April 2 (Reuters) - Highlights from week six of Super Rugby:
Centre Tim Bateman scored a brace of tries as the Canterbury Crusaders continued their perfect Super Rugby season with an emphatic 41-22 win over the New South Wales Waratahs in Sydney on Sunday.
The Crusaders also grabbed tries from George Bridge, David Havili, Bryn Hall and Ben Funnell as they punished a leaky Waratahs defence on a breezy day at Sydney Football Stadium for their sixth successive win.
Trailing 19-10 at halftime, the Waratahs fought back to within four points after quick tries to scrumhalf Jake Gordon and replacement winger Taqele Naiyaravoro but crumbled in the final 10 minutes to slump to their fourth loss of the season.
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Flanker Jaco Kriel scored a match-winning try four minutes from time to hand South Africa’s Lions a thrilling 34-29 victory over compatriots the Sharks in a see-saw Super Rugby clash at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Last year’s beaten finalists secured a ninth home victory in a row as they also scored tries through hooker Malcolm Marx and wing Courtnall Skosan, while flyhalf Elton Jantjies added two conversions and four penalties.
The Sharks will rue poor discipline but bagged tries through prop Coenie Oosthuizen and wing Cobus van Wyk as teenage flyhalf Curwin Bosch shone with the boot with 19 points.
Number eight Sikhumbuzo Notshe grabbed a hat-trick of tries as a rampant Stormers overwhelmed their South African rivals with a bonus-point victory to maintain their 100 percent start to the season.
The home side ran in eight tries for a fifth victory in a row as wing Dillyn Leyds (two), centre Daniel du Plessis, flyhalf Robert du Preez and flank Siya Kolisi also crossed the line.
The Stormers led 22-3 at halftime despite the Cheetahs having more possession, with Leyds key to their clinical attacking play having switched from fullback to wing for the game.
The Cheetahs’ only score came from flanker Paul Schoeman and for the Bloemfontein-based side it was a fourth defeat in six games this campaign.
The Hurricanes pulled away from the Queensland Reds with an inspired second-half performance to win their Super Rugby match in Brisbane 34-15 on Saturday and maintain the dominant record of New Zealand sides.
Australia’s five Super Rugby teams have not beaten a side from New Zealand this season.
Julian Savea and TJ Perenara scored in the first half for the defending champions. Vince Aso claimed a try after the break while brothers Jordie and Beauden Barrett crossed over late to confirm the bonus-point win for the Hurricanes, who also had three tries ruled out by the television match official.
It was the fifth straight loss for the Reds who scored through Chris Kuridrani and Scott Higginbotham after a yellow card to Hurricanes’ Ngani Laumape to trail 14-12 at halftime.
The Waikato Chiefs fended off a dogged challenge from the Bulls before roaring home in a 28-12 win in Hamilton on Saturday to continue their unbeaten start to the Super Rugby season.
The Chiefs lost co-captain Sam Cane to concussion in the fourth minute and trailed 9-3 at half-time but tries after the break to winger Shaun Stevenson, fullback Damian McKenzie and replacement prop Atunaisa Moli sealed their fifth successive win.
All Blacks flanker Liam Messam celebrated his 150th match for the Chiefs, helping to secure a bonus point by killing off a late raid on the try-line by the Pretoria-based Bulls.
The South Africans battled hard but were kept try-less at Waikato Stadium, with flyhalf Handre Pollard kicking their entire score in penalties.
Fullback Michael Collins sprinted nearly half the field for a late try to secure the Blues their third win of the season.
Dragged into an arm-wrestle for much of the match at Eden Park, the Blues’ bench dominated the last quarter, with replacement winger Rieko Ioane conjuring a breathtaking team try in the 65th minute.
His brother Akira and winger Matt Duffie scored the Blues’ other tries in a four-minute burst before halftime.
Lock Richie Arnold crossed for the Force in the first half and winger Dane Haylett-Petty grabbed a consolation try in the 78th minute as the Perth side slumped to their fourth loss of the season.
Centre Malakai Fekitoa scored two tries to lead the Otago Highlanders to a convincing 51-12 win against the winless Melbourne Rebels in Dunedin on Friday.
Centre Richard Buckman, number eight Luke Whitelock, flanker Gareth Evans and replacement hooker Greg Pleasants-Tate also scored in the 2015 champions’ bonus-point victory to move to fourth in the New Zealand conference.
Flyhalf Marty Banks made five conversions and three penalties for a haul of 19 points with the boot.
With Australian conference places in doubt for 2018, it was another insipid performance from the Rebels, whose tries came from wing Tom English and centre Reece Hodge. (Compiled by Ian Ransom, and Nick Said; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)