'Back in the All Blacks mix': Super Rugby's winners and losers

Author
NZ Herald ,
Section
Rugby,
Publish Date
Monday, 29 April 2019, 10:58AM
Tom Franklin of the Highlanders has been in excellent form. Photo / Getty
Tom Franklin of the Highlanders has been in excellent form. Photo / Getty

The winners and losers from this weekend of Super Rugby.

Forward of the week: Tom Franklin (Highlanders)

Lock Franklin was a man possessed against the poor old Sunwolves in Tokyo. He was physically dominant but creative too and is playing like a man determined to fight his way back into the All Blacks mix. There are some good locks ahead of him but if he keeps this up he may be too good to leave out.

Back of the week: Sevu Reece (Crusaders)

Reece has become a one-man highlights package since he debuted for the Crusaders this season and is the sort of player who can turn games with a tackle, a try or an assist. One of those isn't usually enough for the 22-year-old carrying on a fine tradition of quality Fijian outside backs at the franchise.

World Cup watch: George Bridge (Crusaders)

Back from injury and with pressure on to perform well after being selected ahead of the impressive Will Jordan, Bridge scored two tries in a couple of minutes to open the second-half scoring for the Crusaders against the Lions. He has clearly lost none of his speed or timing and remains well in the mix for Japan.

George Bridge of the Crusaders. Photo / Getty
George Bridge of the Crusaders. Photo / Getty

Trending Up

Highlanders

Aaron Mauger's men smashed the Sunwolves from start to finish in Tokyo to go from 13th to sixth place which helped to knock the Blues, on a bye, from eighth to 11th. Before this game they looked like a good team struggling to find their mojo and if this is any indication it has been found.

Braydon Ennor

The 21-year-old centre must be one of the quickest midfielders in the competition. His stocks have been on the rise since last year but they have gone to a new level this season and he was seriously good again against the Lions. One of Scott Robertson's biggest problems is how to juggle all his attacking firepower.

Trending Down

Waratahs

Few saw their defeat to the Sharks in Sydney coming – a poor result for many reasons, no least because it left them stranded in 10th, outside the playoffs, when a win would have seen them put a lot of pressure on conference rivals the Rebels, currently fourth overall.

Sunwolves

They were lucky to get zero against the Highlanders noted their coach Tony Brown, but it's difficult not to sympathise with an outfit that usually plays with such spirit in front of the best crowd in the competition. With every scrum their supporters howl "awwoooo" until the ball is out. Priceless.

Results

Crusaders 36

Sevu Reece 2, George Bridge 2, Braydon Ennor tries; Richie Mo'unga 4 cons, pen

Lions 10

Ruan Combrinck try; Elton Jantjies con, pen

Highlanders 52

Tevita Li 2, Tom Franklin, Tyrel Lomax, Josh Ioane, Liam Coltman, Rob Thompson, Sio Tomkinson tries; Ioane 5 cons, Bryn Gatland con

Sunwolves 0
Hurricanes 47

Jordie Barrett 2, Kane Leaupepe, TJ Perenara, Wes Goosen, Ardie Savea, Salesi Rayasi tries; Beauden Barrett 6 cons

Chiefs 19

Luke Jacobson, Ataata Moeakiola, Lachlan Boshier tries; Marty McKenzie 2 cons

Sharks 23

Daniel du Preez, Andre Esterhuizen tries; Curwin Bosch 2 cons, 3 pens

Waratahs 15

Jake Gordon, Bernard Foley tries; Foley con, pen

Stormers 24

Sergeal Petersen, Seabelo Senatla, Hershel Jantjies tries; Jean-Luc du Plessis 2 cons, Joshua Stander con, pen

Bulls 23

Ivan van Zyl, Marnie Libbok tries; Handre Pollard 2 cons, 3 pens

Jaguares 20

Sebastian Cancelliere, Matias Orlando, Agustin Creevy tries; Domingo Miotti con, pen

Brumbies 15

Folau Fainga'a, Tom Banks tries; Christian Lealiifano con, pen