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Home Super 14 semi in Sharks' grasp

By unknown | May 04, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

SYDNEY - New Zealand and South Africa's top two teams posted impressive wins to retain their place in the Super 14 top four as the semifinals draw closer.

Hurricanes maintained their top spot with a 45-27 thumping of Auckland Blues in Wellington while Waikato Chiefs also claimed maximum points with a 28-14 victory over Stormers in Cape Town.

The two New Zealand sides play each other in Hamilton next week in a match which could decide top place with just two more rounds to go.

South Africa's Bulls are third, after failing to collect a bonus point in their 32-29 win over Australia's Western Force in Pretoria.

Sharks held their place in the top four with a 23-15 win over New Zealand's Otago Highlanders in Durban, their first win in a month after successive defeats and a bye.

Bulls and Sharks play each other in the last round of the season the home semifinalists.

Sharks have a three-point gap over the chasing five teams, Waratahs, Crusaders, Brumbies, Blues and Force.

Tamati Ellison and Ma'a Nonu scored two tries each as the in-form Hurricanes racked up their fourth straight win of the season in a free-flowing game.

Bulls were outscored by resurgent Force three tries to four but still snuck home on the boot of Morne Steyn, who landed four penalties and a conversion.

Sharks, briefly played with 13 mend after Rory Kockott sent off and Keegan Daniel sinbinned, won a scrappy match over Highlanders, play Waratahs next week. - Reuter


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