Cooper inspires Reds
Quade Cooper starred as the Reds continued their good form over defending champions the Chiefs with a 31-23 victory at Waikato Stadium.
Much has been made of Cooper's omission from an Australia training camp this weekend in preparation for the British and Irish Lions tour but he offered a perfect response, scoring a try and kicking four conversions and a penalty.
Rod Davies also went over twice in what was a superb team performance by the Reds, who went into the match having won the last three matches against the hosts.
They looked to continue that streak over the Chiefs when they scored a bonus-point fourth try 10 minutes after half-time to lead 28-13. But a yellow card to centre Anthony Faingaa with 15 minutes looked to alter the course of the match as Patrick Osborne scored to reduce the deficit to eight.
The Blues got their Super Rugby season back on track when they outclassed the Hurricanes at Eden Park in Auckland with a bonus-point 28-6 victory.
The result moves the Blues into the top six in the overall standings while the Hurricanes look set to drop out of the top six. The Blues scored four tries through Frank Halai, Charles Piutau, James Parsons and Tom McCartney with Chris Noakes booting all four conversions.
Demetri Catrakilis slotted a drop goal after the siren as the Southern Kings scored a dramatic maiden 30-27 win on Australian soil against the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.
The Port Elizabeth-based Kings overturned a 10-point deficit late in the game to claim their breakthrough victory. The Rebels dominated possession for lengthy periods but were unable to claim a first win over a South African team.
A late try from Callie Visagie helped the Bulls see off the Cheetahs 26-20 at Loftus Versfeld, while Juan de Jongh ran in the only try and Joe Pietersen was perfect with six attempts with the boot as the Stormers defeated South African conference leaders the Sharks 22-15.
Western Force claimed a much-needed 16-14 victory over the Crusaders.