Patrick McKendry runs through the winners and losers from week four of Super Rugby.

Forward of the week: Pete Samu (Brumbies)

It was always going to take something special for the Brumbies, who lost at home to the Highlanders last week, to beat the Chiefs in Hamilton. Step forward then No 8 Samu, who put in a stunning performance, with two tries, the second one a brilliant display of his pace and power. The former Crusader will feature in Wallabies coach Dave Rennie's plans this year.

Back of the week: Otere Black (Blues)

It can't have been easy for Black against the Bulls on the Highveld. This was the first-five's first competition game of the season due to injury and while the pace affected him at times, it didn't hurt his perfect cross-kick for Stephen Perofeta's try, or indeed the match-winning penalty in the final seconds – the last act of the game.

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Coach killer: Highlanders

The Highlanders appeared to enter into the spirit of the occasion against the Crusaders, who had an old boys' reunion in the city at the weekend. Their leaky defence in the first half allowed the red and blacks far too much room and with men such as Jack Goodhue and Braydon Ennor in the home side's ranks they know how to take advantage. The Highlanders' improved second-half effort showed what they're capable of.

Otere Black of the Blues. Photo / Photosport
Otere Black of the Blues. Photo / Photosport



This was a rare comeback win for the Blues, with Otere Black holding his nerve with a late penalty kick. But they deserved it; they outscored the Bulls three tries to two and showed more ambition on attack. They were also unlucky to lose Hoskins Sototu to a yellow card for what referee Marius van der Westhuizen described as two dangerous tackles.


The Queenslanders broke their losing streak for the season with a 64-5 victory over the Sunwolves in Brisbane. Incredibly, the bonus point win bounced Brad Thorns team up to ninth on the table. First-five James O'Connor looked sharp, especially when backing up for a long-range try. He'll be another on Dave Rennie's contact list.

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Wow. Few saw that first-half performance coming from the Chiefs, even allowing for their slow starts against the Blues and Crusaders, or the corresponding effort from the visitors. This time Aaron Cruden, Anton Lienert-Brown and company couldn't get them out of a mighty hole – they were down 26-0 at one point – and a leg injury to the returning Luke Jacobson won't help coach Warren Gatland's mood.

Manie Libbok


First-five Libbok replaced Bulls veteran Morne Steyn late in the match against the Blues at Loftus, and promptly failed to find touch off consecutive penalties. They were too unforgivable mistakes because six points were on offer too. Instead of either kicking the points or putting his team in good positions, the Bulls got nothing.