The Chiefs can thank their halfback for landing a psychological shot against the Hurricanes ahead of their quarter-final match next week. The No 9 wreaked havoc on the Hurricanes in Hamilton on Friday night; scoring an intercept they, then setting up the match-winner with a smart blindside run off the back of a scrum. Without a number of the team's leaders playing, Weber stepped up in a big way.
The Sharks snuck into the Super Rugby playoffs on the back of a superb defensive performance, and nobody was more important than Phillip Van Der Walt. The flanker made a monstrous 27 tackles (and only missed one) in the Sharks' 20-10 win over the Jaguares, being the defensive linchpin as the Sharks made 181 tackles under a wave of Jaguares pressure. Van Der Walt's workhorse performance didn't top there though, with the 29-year-old also making a team-high 10 carries. One thinks he'll need to produce a similar effort for the Sharks to have any hope against the Crusaders in the quarter-finals.
Johnny Fa'auli's red card
It was a two for the price of one situation when the Chiefs second five-eighth's shoulder charge sent Hurricanes centre Wes Goosen up the tunnel for an HIA. On the first count – Fa'auli's red card will make him unavailable for selection in the Chiefs' quarter-final against the Hurricanes. On the second, Wes Goosen is now looking unlikely for the Hurricanes after two failed HIAs.
Without at least six of their usual first-choice 23, the Chiefs looked impressive against the Hurricanes to take a 28-24 win. There will be some competition for a number of positions in their quarter-final, which puts Colin Cooper's side in a strong place.
I think we can all agree the Highlanders did not play anywhere near their best against the Rebels on Saturday night. But, to go down big early against a side desperate to stay alive in the competition and fight back to get the win will be a good thing for the side as they prepare for the playoffs.
Something was just not right with the Hurricanes on Friday night. Was it a foxing tactic given they play the Chiefs again in the opening round of the playoffs? Perhaps, but even then I expected to see a little more life in the side who have all the potential to play some electrifying football.
They just had to beat the Brumbies to maintain second on the ladder and avoid a New Zealand team in the quarter-finals, but losing 40-31 has given the Waratahs a match up against the Highlanders next week. They can take confidence in knowing they trounced the Highlanders the last time they met, but surely a match up against the Jaguares would have been more appealing.