Super Rugby round 8 review: Brumbies complete double over Waratahs, whilst Cheetahs demolish Sunwolves

In the eighth week of the Super Rugby season, Kiwi teams went three-from-three and the Bulls and Lions picked up crucial wins in South Africa

Super Rugby round 8 review: Brumbies complete double over Waratahs, whilst Cheetahs demolish Sunwolves
The Hurricanes celebrate a try in their win over the Rebels (image via: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

It's fair to say that the three new franchises have struggled to make their mark in Super Rugby this season. Between them the Jaguares, Sunwolves and Kings have won just two of their 20 matches to date, one of which was in a match between the Kings and Sunwolves. 

The hope is that expansion will be great in the long term, as shown by Argentina's presence in The Rugby Championship, but at the moment the new Super Rugby teams are falling short where it matters most, on the pitch.

The latest setback for SANZAR came on Friday evening in Bloemfontein, where the Cheetahs obliterated the Sunwolves, eventually running out 92-17 winners. Now, if this was the Chiefs or Highlanders who had handed out a thumping of this magnitude it could be understood to a point, but the Cheetahs are a side who have struggled themselves over the past few seasons. 

Sergeal Petersen flies over for one of his three tries (image via: Photosport)

Sergeal Petersen and Paul Schoeman each scored hat-tricks in the big win which could leave a major dent on Japanese rugby unless they can re-group quickly over the next few weeks. 

Kiwi sides go three-from-three to continue fine form

The cream of the crop over the first two months of competition has been the New Zealand sides. If the season finished today, there would be four Kiwi sides qualifying for the quarter-finals, which is the maximum possible. 

The Crusaders made it six-straight wins on Friday evening, when they dispatched of the Jaguares in a 32-15 win. The match in Christchurch saw the hosts bag a bonus point after scoring five tries to their opponents two.

Israel Dagg scored two tries on his season debut (image via: stuff.co.nz)

Israel Dagg returned from injury with a bang, scoring a brace from full-back, adding to tries from Andy EllisRichie Mo'unga and Kieran Read in the comfortable victory which saw Ryan Crotty celebrate taking part in his 100th Super Rugby game. 

Also on Friday, the Hurricanes completely outclassed the Rebels in Melbourne to secure their fifth win of the season. The 'Canes scored six tries to their hosts two, meaning they also snatched a bonus point which could be crucial in the final standings.

Beauden Barrett was instrumental in the win, scoring two tries and steering his side around the park excellently alongside half-back partner TJ Perenara who is really coming into some form. 

The other four tries came from Victor Vito, Ardie Savea, Cory Jane and Jason Woodward who put in an excellent performance against his former side. For the Rebels, another home defeat should have the alarm bells ringing as they fall further behind in the race for a playoff spot.

The New Zealand hat-trick of wins was confirmed on Saturday, when the Blues overcame the Sharks for the first time in a decade, winning 23-18 at Eden Park. The South African tourists started the stronger, and built an 11-3 lead just after the half-hour mark thanks to a pair of penalties from Joe Pietersen, and a try from captain, Tendai Mtawarira in the eighth minute. 

On the verge of half-time, the Blues got themselves back into the game with their first try, which came from substitute George Moala after a sustained period of attacks on the visitors line. 

Then, with the sides just one point apart, the Sharks extended their lead back out to eight when Paul Jordaan cut a brilliant line to slice through the Blues defence two minutes after the break. 

Rieko Ioane was the difference-maker for the Blues in their win over the Sharks (image via: stuff.co.nz)

The hosts had to start another fightback, and they did just that, firstly through the boot of Ihaia West, and then the quick feet of Rieko Ioane, who broke the game open with a breathtaking try which turned out to be the match-winner. 19-year-old Ioane spotted a gap in the defence, and scorched his way through the hole and away from the covering tacklers to grab a much-needed victory for the Blues. 

Brumbies complete Waratah double, thanks to Tomane triple

In the battle between the two big sides in Australia, the Brumbies completed the season sweep over the Waratahs, winning 26-20 in Sydney.

After winning 32-15 on home soil in week two of the season, the Brumbies took control of the Australian conference with their first road win against the Tahs in four years. Joe Tomane was the star for the Canberra side, scoring a hat-trick of well-taken tries, with Stephen Moore also crossing for a five-pointer. 

Joe Tomane (centre) is congratulated after scoring his hat-trick try (image via: Cameron Spencer)

For Daryl Gibson's Waratahs, their season is now in serious threat of falling apart after they suffered their fourth defeat from six outings so far. Reece Robinson and Israel Folau scored first-half tries which saw the hosts build a five-point lead after half-an-hour, but they were unable to hold on and now face a tough task in reaching the playoffs. 

Lions and Bulls grab crucial wins in African Conference

In the big South African clash at Emirates Airline Park, the Lions came out on top against the Stormers in an intense clash. The 29-22 win gives the Lions their fifth win of the campaign, and came thanks to tries in either half from Ruan Combrinck and Faf de Klerk

Elton Jantjies added 19 points from the boot to help Johan Ackerman's side extend their lead at the top of the Africa 2 conference to five points from the Sharks.

Jaco Van der Walt is tackled by Sikhumbuzo Notshe (image via: GalloImages)

The Stormers, meanwhile, still lead the Africa 1 conference, but have had their lead cut to just one point following their second defeat of the season. Robbie Fleck won't be too disappointed with his team's display, and they did pick up a bonus point thanks to Siya Kolisi's late try. 

The Bulls are now breathing down the Stormers neck, after they saw off the Reds 41-22 in Pretoria. 

After trailing early to a try by Chris Feauai-Sautia, the Bulls fought back to build a 17-8 lead at half-time, after Adriaan Strauss and Marcel Van der Merwe scored within a five minute period just before the break. 

Lappies Labuschagne then added a third try for the Bulls in the 50th minute to extend the lead to 19, before the Reds got themsleves back into the game via a pair of tries from Samu Kerevi, who looks to be back to his best. 

With the game back in the balance, the Loftus Versfeld crowd came to life when the Bulls crossed for two late tries through Travis Ismaiel and Piet van Zyl to pull away from their Australian counterparts, and grab their fifth win of the season.