March 24 (Reuters) - Highlights from Super Rugby week six matches:
The Reds secured their second win of the season by running in five tries to beat the turnover-prone Brumbies and claim a bonus point at a stifling Lang Park.
An early try from number eight Scott Higginbotham helped the home side to a 10-0 haftime lead but the game really burst into life just after the break.
Brumbies winger Henry Speight crossed a minute into the second half but the Reds replied with two breakaway tries in two minutes from centre Chris Feauai-Sautia and scrumhalf Tate McDermott to take a 24-14 lead.
Jahrome Brown gave the Brumbies hope with an intercept try a couple of minutes after coming on for his Super Rugby debut but Reds flyhalf Bryce Hegarty and hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa crossed in the last five minutes to secure the bonus point.
Christchurch remembered, Crusaders get straight back on the horse
Record-matching ‘NASA man’ Folau relaunches Waratahs season
McKenzie inspires Chiefs to first win of the season
Sad day for Sunwolves says victorious Lions captain Marx
Lions compound Sunwolves’ woe with 37-24 win in Singapore
Crusaders’ 19-match winning streak ended by Waratahs
Japan’s Sunwolves axed from post-2020 Super Rugby
Etzebeth forced out of Stormers side following concussion
Sonny Bill attends Friday prayers as NZ remembers shooting victims
Crusaders, Waratahs to pay tribute to Christchurch attack victims
Sunwolves cull to scatter ‘United Nations’ players
Australia winger Naivalu to join Stade Francais after World Cup
SCG given all-clear for Waratahs game after turf replacement
Hurricanes cut S.African lock who never played
Crusaders open to discuss name change following shooting
Flyhalf Robert du Preez scored 18 points as the Sharks returned to winning ways following back-to-back defeats with victory over the Melbourne Rebels in Durban.
The home side led 16-14 at halftime but pulled away in the second period as they used their forward muscle to dominate the collisions and win the battle up front.
The Du Preez brothers, number eight Dan and Robert, crossed for tries along with wing Makazole Mapimpi, who also had a late score ruled out for a dangerous tackle in back-play.
The Rebels scored first-half tries through wing Tom English and full-back Jack Maddocks as the stretched the Sharks defence, but did not manage a single point past the half-hour mark in the game.
Captain Brodie Retallick led from the front with two tries as the Waikato Chiefs secured their first Super Rugby win of the season with a seven-try blitz of the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
Solomon Alaimalo and Alex Nankivell also bagged a brace of tries each, and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi grabbed the other as the New Zealand side cut through the home team almost at will.
Fullback Damian McKenzie was the architect of much of their good play, with clever kicks and incisive line-breaks keeping the visitors on the front foot.
He also contributed 21 points with the boot as the Chiefs finally found form after four losses and a draw in their opening five games of the campaign.
The Lions heaped more misery on the Sunwolves with a comfortable 37-24 victory at Singapore’s National Stadium on Saturday, a day after it was announced the Japanese side would be cut from Super Rugby after the 2020 season.
Hooker Malcolm Marx scored a first-half brace as the Lions led 12-7 at the break, while Nic Groom, Elton Jantjies, Lionel Mapoe and Hacjivah Dayimani all crossed in the second half for the Johannesburg-based side.
Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco mustered two second-half scores for the Sunwolves to add to an early penalty try, but the performance brought little optimism for rugby in Japan as the nation prepares to host the World Cup.
The Canterbury Crusaders suffered their first Super Rugby defeat in more than a year on Saturday but the deadly shootings in their home city of Christchurch last week will give them some perspective on their loss to the New South Wales Waratahs.
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said his side would be playing for their “community” at the Sydney Cricket Ground but the nine-times champions were a shadow of their dominant best as their 19-match winning streak was snapped.
Perhaps a bit rusty after their match against the Otago Highlanders last Saturday was cancelled in the wake of the shootings, or perhaps simply because of the emotion of the last week, the Crusaders were outmuscled by the Waratahs.
Fullback Israel Folau scored the last of the three Waratahs tries to match the Super Rugby record of former All Blacks winger Doug Howlett with 59.
A try each from Barrett brothers Beauden and Jordie and a brace for Hurricanes winger Wes Goosen were enough to snuff out Stormers’ hopes of a first win in nine matches outside South Africa.
The tourists led a tight contest 21-15 at halftime and by a point with 10 minutes remaining but they were unable to hang on to hand the Hurricanes a first home defeat against South African opposition for nearly six years.
A rampaging run through the middle of the Stormers pack from flanker Ardie Savea after 70 minutes put the visitors on the back foot and All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barratt wriggled his way through the defensive line to score the winning try.
Skipper Siya Kolisi, hooker Bongi Mbonambi and loose forward Jaco Coetzee all crossed for the Cape Town-based Stormers, who started their season with a 40-3 loss to the Bulls but had won their three subsequent matches.
A 74th-minute try from All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu gave the Blues their first victory over New Zealand opposition since they beat the Highlanders in the opening round of the 2016 Super Rugby campaign.
The lead changed hands regularly throughout a tight contest at Eden Park with a yellow card for Highlanders winger Waisake Naholo for a dangerous tackle in the 68th minute when his side were ahead 26-23 proving decisive.
Tuipulotu forced his way across the line from close range and his fellow replacement Otere Black converted before adding a penalty two minutes from time as the Blues snapped a 20-match losing streak against their compatriot teams.
All Blacks winger Rieko Ioane scored two brilliant tries in the first half and fullback Melani Nanai added a third after the break to help cancel out scores from Highlanders number eight Luke Whitelock and winger Tevita Li. (Compiled by Nick Mulvenney and Nick Said; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly, Toby Davis and Ian Chadband)