Super Rugby

Highlanders name new coach

Dermody takes over from Tony Brown who finishes his two-year tenure to dedicate his time to helping coach Japan ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup alongside another former Highlander's head coach, Jamie Joseph.

It was Joseph who first brought Dermody into the fold in 2014 as scrum coach and he has been an integral member of the coaching team since then.

After a brief stint in the farming machinery industry, he began his coaching career in 2014 with Southland as assistant coach to current All Black's attack coach, Brad Mooar.

Pumas loose forward Pablo Matera won't return to Crusaders in 2023

Head coach Scott Robertson confirmed so shortly after the weary red and blacks arrived to “Crusaders” chants at the Christchurch airport on Sunday morning.

Robertson had hoped the hard-nosed Puma would be back for a second season, but the 28-year-old is set to announce his latest destination in the coming days.

“No. He’s not [back]. It’s very sad. We’d loved to have kept him, but it hasn’t worked out that way. He’s decided to take another opportunity,” Robertson said.

Crusaders defeat Blues to claim Super Rugby Pacific championship

Leading 13-0 at half-time, the Crusaders never allowed the Blues within striking distance in the second half, denying the home side any real chance of coming back into the contest.

The Crusaders were the first to create scoring opportunities, with two close calls in the Blues' right hand corner.

Richie Mo'unga opened the scoring for the visitors with a tidy drop goal while the referee played a penalty advantage.

Handling errors from both sides ensued, as a combination of weather and final nerves made for scrappy rugby.

Super Rugby Pacific final revives rivalry

The sold-out sign was already up as the high-flying Blues got set to welcome long-time foes the Crusaders north to Eden Park.

It came 24 years on from the dramatic 1998 final, where a late try earned the Crusaders their maiden title.

A red and black man through and through until moving north three years ago, Blues coach Leon MacDonald expected the 2022 final to play out in similar fashion.

"It's going to be a lot like that.

Blues narrowly beat the Brumbies to secure spot in all-NZ Super Rugby final

The home side were put under pressure early on at Eden Park, as the Brumbies' second-five Irae Simone silenced the home crowd with a barnstorming try in just the third minute of the game.

After a perfect start by the Brumbies the Blues quickly took control of the game, playing open running rugby which ultimately led to their first try of the game through number-eight Hoskins Sotutu.

The home side continued to dominate the game in the first-half, with first-five Beauden Barrett orchestrating much of the play.

Nepo Laulala, Josh Goodhue promoted as Blues muscle up for Super Rugby Pacific semi

That excruciating night in Canberra, settled only by a Beauden Barrett dropped goal at the death, forms a significant backdrop to Saturday’s semifinal at Eden Park.

Sam Cane set to miss Chiefs' Super Rugby Pacific quarterfinal against Waratahs

After straining his right MCL in the round-14 victory over the Force, Cane didn’t travel to Fiji for the final-round win over the Fijian Drua last Saturday in the hope he would recover for the first round of the playoffs.

The All Blacks skipper sat out much of Tuesday’s training, and while assistant coach David Hill wasn’t ruling the veteran openside flanker out, it’s understood he will indeed be sidelined for the match at FMG Stadium Waikato (4.35pm kickoff).

Playoff places set as upsets mark Super Rugby Pacific final round

The 27-22 victory concluded a day of drama in the final round of the regular season and sent the Force above the Highlanders into the eighth and final spot in the playoffs.

The Highlanders only need to avoid defeat against the Melbourne Rebels in Sunday's last match of the round, however, to leapfrog the Force and earn a quarter-final fixture against the Blues at Eden Park next week.

Scrappy Crusaders win sets up playoff rematch with Reds

Fergus Burke, Will Jordan, Brodie McAlister and Tom Christie scored the tries for the Crusaders on Friday, who will host the seventh-placed Reds for a second successive week in the quarterfinals.

The Crusaders were some way off their machine-like best but shot out to an early 14-0 lead with a two-try burst in four minutes.

Flyhalf Burke was first to cross after the Reds botched a scrum deep in defence, with returned fullback Will Jordan touching down in the 14th minute after a turnover in midfield.

Chiefs hold on against late-charging Drua

Fans watched from rooftops as the Drua made their first-ever appearance in the competition in Lautoka, Fiji's second-largest city, with more than 11,000 fans in attendance who were treated to a thriller that almost ended in a home victory.

The Chiefs led 21-7 at half-time, before withstanding a second-half Fijian comeback to hold on for a nail-biting 35-34 victory.

The Chiefs were made to sweat as a 22-point lead was whittled down to a solitary point over the final 10 minutes and the Drua, buoyed by the crowd, gave the Waikato side a fright.