Super Rugby

Highlanders beat Stormers in Dunedin

The Stormers have lost their past 10 games in New Zealand, and have just one win from four matches this season.

The late loss of hooker Ash Dixon, ruled out after a head knock at training, had little effect on the Highlanders, with Liam Coltman slotting in efficiently.

Coming off the bye, their scrum was solid and their work at the breakdown was relentless. While handling errors meant second-half tries went begging, the Highlanders always looked in control.

Coleman ruled out of clash with Brumbies

The star lock was an integral part of Melbourne's win over the Sunwolves, wreaking havoc at lineout time and playing an understated hand in the Rebels attack.

But he pulled up particularly sore after the match and has since been ruled out of the Australian Conference blockbuster, with Ross Haylett-Petty getting the nod in the second row alongside Matt Philip.

Outside of the forced change, coach Dave Wessels has stuck solid with the starting XV that has claimed convincing wins through the opening fortnight.

Chiefs notch up another win over battling Blues

The Chiefs had been trailing the Super Rugby encounter 14-10 at halftime before Cane and scrumhalf Brad Weber touched down within two minutes of each other early in the second half, turning the game towards the visitors.

Colin Cooper's injury-riddled side then withstood a furious onslaught from the hosts, who had several opportunities to seal victory in the final minutes but lacked the composure to take them.

The Chiefs have not lost to their neighbours since March 2011, a run of 13 matches. It is the longest unbeaten run against one side by another in Super Rugby.

Chiefs need to be more clinical

The limping visitors will take a no-excuse approach into Friday's match at Eden Park featuring two teams seeking to avoid twin losses to start their season.

Both fell short in the South Island last weekend - the Blues beaten 41-34 by the Highlanders before the Chiefs conceded late tries in a 45-23 lesson from defending champions the Crusaders.

Assistant coach Neil Barnes believes that score was unflattering and doesn't want to alter much.

Highlanders beat Blues 41-34

The Highlanders trailed 31-24 when Blues replacement flanker Antonio Kiri Kiri was yellow carded by Jamie Nutbrown for a high tackle and the home side seized on the opportunity to take a lead they did not relinquish.

Walden's centre partner Rob Thompson also grabbed two tries, while flyhalf Bryn Gatland, winger Matt Duffie and number eight Akira Ioane (two) replied for the visitors.

Neither team was perfect in their first competitive match of the season as they struggled with the new laws at the breakdown that does not allow defenders to attack the ball.

Penalty try sinks Chiefs in Christchurch

It was a game that once again showcased the incredible array of talent in the New Zealand Super Rugby conference. However, while both sides produced glimpses of unbelievable skill, there was also enough ill-discipline from both sides to cause some concern for coaches Scott Robertson and Colin Cooper.

The first half started brightly for the Chiefs, who almost scored off the opening passage through a McKenzie break. However, that was basically the last they saw of the ball for the next 12 minutes.

One of the worst performances by the Hurricanes

It was a hugely disappointing effort and result for Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd.

Boyd said he realised after about three minutes of play game that his side had not turned up, which was disappointing because he they had been working towards the game for a long time.

"In the period of time that I've been coaching here I don't think I've ever been involved in a game where we've prepared so well and delivered so little."

Genia guides Rebels to huge win

Genia's masterclass was a cruel reminder for Reds fans that the star halfback no longer plies his trade at Ballymore but Queensland have far bigger concerns on their plate, with a suspension hanging over new skipper Scott Higginbotham's head.

Higginbotham was shown a red card for a high shoulder charge on Matt Philip in the 10th minute, putting his side on the back foot from the outset.

Waratahs pack not worried about perception

NSW farewelled experienced duo Dean Mumm and Will Skelton at the end of last season, and they’ll be missing veteran tighthead Sekope Kepu in the first two rounds of 2018, taking a big chunk of recognition out of their team.

That’s not to say they are all rookies - Wallabies lock Rob Simmons joined the club this season and their skipper Michael Hooper has nearly 100 Super Rugby caps as well - but this isn’t the Waratahs makeup of old.

Reds keeping close eye on Genia

Genia's first game in the blue, white and red of Melbourne will be against the Reds at AAMI Park, a role reversal Scott Higginbotham knows all too well.

Genia wasn't shy in dishing a few sledges Higginbotham's way when the No. 8 took his talents south in 2013 and the new Reds skipper cheekily suggested he may repay the favour.

"Probably not the same (level of) lip as when I wear I was wearing the red, white and blue jersey, to be honest," Higginbotham said with a laugh.

"It's just great to see Will back playing.