Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Super Rugby Aotearoa R8: Looking Back

Super Rugby Aotearoa R8: Looking Back

Sevu Reece tackles Sean Wainui

More misery for the Chiefs, the Crusaders within touching distance and the Blues in hot pursuit. Shaun Goosen takes a look back at round 8 of Super Rugby Aotearoa.

All images copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Crusaders one win away from claiming title

The Crusaders’ 32-19 win over the Chiefs at the FMG Stadium Waikato leaves them just one more away from claiming the Aotearoa title. They welcome the Highlanders to the Orangetheory Stadium this weekend before travelling to Eden Park to take on the Blues next week. Having beaten the Landers 40-20 already this season, they will be favourites to wrap up the championship this Sunday.

They were made to work hard for the result but proved too powerful in the end as a surge of scores in the final 20-minutes saw them run out comfortable winners after their loss to the Hurricanes in Round 7.

Crucial TMO call again goes against Chiefs

Not for the first time this season, the Chiefs were on the receiving end of a controversial refereeing call which ultimately cost them a win. With the visitors leading 20-19 with a quarter to go, Saders winger Sevu Reece finished off a try that was seemingly knocked-on by lock Quinten Strange in the build-up. After consultation with TMO Glenn Newman, referee Ben O’Keeffe awarded the score which pushed the Crusaders out to what proved to be an unassailable lead.

New Zealand refs boss Bryce Lawrence has dished out several apologies already to the Chiefs over the past month, but this latest development will put him under even more pressure. As for the Chiefs, they will continue their quest for a first win in Wellington on Saturday with the Canes lying in wait.

Blues still in with a shot of the title

The Blues’ 32-21 result over the Highlanders kept them in the hunt for the Aotearoa crown. The fate of the championship may ultimately be out of their hands, especially with their second bye coming up this weekend, but Leon MacDonald and his men should be extremely proud of the way they’ve performed over the past several weeks. If they can go on to finish the season in the top two, theirs will be a very happy camp with plenty to look forward to in the years ahead.

Player of the round: Will Jordan

Will Jordan scores for the Crusaders against the Chiefs as Jack Goodhue looks on

The Crusaders’ young fullback again showed his pedigree in another outstanding display from the back. The 22-year-old made the most meters (101) from the joint-most carries (16) in the match in Waikato, beating five defenders, making two clean breaks and completing two tackles. He also bagged his sixth tournament try, extending his lead at the summit of the charts.

Perhaps most eye-catching of all, though, was a sensational moment of acrobatics in which he kept the ball alive from a Chiefs’ kick which seemed certain to go out. The guy looks destined to wear all black.

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