Super Rugby

Hurricanes win error-strewn game

The three tries to two win was a gutsy effort from the home side, but the visiting Highlanders now sit winless after three games.

The Hurricanes were strong on defence in Wellington and their bench players made an impact when they came on the field.

Both teams made plenty of errors, but the Hurricanes endured for their second straight win, after last week beating the Blues in a stunning finish.

Hurricanes captain Ardie Savea said Covid-19 was going through the team.

"With omicron, there were some late changes," Savea said.

Drua notch a win, and Moana Pasifika plays first game

The tournament newcomers went into Friday night's match as underdogs following heavy defeats to the Waratahs and Brumbies in the opening two rounds.

Following the game, the Drua head coach Mick Byrne said he was pleased the team stuck with their plan.

"I said it last week, and we have been training well, we have been training our game well, and I think just getting use to the fact that the physical nature of Super Rugby and as I've said, I'm pretty much repeating myself again, I'm proud about the boys went about their task," Byrne said

Papalii back as Blues captain

The team, returned to Auckland on Thursday from its temporary base in Queenstown, is almost the same combination that was pipped 33-32 in the first outing against the Hurricanes.

The only changes to the starting line-up sees Papalii back to full fitness on the openside flank, and NPC player of the year, Stephen Perofeta to start at fullback.

The pack has a strong look with Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Luke Romano, Hoskins Sotutu and Papalii all having worn the All Black jersey.

Crusaders are expecting nothing but the best from Moana Pasifika

It will be Moana Pasifika's first game in the competition after they had the first two games, against the Blues and the Chiefs, postponed because of Covid-19 within the ranks.

Moana Pasifika continue to be based in Queenstown while some of the other teams have left for home.

Coach of the Crusaders Scott Robertson said he expects Moana Pasifika to play with passion in their debut game.

Moana Pasifika look forward to Crusaders game

The team has yet to play a game in the competition, after they missed the first two rounds when several players tested positive for Covid-19.

Both players and management spent ten days in self-isolation at a Queenstown hotel.

Moana Pasifika halfback Ereatara Enari said the last two weeks have been a challenging time for the team as they recover from physical inactivity.

Highlanders told by referees that Pita Gus Sowakula's try was illegal

That’s the verdict reached by New Zealand Rugby’s [NZR’s] referees, who have informed Highlanders head coach Tony Brown that the try was an illegal act that should have been classified as dangerous play.

Brown confirmed on Wednesday that the try, which saw Sowakula hurdle Highlanders halfback Aaron Smith to score in the left-hand corner, was now deemed by NZR as illegal after confusion reigned over whether the try should have been awarded.

Chiefs given all clear to leave Super Rugby bubble, other teams set to head home

The Chiefs will be the first to leave on Wednesday after their match against Moana Pasifika this weekend was called off due to the lingering affects of the Covid outbreak in the new team's squad.

Chiefs CEO Michael Collins said it made sense to get their squad home.

"We knew there was always an end date to when they would leave.

"With no game this weekend we thought best to try and get the team home to families to spend some time with them, which they haven't done in the past few weeks."

Second Moana Pasifika game postponed

The first cohort of Moana Pasifika players and staff emerged from their Queenstown hotel yesterday after nearly 10 days of isolation following positive Covid-19 cases in the group.

The Super Rugby Pacific medical advisory group recommended that the match should be postponed as there was not sufficient time for the squad, specifically those who are recovering from Covid-19, to adequately prepare for their first match on Sunday.

Moana Pasifika may return for round two

The announced changes do not affect the draw for any round two matches played in Australia.

Moana Pasifika's first-round match against the Blues was postponed when the squad was forced into isolation at their Queenstown hotel on February 9 after members of their group tested positive for COVID-19.

The first cohort of Moana Pasifika players and management were approved by New Zealand Public Health to leave isolation today and resume training.

Super Rugby Pacific: Hurdles, TMO troubles and tiny changing rooms

The tiny smattering of applause that greeted them heralded the start of the New Zealand rugby season, so for all of Queenstown's picturesque beauty, the cameras couldn't for one second hide the fact that Super Rugby Pacific was being held at a ground usually used by teams made up of local farmhands and tradesmen (especially since they set a couple up in the miniscule changing rooms).