avoid consecutive defeats for the first time in their 25-year history, instead their horrid run against the Blues continued as they went down 32-12. The Waratahs have now lost five straight matches against New Zealand’s bottom placed side of the past six years.
At Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, heavy rains were not the only thing putting a damper on the local spirits. The Reds opened the scoring against their hosts the Lions in their Super Rugby encounter. They did not have to wait too long though before they too were on the scoreboard, Tyrone Green scoring his 1st Super Rugby try in 12 matches.
At half time the Lions were 4 points ahead and were living dangerously. The Reds made them pay to take a 20 points to 18 with less than 20 minutes to play but a converted Try by Courtnall Skosan and an Elton Jantjies converted penalty late in the game saw the home team securing a 27 points to 20 victory.
At Cape Town the North versus South Derby ended with the Home side the DHL Stomers claiming a hard fought victory over the Bulls. A first half try by new recruit Jamie Roberts and a penalty conversion by fly half Damain Willemse had the home side leading 8-0 at half time. A solitary try by flyer Seabelo Senatla had the home side leading 13-0. A solid defence by the Stomers was displayed as they kept the Bulls side scoreless throughout the encounter showed strong warnings to all other Super Rugby sides. This is the second side to leave Newlands scoreless after 80 minutes of rugby.