Super Rugby round-up: Defending champions Crusaders start with win

The new Super Rugby season completed a full weekend of action with the defending champions Crusaders being one of the sides that recorded victories.

Crusaders 45-23 Chiefs

A penalty try was the catalyst to ensure that Crusaders commenced the defence of their Super Rugby title on the right note at the AMI Stadium .

With less than 10 minutes to play the home side’s scoreline blew out after they were awarded the immediate seven points when the match was poised at 26-23 in their favour.

The defending champions pulled away in the second half to produce a commanding victory

It put the defending champions 10 points ahead, forcing the Chiefs to take risks which backfired as they gave away two intercept tries in the closing minutes.

The late scoring burst from the Crusaders came after the Chiefs had produced 20 unanswered points to rise from a 19-0 deficit in the first half to lead 20-19 early in the second.

Sunwolves 25-32 Brumbies

The Brumbies were pushed hard in Tokyo but rallied from 8-19 down in the first half to beat the Sunwolves.

The hosts, now under the guidance of Japan’s national coach and former Highlanders mentor Jamie Joseph, looked like a vastly improved unit to the one that produced just three wins in the previous two seasons.

They took an early lead courtesy of tries from winger Hosea Saumaki and Timothy Lafaele before the Brumbies answered back through replacement Lachlan McCaffrey.

Saumaki’s second was the Sunwolves’ response before Kyle Godwin’s 35th-minute score, converted by Christian Lealiifano, ensured the match was poised at 19-15 in the hosts’ favour at the break.

Immediately after half-time the Brumbies hit the front through Tevita Kuridrani’s try and pulled further ahead with a 53rd-minute score from Josh Mann-Rea.

The Sunwolves closed the gap to five points – 27-22 – before the Brumbies erased that penalty and made sure of the result through Tom Banks’ try.

The home side pressured in the final moments and with just seconds left on the clock opted to secure a losing bonus-point through a Hayden Parker’s boot

Joseph’s side face the Rebels next while the Brumbies travel to Brisbane to face the Queensland Reds.

Waratahs 34-27 Stormers

Highlights of the Waratahs' late victory over the Stormers at Allianz Stadium.

In Sydney, the Waratahs lost the lead five times against the Stormers, but clinched victory following a lineout steal after the final siren.

A strong run from reserve back-rower Jed Holloway and passes from fly-half Bernard Foley and debutant prop Harry Johnson-Holmes set up Ned Hanigan, who crashed through two defenders to score in the corner.

The Waratahs scored four tries to three and were down to 14 men for 10 minutes of the second half, when lock Rob Simmons was sin-binned for a lineout infringement on his debut.

The Stormers young fly-half Damian Willemse limped off just after half-time in a major injury concern.

Lions 47-27 Los Jaguares

The Lions were 10-0 down at home in Johannesburg to Argentina’s Jaguares, but responded with seven tries to secure victory. Left wing Aphiwe Dyantyi continued his scintillating start to Super Rugby with two of those tries for the Lions after scoring on his debut last weekend.

The Lions were down to a try by Emiliano Boffelli in the third minute, and a penalty, before finding their attacking edge at Ellis Park.

Dyantyi, who was playing university rugby not long ago, was partly responsible for that with the opener for the Lions in the 27th. He went over again early in the second half and by that time the Lions were in control.

Bulls 21-19 Hurricanes

The Bulls held on at home to edge the Hurricanes 21-19 in Pretoria.The three-time champion Bulls, disappointing in recent seasons, pulled off a big opening win by squeezing past the Hurricanes with a late try by prop Pierre Schoeman, who settled a game where both sides scored three tries each.

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