Road bumps frustrate South Africans
SUPER RUGBY TALKING POINTS: South African teams experienced three away defeats in Round Six as the Sharks, Lions and Bulls all went down, underlining their struggles on their travels.
No South African team has won outside of South Africa this season, with the Stormers and Bulls both 0-3 when playing overseas.
The Sharks will need to produce an upset against the Blues to avoid the same fate after receiving a 14-46 drubbing from the Rebels in Melbourne.
Captain Ruan Botha said discipline and patience were keys to improving his team's performance.
"In a game of rugby you're going to get frustrated, it's how you deal with that frustration and get back in the game," he said.
"We have to go back and work on the basics, get them right."
Ledesma fumes as Lions go on a roll
Jaguares coach Mario Ledesma tempered praise of a 49-35 triumph over the Lions in Buenos Aires by telling his team they must perform better when defending rolling mauls.
Three of the Lions' five tries came from winning line-outs close to the Jaguares' tryline, shoving the Argentines back and scoring.
"The Lions used the rolling maul very well," said former Pumas hooker Ledesma, who took over as Jaguares coach this season.
"In other matches we have defended well against this method of attack. On Monday, we must analyse out strengths and weaknesses and prepare for the Crusaders."
Rebels out to end Aussie angst
The high-flying Melbourne Rebels will attempt to rectify one of Australian rugby's more humbling statistics when they face the Hurricanes on Friday.
It is the first meeting between an Australian and a New Zealand team this season following the Kiwi teams winning all 25 encounters against their Aussie counterparts in a chastening 2017 whitewash.
The losing streak extends to 30 if results from the tail-end of 2016 are included, so a Rebels win at home would provide a morale boost for all Australian teams.
It would also burnish the Rebels' credentials as genuine title contenders and help justify cutting three teams from the competition last year to strengthen the remaining clubs.
Fleck hits out at 'cheap shots'
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck slammed Queensland Reds for being overly physical after the dominant South Africans made hard work of a 25-19 victory in Cape Town.
"We are disappointed about cheap shots they dished out early in the game that were not recognised by the referee," said the former Springboks centre.
"There were at least four incidents that were not dealt with and that frustrated us. We were the dominant team but poor execution let us down."
The most serious incident saw Reds prop Taniela Tupou escape punishment in the ninth minute after a no-arms, high tackle and he has since been cited for alleged foul play.