July 8 (Reuters) - Highlights from round 16 of Super Rugby:
Stormers wing Cheslin Kolbe scored his second hat-trick of tries in as many weeks as they completed a comfortable victory over the Sunwolves of Japan at Newlands.
The win ensures the Stormers will be seeded third in the quarter-finals after moving to 39 points from 14 matches, leaving the ACT Brumbies from Australia as fourth seeds.
The home team’s other tries came from excellent teenage flyhalf Damian Willemse, wing Seabelo Senatla, centre EW Viljoen and fullback Dillyn Leyds, who scored a brace.
The Sunwolves were much-improved from their 94-7 drubbing at the hands of the Lions last weekend, but could not cope with the speed and quick hands of the hosts. They managed tries through wing Teruya Goto and hooker Takeshi Hino.
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A penalty after the hooter from flyhalf Lionel Cronje gave the Southern Kings a famous victory over the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld just a day after it was confirmed they would be axed from Super Rugby in 2018.
The Kings had opened up a 22-3 lead shortly before halftime, but then trailed going into the final minute of the game before Cronje converted a penalty they won from a scrum.
Wing Makazole Mapimpi, Cronje and fullback Malcolm Jaer scored tries for the Kings, while the home side crossed the line through lock Jason Jenkins, wing Duncan Matthews and hooker Jaco Visagie.
Both sides are out of contention for a place in the Super Rugby quarter-finals, but the Kings have ensured they will finish as the fourth best South African side in the competition this season, ahead of the Bulls and Cheetahs.
Jaguares outscored their hosts Waratahs by five tries to three to bite back after a series of poor performances in a contest between two teams out of the playoff race.
The visitors were off to a strong start and led 25-10 at halftime but were down to 13 men after locks Guido Petti and Benjamin Macome were yellow carded in quick succession late in the first half.
After Israel Folau crossed over in the 37th minute, Bernard Foley ran in two tries early in the second half as the Waratahs reduced the gap to one point before the Argentine side roared back.
Pablo Matera, Matias Orlando, Benjamin Macome, Agustin Creevy and Matias Moroni scored the tries for Jaguares while flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez supplied 15 points from his boot.
The Western Force triumphed in the battle between the two Australian sides in the running to be axed from Super Rugby next season, outscoring their opponents four tries to three.
The victory moves the Force to second in the Australian conference with one round to play, though they are already out of the running for a play-off place, while the Rebels remain with just a single victory from 14 matches.
Tries from centre Bill Meakes, lock Adam Coleman, flank Richard Hardwick and wing Chance Peni, who also received an early yellow card for a shoulder charge, sealed the win for the home side.
Two from wing Marika Koroibete, and a further try from loose-forward Colby Fainga‘a, kept the Rebels in the hunt, but they extended their losing streak to seven matches.
The Queensland Reds snatched a last-minute victory over the ACT Brumbies in an all-Australia Super Rugby clash played out in sodden conditions in Brisbane.
Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper made amends for an earlier error by slotting his third penalty for the victory with the last kick of the game after a 71st minute try from replacement back Hamish Stewart had brought the home side back into a tight match.
The narrow defeat left the Brumbies level with the Stormers on 34 points in the battle for the third seeding in the playoffs ahead of the South Africans’ penultimate match of the season against Japan’s Sunwolves on Saturday.
The Brumbies, who went ahead with a penalty try and a Kyle Godwin five-pointer soon after half time, also lost flanker Chris Alcock, lock Rory Arnold and winger Aidan Toua to injury. (Compiled by Greg Stutchbury and Nick Said; Editing by Clare Lovell and Julien Pretot)