Super Rugby

Ngatai and Cane to captain Chiefs

Cane has shared the role with Aaron Cruden over the past two campaigns before the first-five departed for France last year.

Ngatai has captained both the Maori All Blacks and Taranaki under new Chiefs coach Colin Cooper, who had no hesitation in selecting the pair.

Cooper was not so enthusiastic, however, about discussing the potential signing of prodigy Etene Nanai-Seturo following his high-profile split with the Warriors NRL club.

Chiefs outmuscle Brumbies, unearth star

The scoreline does the Brumbies plenty of justice, as they scored three tries at the death with the result beyond any doubt, after trailing 26-7 at half-time.

While the result will keep Chiefs coaches happy, they would have been far more pleased with the form of Solomon Alaimalo, who was simply unstoppable on the left wing.

The Chiefs' in 2017 rookie of the year, Alaimalo's blistering first half was packed with tackle busts, line breaks and try assists left a shell-shocked Brumbies unable to respond.

Blues not getting ahead of themselves after Brisbane win

Umaga's side scored a last-gasp try through George Moala to beat the Hurricanes 10-7 in the final of the Brisbane Global Tens, providing a shiny start to 2018 for the under-performing New Zealand side.

New Zealand's worst-placed team for the last four Super Rugby seasons, the three-time champion Blues are staring at another major challenge to make the play-offs for the first time since 2011.

They've started on the right note, with Umaga pleased at how a young, largely second-string outfit gelled in the heat of Brisbane.

Ledesma names first Jaguares squad

Ledesma, who took over the top job ahead of the 2018 season, named a 29-man squad for a preseason trial against the Bulls and their opening Super Rugby clashes against the Stormers and Lions.

The former Wallabies scrum coach has named rookie propr Javier Diaz in the team, replacing Santiago Garcia Botta.

Flanker Pablo Matera will skipper the side, with Joaquin Tuculet and Tomas Lezana the vice-captains.

Ledesma said his first round of selections was the most difficult.

More injury trouble for Blues

Already down a first five-eighth with Otere Black ruled out with a knee injury, the Blues will be without fellow number 10 Stephen Perofeta for up to six weeks after he broke his hand during his side's pre-season win over the Chiefs last week.

The Blues first match is less than three weeks away against the Highlanders meaning back up first-fives, Bryn Gatland and Dan Kirkpatrick, will fight it out for the starting spot.

Highlanders heading to Fiji

Led by new coach Aaron Mauger, the Dunedin-based side have agreed to stage a home game in Suva on June 30 against the Colin Cooper-coached Chiefs - who have played the Crusaders in Fiji in 2016 and 2017.

Club chief Roger Clark says it is a sound sporting decision.

"We are aware of the large following Super Rugby enjoys in Fiji and we're happy to have the chance to showcase our style of game in the islands," Clark said.

"Fiji has produced so many great players including our own Waisake Naholo - it will be great experience for him and all the players."

Western Force axed from Super Rugby

"The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has today resolved to discontinue the Western Force Super Rugby licence," read a statement released on Friday.

"The decision comes after several weeks of consultation with rugby bodies and stakeholders, including government and commercial partners."

The Force agreed to enter arbitration last week with the ARU, who said in April that they would cut either the Force or the Melbourne Rebels from Super Rugby next season as the competition contracts from 18 to 15 teams.

Hurricanes succumb to Lions

Up 22-3 just before the halftime break, but the Lions found their rhythm in the second half to set up a showdown with the Crusaders in Johannesburg next weekend.

It ended an eight match losing streak for the Lions against the Hurricanes, including last season's Super Rugby final when they were beaten 20-3 in Wellington.

It also extends the stay of Gloucester-bound Lions coach Johan Ackermann for one more game, when he will have the chance to end his four-year stay by helping them become just the second South African team, after the Bulls, to lift the Super Rugby trophy.

Crusaders beat Chiefs 27-13 to advance to Super Rugby final

With their backs against the wall for much of Saturday’s match, and barely one-third of possession, the Crusaders seized on every chance.

Midfielder-cum-winger Seta Tamanivalu bagged a clinical double, after earlier efforts by halfback Bryn Hall and Test stalwart Israel Dagg.

Without the ball, the Crusaders were equally impressive, holding a territorially dominant Chiefs outfit — with Damian McKenzie lurking from deep — to a single try, a late consolation to lock Brodie Retallick.

Chiefs beat Stormers to book spot in semis

A quarter-final packed with tension remained in the balance through the final stages and was ultimately won by the visitors' superior defence and the goal-kicking boot of Damian McKenzie.

It means the Chiefs must next face the Crusaders in Christchurch, with the possibility of a return to South Africa for the final if the Lions beat the Hurricanes.

Handling errors predominated throughout the match, which didn't remotely resemble the Chiefs' 60-21 win in the equivalent match at the same venue last year.