Crusaders, Chiefs, Stormers stay unbeaten in Super Rugby

Updated 02 April 2017

Crusaders, Chiefs, Stormers stay unbeaten in Super Rugby

SYDNEY: The Canterbury Crusaders joined the Waikato Chiefs and Western Stormers as the only unbeaten teams in Super Rugby with a smashing win over the NSW Waratahs in Sydney on Sunday.
The seven-time champions powered to a bonus-point 41-22 win over the 2014 champions, scoring six tries to three for their sixth win of the campaign.
It was a black weekend for the beleaguered Australian teams, losing all four of their encounters with Kiwi opposition.
The Chiefs stayed unbeaten with a 28-12 win over South Africa’s Northern Bulls in Hamilton, while the Cape Town-based Stormers routed the Central Cheetahs 53-10.
The Golden Lions lead Argentina’s Jaguares in the other South Africa conference following a 34-29 win over fellow South Africans Coastal Sharks in Johannesburg.
Elsewhere, defending champions Wellington Hurricanes overcame the Queensland Reds 34-15 in Brisbane, while the Otago Highlanders overpowered the woeful Melbourne Rebels 51-12 in Dunedin and the Blues downed Australia’s Western Force 24-15 in Auckland.
A piece of individual brilliance by Shaun Stevenson sparked a Chiefs revival to maintain their unbeaten record over the Bulls.
The Bulls stunned the Chiefs to lead 9-3 at half-time and continued to apply pressure after the resumption.
But with 30 minutes left Stevenson stepped around a defender, kicked ahead and won the race for the ball to score in the corner.
It started a three-try, 25-point spree which earned the Chiefs a bonus point to give them 24 points out of a possible 25 from five games.
A late Jaco Kriel try earned the Lions a narrow victory over fellow South Africans Coastal Sharks.
The flanker dived over in the corner to clinch victory and give the Johannesburg-based Lions a five-point lead over the Jaguares of Argentina and the Sharks in the Africa 2 standings.
Brothers Beauden and Jordie Barrett were among the points as the Hurricanes wore down the Reds resistance to win in Brisbane.
The Hurricanes claimed a breathless five-tries-to-two victory over the Reds, who slumped to their fifth straight loss this season.
Fullback Jordie scored 14 points from a try, three conversions and a penalty goal, while All Black brother Beauden scored the clinching try in the final minute.
The Highlanders cruised to a bonus point win over the Rebels, heaping further pressure on the beleaguered Australian club.
The Highlanders ran in six tries to two, including a brace for Malakai Fekitoa, while the Rebels never threatened and remain at the bottom of the Australian conference without a win this season.
Loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe scored three tries as the Stormers thrashed the woeful Cheetahs to maintain a 100 percent record this season.
A yellow card proved costly for the Western Force as the Auckland Blues rallied to win their Eden Park encounter.
While Isi Naisarani was off the field the Blues scored two tries and piled on 12 points with the Force ultimately losing by nine.
The ACT Brumbies, Jaguares, Southern Kings and Sunwolves all had byes this weekend.


Vardy hits double in Leicester’s 8th straight victory

Updated 09 December 2019

Vardy hits double in Leicester’s 8th straight victory

  • Leicester takes the second-place team within eight points of Liverpool

BIRMINGHAM: Jamie Vardy scored for an eighth straight game for Premier League high-flyer Leicester on Sunday with a double in a 4-1 dismantling of Aston Villa.

Kelechi Iheanacho and Jonny Evans also scored to help Leicester set a new club record of eight consecutive top-flight wins and take the second-place team within eight points of Liverpool.

Jack Grealish did make it 2-1 just before the break but the Foxes were rarely in danger.

Brendan Rodgers’ side are 14 points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United in the pursuit of Champions League qualification.

“We are up there, we are challenging and playing well,” Evans told broadcaster Sky Sports. “Probably now, today, I think people are starting to talk more about that.

“Coming away from Villa with a really good performance, I think that’s the best Villa team we have played against for quite a while and we had to grind it out and it shows we are capable of getting good results.”

By contrast, Villa is only out of the relegation zone on goal difference after slipping to a fifth defeat in seven games.

Villa was wide open and Leicester should have taken the lead after 10 minutes.

Caglar Soyuncu knocked James Maddison’s deep free-kick back for Evans, who could only shoot straight at goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

Immediately, Villa broke to spurn their own golden chance when Matt Targett crossed for Anwar El Ghazi to hit the bar from six yards. With the chance went Villa’s early hopes and they swiftly lost any grip of the game when Vardy continued his scoring streak in the 20th minute.

Wesley lost the ball and the lively Iheanacho slipped the striker in to race clear and round Heaton. Vardy miscued his kick when preparing to shoot but recovered to tap in, despite Konsa’s efforts on the line.

Vardy is now just three games away from equalling his own Premier League record of scoring in 11 consecutive games.

Villa’s problems were partly of their own making with center back Tyrone Mings unable to cover having already suffered a hamstring injury and the defender was immediately replaced by Bjorn Engels.

Villa could not handle Vardy’s pace and Iheanacho’s movement.

There was a touch of fortune but Leicester deserved to double its lead in the 41st when Maddison crossed and Iheanacho diverted in at the near post.

The Foxes were cruising but Grealish pulled a goal back in first-half injury time when he curled in from 16 yards after the visitors failed to clear a corner.

Leicester, though, wasted no time in restoring their two-goal lead four minutes after the break.