Shaun Goosen looks back at what was a pulsating weekend of rugby action from this past Easter weekend.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Varsity Cup Returns
The Varsity Cup returned this past weekend with all matches being played at an empty Tuks Stadium. The hosts secured a 48-25 win over Wits on Sunday, while CUT bagged a 46-13 win over UJ on the same day.
Monday saw NWU beat NMU 47-28 in another high-scoring encounter, while there was also a 26-20 win for UCT over rivals Maties. UWC and Shimlas drew 28-all. The second round gets underway on Thursday.
Landers shock Saders at Orangetheory
The Highlanders beat the Crusaders 33-12 at the Orangetheory Stadium in a major Aotearoa upset on Friday. The win, thanks in large part to Mitch Hunt’s personal 18-point tally, was the visitors’ first in Christchurch since 2015 and ended a seven-game losing streak against the men in red. It was also their biggest win over the defending champs.
In the other match of the weekend, the Blues beat the Hurricanes 27-17 at Eden Park to maintain their grip on second place, now just four-points back of the Crusaders. The loss was the Canes’ fourth of the season and they currently occupy last position.
Defending champs Exeter see off Lyon
Exeter booked their place in the Champions Cup quarterfinals after dispatching Lyon in a comfortable 47-25 win. Despite some haphazard Premiership form of late, they look likely to challenge for the European title once more. There were also wins for Sale, Bordeaux, Racing 92, Toulouse, La Rochelle and Clermont as the French clubs continue to dominate the knockouts.
Leinster were sent through to the last eight after a Toulon player tested positive for Covid, much to the French side’s chagrin.
Written by Shaun Goosen.