Super Rugby

McReight's debut another bonus for Reds from Brumbies win

McReight, the Australian under-20 player of the year in 2018, is tipped as a star of the future set to become a fixture in the Reds backrow.

The former Brisbane Grammar student has been setting competitions alight since making a switch from the centres to become a workaholic openside flanker who became an Australian schoolboys representative at 16.

While he was named in the Reds' squad for the opening match of the season against the Highlanders in Dunedin, McReight did not play and had to wait for his moment.

"It was tough," McReight said of missing out.

No excuses from Crusaders

The two-time defending champions have been beaten 20-12 by the Waratahs at the Sydney Cricket Ground, ending their winning run at 19.

"It was a tough week but look we're Crusaders, we don't make excuses we just needed to be better in a lot of parts of the game," coach Scott Robertson said.

The teams stood arm-in-arm in a circle on the pitch for a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the Christchurch attack before the start of the match.

Blues coaches backing SBW trip

The Muslim All Blacks midfielder's trip south means he will miss the Auckland-based franchise's Super Rugby match against the Highlanders at Eden Park on Friday night.

Assistant coach Tom Coventry said the coaches thought it would be a good idea, even before Williams made the request.

"We were going to ask Sonny if he'd like to make the decision to go.

"We were all in agreeance, it was a pretty short conversation.

"We all knew how hard he took it, so it was a simple decision to make."

Williams to miss Blues game to provide support in Christchurch

A proud Muslim, Williams posted to social media on Sunday night saying he would be in Christchurch "later in the week to show love and give donations to the Christchurch Masjids for the people effected in this tragedy".

The Blues confirmed the 51-test midfielder would not play against the Highlanders at Eden Park.
The match would count as one of the two Super Rugby fixtures he must miss as an All Blacks player ahead of this year's World Cup.

Williams' confirmation of his trip to Christchurch followed an emotional video he posted on Friday after the terror attacks.

Crusaders hold off on name change

In light of the Mosque shootings in Christchurch, there have been suggestions that the Super Rugby team should change its name.

The franchise said they'll take on board all concerns.

The Crusaders logo depicts a medieval knight swinging a sword, while horsemen often ride into the Christchurch stadium ahead of matches dressed as medieval knights.

In a statement the franchise says it understands the concerns that have been raised but believes now is not the time to discuss the matter.

Ioane's four tries propel Blues to first win

The home side held on for a 28-20 victory last night, as they marked last week's death of former prop Mike Tamoaieta with his player number 276 stitched onto the front of their jerseys.

The Sunwolves had won their first match away from home last week against the Chiefs and never let the Blues get too far ahead, but were hampered by second-half yellow cards to fullback Semisi Masirewa and replacement hooker Nathan Vella.

Reece gets Crusaders start after domestic violence charge

The 22-year-old will make his Crusaders debut in the match against the Chiefs in Christchurch on Saturday night, five months after the District Court in Hamilton fined him $750 and discharged him without conviction for the assault in July.

The Fiji-born back had initially signed to play with Irish side Connacht last year, but the club tore up the contract in the wake of the court case.

Robertson said he had "never" had any concerns about Reece, who was called into the Crusaders' pre-season camp after being spurned by New Zealand's other four Super Rugby franchises.

Kieran Read to miss more time for Crusaders

Assistant coach Jason Ryan has revealed that the All Blacks captain will miss his original deadline for a return to Super Rugby, which was originally set at four weeks.

"[Read] is two or three, probably, weeks away. We are not 100 per cent sure yet," Ryan said.

"We will just see how he goes. He is back into his training, and so forth. We are pretty confident."

That could see him sidelined until the Crusaders' clash with the Hurricanes in Wellington on March 29.

Laumape hat-trick fuels Hurricanes to win over Brumbies

Hurricanes captain Dane Coles also crossed twice while James Blackwell scored after the final hooter for the home side, who were given no ball or space last week by the Crusaders, but were at their dynamic best as they played at pace and attacked from anywhere on the field.

Hooker Folau Fainga'a and Tom Wright crossed for the Brumbies, who showed signs of the play that destroyed the Waikato Chiefs 54-17 last week but were forced to chase the Hurricanes in the second half.

Highlanders beaten by Rebels

Melbourne playmaker Quade Cooper worked his magic to help the Rebels maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

In a heart-stopping finish, the Highlanders looked for a match winner in the 78th minute as flanker Shannon Frizell tried to plant the ball down over the line, but the Television Match Official (TMO) ruled he had dropped it.

The Rebels set up the victory with four classy tries, all scored by their backs.

Cooper showed off his array of skills to set up two of those as he settled into his new AAMI Park home.