July 1 (Reuters) - Highlights from Super Rugby week 15 matches:
Wing Ruan Combrink scored a hat-trick of tries and kicked five conversions as South Africa’s Lions stormed to their biggest victory in Super Rugby with a 14-try hammering of the Sunwolves from Japan.
The Lions equalled the record for the most tries scored in a single Super Rugby game as loose forwards Jaco Kriel and Kwagga Smith also bagged a brace each in a match notable for the absence of any penalty goals among the 101 points scored.
The Sunwolves defence had no answer to the power, pace and precision of the Lions, with their effort summed up in Kriel’s first try as he rode seven tackles inside the visitors’ 22 to score.
The victory moves the Lions to 61 points from 14 games, two behind overall log leaders, the Canterbury Crusaders from New Zealand, with one round remaining as they seek the top spot that would earn them a home run in the knockout stages.
Lions run riot to devour hapless Sunwolves
Gelant hat-trick lifts rampaging Bulls past Sharks
West goes south as Hurricanes, Blues swap flyhalves
Lions skipper Whiteley out for two months
Super Rugby Fixtures
Cheslin Kolbe scored a hat-trick of tries from the wing as the Stormers completed an ill-tempered, high-scoring victory over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Both teams finished with 14 players after late red cards for Cheetahs flank Henco Venter and Stormers loose-forward Rynhard Elstadt, who had also earlier been sent to the sin-bin. In all, three yellow cards were flashed to go with the two reds.
Teenage flyhalf Damian Willemse bagged a try for the Stormers in his first start, to go with scores for wing Seabelo Senatla and flank Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
The Stormers have already sealed their quarter-final place in the competition, while the Cheetahs are out of the running, but put in a lively display that saw them score four tries in defeat.
South Africa’s Kings came from 25-14 down just after halftime in Buenos Aires to snatch a fifth victory of the season and leave the Jaguares ruing some poor place-kicking on Friday.
Jaguares flanker Juan Manuel Leguizamon, winger Emiliano Boffelli, flyhalf Nicholas Sanchez and fullback Joaquin Tuculet all scored tries in the first 41 minutes to put the home side well on course for victory.
Centre Luzuko Vulindlu and winger Makazole Mapimpi also crossed in the first half to keep the Kings in touch, however, and Mapimpi’s second effort and a Wandie Mjekevu try in the 71st minute proved enough to see the visitors home.
Tuculet scored a second try six minutes from time but Gonzalo Bertranou missed a conversion that might have won the match. Sanchez earlier landed only two of five place kicks, while his Kings counterpart Lionel Cronje kicked five of six.
Neither side have a chance of making the playoffs.
Fullback Warrick Gelant scored a hat-trick of tries as the Bulls turned in their best performance of a dismal Super Rugby season for victory over the Sharks at Kings Park on Friday.
The match was essentially a dead rubber with the Sharks having already qualified for the quarter-finals and the visitors out of contention for the knock-out stages.
Bulls number eight Nick de Jager also scored a try to go with 10 points from the boot of flyhalf Tiaan Schoeman, who was an early replacement for the injured Tony Jantjies, younger brother of Springbok pivot Elton.
The Sharks grabbed tries through prop Thomas du Toit and fullback Curwin Bosch, with the latter also adding two conversions and a penalty. (Compiled by Nick Said and Nick Mulvenney, editing by Pritha Sarkar, Peter Rutherford and Neville Dalton)