Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Looking back: Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 4

Looking back: Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 4

Sevu Reece scores against the Highlanders

Round 4 of Super Rugby Aotearoa has come and gone with the Crusaders cruising past the Highlanders while the Hurricanes grabbed their first win of the campaign against the hapless Chiefs.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Canes get off the mark
The Hurricanes came out of their bye week fit and firing after putting on a sparkling showing to outdo the Chiefs 25-18 in Hamilton. Kobus van Wyk finished off two tries after twice finding room out wide, while Ardie Savea continued his way back to full form following his serious knee injury by producing another barnstorming display on the weekend.

Jordie Barrett also underlined his class off the tee with two conversions and two penalties – including one from 58 metres out. Despite having to play the final quarter without second-rower Scott Scrafton, who was shown two yellow cards, the Canes got over the line and will take confidence out of this performance heading into an important home clash with the Highlanders.

Smith magic not enough for Landers
Despite a particularly classy display from the great Aaron Smith, the Highlanders still could not match the Crusaders for the full 80 and eventually slumped to a 20-40 loss at the Forsyth Barr Stadium. The 87-capped All Black was the catalyst for virtually all that was good for his side as the hosts led 17-14 at the break after capitalising on several key moments.

It was not to be for the 2015 Super Rugby champions, however, as the relentless 'Saders hit back hard. A brace of second-half scores to Tom Christie as well as Will Jordan’s second gave them a comfortable win in the end, something with which rugby fans have become all too familiar.

Aotearoa to be decided this weekend?
The Crusaders host the Blues in Christchurch on Saturday in a clash many are predicting will decide the fate of the tournament. Both outfits are unbeaten after winning each of their respective opening three matches and, considering how dominant each team has been, the result of this weekend’s encounter could well pave the way for a domestic championship run-in over the next few weeks.

It has all the makings of a classic and is certainly not to be missed.

Player of the round: Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith of the Highlanders

Particularly since the departure of namesake Ben, 31-year-old Aaron Smith proved again just how invaluable he is to his beloved Highlanders after driving them close to upsetting the Crusaders on Saturday. The No 9’s electrifying break from a botched Landers lineout set the entire Forsyth Barr alight and eventually led to Ngane Punivai’s try.

Smith ended the match with 29 metres from five carries and beat one defender. While the Hurricanes’ TJ Perenara may be a fine Super Rugby player in his own right, there’s no doubt that it is Smith who rules the roost in Kiwiland.

Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets.

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