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March 29, 2020

Five talking points in Super Rugby - Tip News

Five talking points in Super Rugby

Five talking points in Super Rugby
'Sunwolves' Kai Ishii (L) goes flying after a hit from Brumbies' Matt Lucas during their Super Rugby clash in Canberra' - By: AFP MARK GRAHAM

Five talking points from Super Rugby's final weekend of action before the June international break:

- Relief as Brumbies unscathed -

There were sighs of relief all round after the Canberra side's seven-try win over the Sunwolves saw their Wallabies Test stars emerge unscathed.

The Brumbies won 41-31 boosted by a bonus point against the Sunwolves, who were without all their Japan Test players.

The Brumbies stuck to their guns and refused to stand down their Wallabies contingent against the wishes of national coach Michael Cheika just six days before the opening Test against Ireland in Brisbane.

Forwards David Pocock, Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa all escaped injury and were replaced midway through the second half once the game was safe.

- Points flow in derby record -

Records tumbled as NSW Waratahs kept themselves at the top of the Australian conference heading into the June international break with a free-flowing 52-41 derby win over the Queensland Reds in Brisbane.

The aggregate of 93 points and 15 tries was the biggest combined tally in an Australian Super Rugby derby and the most points scored by the Tahs against an Australian opponent.

"Offensively, [we were] fantastic," skipper Michael Hooper said. "We were pretty much able to walk in some tries out there. On the flip side, the Reds walked some in too."

Meanwhile, the Melbourne Rebels ended a 32-game three-year losing sequence for Australian teams in New Zealand with their 20-10 victory over the Blues in Auckland.

- Eyes down for Ioane -

With the Blues' playoff hopes all but over, winger Rieko Ioane went into party mode after his side's loss to the Rebels, injuring his eye in the process.

"Antics at a private get-together after the game last night has led to Rieko Ioane being treated for a small cut above his eye," a statement from the club said.

"Some high-jinks between Ioane and another player at the small gathering at a private residence, resulted in the Blues winger receiving a knock above his eye which was treated with medical glue at a local A&E clinic."

Ioane said he had apologised to his teammates and the club, while Blues chief executive Michael Redman was checking if the player had breached any team protocols.

- Boyd bewildered by Canes slump -

Wellington Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd is at a loss to explain the form slump that has seen his side lose back-to-back matches, denting their chances of beating Canterbury Crusaders to top spot.

While Boyd is not hitting the panic button, he said he wants more accuracy than his players displayed in last Friday's 30-14 loss to Otago Highlanders.

"The Highlanders were really efficient when they had the ball and we battled to pinch it. In the end we started playing catch-up football and it blew out more than it should have," he said.

"The boys are devastated. We've had three pretty patchy performances and we know it is not good enough and we need to regroup quickly and get back into it."

- No break for Crusaders -

The table-topping Canterbury Crusaders have contributed nine players to the All Blacks squad to face France and coach Scott Robertson is ensuring those not selected retain their sharpness as Super Rugby shuts down for the international window.

Robertson has scheduled matches against a French Barbarians and the Western Force during the break to keep his non-international players on their toes.

"I am thinking of guys who have not had a lot of game time, like Mitch Dunshea, Billy Harmon and Ethan Blackadder, who is in incredible form, to continue that," he said.

"These games are critical for us to keep our momentum. We need to freshen up and re-energise and the boys understand that."

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