Queensland Reds feel the Force and have it all to do
RUGBY UNION: A careless 32-29 loss to the Western Force has put Queensland's Super Rugby season on the line, with anything less than a resounding win over the dangerous ACT Brumbies on Saturday night unlikely to be good enough to keep its finals hopes alive.
With just one consolation point from the narrow loss, Queensland sits on 15 points and in the danger zone, while the Brumbies lead the Australian conference on 21 points (second overall) after a resounding 26-9 win against the Blues on Friday night.
Forget all the post-game quotes from Reds coach Richard Graham (pictured), the only one that hit home was, "We really need to get a result next weekend".
Round eight though belonged to the Waratahs who became the first Australian team to record a win in South Africa this season after dominating the Stormers 22-11 at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.
Mind you, it was the Stormers fifth straight defeat, so they haven't actually been in great form, but the Tahs will be happy to take the points and claim the honour.
The victory lifted NSW into fourth place on the Super Rugby table, one point behind the Brumbies.
It also set up a mouth-watering clash between the Tahs and much-improved Western Force in Perth on Saturday night.
HIGHLANDERS 33 (Christie, A Smith, B Smith tries; Sopoaga 4 pen, 3 con) bt REBELS 30 (Fuglistaller, Roberts, Woodward tries; Woodward 3 pen, 3 con) in Dunedin on Friday night
BRUMBIES 26 (McCabe 2, Coleman tries; White 2 pen, con; Lealiifano pen) bt BLUES 9 (Hickey 3 pen) in Canberra on Friday night
HURRICANES 25 (Taylor try; Barrett 6 pen, con) bt BULLS 20 (Visser, Pollard tries; Potgieter 2 pen, con; Pollard con) in Wellington on Saturday night
WESTERN FORCE 32 (McCalman, Morahan, Hayward tries; Ebersohn 4 pen, drop goal, Hayward con) bt QLD REDS 29 (Tapuai, Slipper tries; Harris 4 pen; Cooper pen, 2 con) at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night
CHEETAHS 43 (Pretorius 2, Benjamin, Prinsloo tries; Goosen 5 pen, 4 con) drew CHIEFS 43 (Pulu 2, Nanai-Williams 2, Tikoirotuma 2 tries; Cruden pen, 5 con) in Bloemfontein on Saturday night
CRUSADERS 28 (Crotty, Ellis, Fonotia tries; Slade 2 pen, con; Dagg pen, con) bt LIONS 7 (Mapoe try; Boshoff con) in Johannesburg on Saturday night
WARATAHS 22 (Phipps try; Foley 3 pen, con; Beale 2 pen) bt STORMERS 11 (van Wyk try; Grant 2 pen) in Cape Town on Saturday night