The Blues, Chiefs and Crusaders kept up the clean sweep of Australian teams in Saturday's games. In Auckland, the Blues blew the Waratahs off the park 48-21, while down the road in Hamilton the Chiefs overpowered the Brumbies 40-19, and across the ditch the Crusaders took apart the champion Reds 63-28 in Brisbane.
The Blues' Bryce Heem was the star of the show against the Waratahs, grabbing a hat-trick after first-five Otere Black began the try fest by looping a pass out wide to the winger who finished off in the corner. In the second half, he polished off his hat-trick, with the most exciting of his tries again set-up by Black who intercepted a pass which he popped up to Heem who ran 40 metres to score.
The Chiefs raced out to a 19-5 halftime lead against the Brumbies, after powerhouse forward tries to lock Tupou Vaa'i and a double to no.8 Luke Jacobson.
Damian McKenzie playing at first-five dotted down five minutes into the second spell to continue the one-way traffic for the Chiefs. The score blew out to 33-5 before the Brumbies got a second try, but the Chiefs fired back with a blinder of a try to Anton Lienert-Brown started by a McKenzie return from inside his 22. The Brumbies mustered a consolation try in the final minutes but the win belonged to the Chiefs.
In the battle of the super rugby champions, the Crusaders showed the Reds just who is boss with a huge 63-28 blowout win on a hard and fast Queensland ground.
The Crusaders made light work of the Reds' defensive line from the get-go with Richie Mo'unga scooping up a loose ball to score the first try of the match. This was followed by three more Crusaders tries before the Reds finally got one back before the half ended.
Up 28-7 as the second half began, the Crusaders turned up the heat with first-five David Havili's crossfield kick bouncing up for winger Sevu Reece to dot down in the corner. Mo'unga scored his third try of the game soon afterwards, breezing through the defence. The Reds struck back with two spectacular tries of their own but it was not enough to close the distance to the Crusaders who kept piling on the points for an outstanding win.
Blues: 48 (Bryce Heem 3, Tom Robinson, Kurt Eklund, Rieko Ioane tries; penalty try; Otere Black pen, 4 cons)
Waratahs: 21 (Angus Bell, Jake Gordon, David Porecki tries; Will Harrison 3 cons)
Chiefs: 40 (Luke Jacobson 2, Tupou Vaa'i, Damian McKenzie, Alex Nankivell, Anton Lienert-Brown tries; McKenzie 5 cons)
Brumbies: 19 (Len Ikitau, Bayley Kuenzle, Rob Valetini tries; Noah Lolesio 2 cons)
Crusaders: 63 (Richie Mo’unga 3, Sevu Reece 2, Cullen Grace, Tamaiti Williams, Codie Taylor tries; penalty try; Mo’unga 8 cons)
Reds: 28 (Tate McDermott, Harry Wilson, Suliasi Vunivalu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa tries; James O’Connor 4 cons)