(corrects Waratahs score)
May 21 (Reuters) - Highlights from Super Rugby week 13:
The New South Wales Waratahs kept their playoffs hopes alive with an emphatic bonus-point win over the Melbourne Rebels at Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday.
Waratahs fullback Israel Folau was back to his dominant best, scoring a try in each half, with Nick Phipps, Dean Mumm, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper, Damien Fitzpatrick and Bryce Hegarty also crossing for the home side.
Replacement back Jonah Placid scored a brace of tries in the second half for the Rebels, who battled hard but were over-run in the final quarter and slumped to a ninth loss of the season.
The Waratahs’ fourth win put them within four points of the ACT Brumbies, giving the Sydney side hope of dislodging their Canberra rivals from the top of the Australian conference and winning a playoff berth.
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Tries in the final 16 minutes from wing Aidan Toua and fullback Tom Banks sealed a hard-fought victory for the ACT Brumbies in Port Elizabeth and ended the three-match winning streak of the Southern Kings.
The hosts had taken a 10 point lead thanks to an early penalty try after Banks was penalised for a deliberate knock-down, but hooker Josh Mann-Rea crossed the tryline to make the halftime lead 10-5.
The Kings were brave in defence and it was not until the closing stages they wilted as the Brumbies put two kicks in behind their defence for Toua and Banks to score and extend their lead in the Australian Conference to seven points.
Wing Ruan Combrinck celebrated his return to rugby after six months out with a shoulder injury by grabbing a brace of tries in an easy win for the Lions over their ailing neighbours the Bulls.
The home side went into halftime with a 39-14 lead and piled on the pressure as loose forwards Kwagga Smith and Warren Whiteley, prop Ruan Dreyer, lock Franco Mostert and centre Lionel Mapoe also scored in the seven-try romp.
The win takes the Lions to 51 points from 12 games, second on the overall log behind the Canterbury Crusaders, and virtually ensures them of a home quarter-final.
Sharks wing Lwazi Mvovo scored a hat-trick of tries and led a late rally as they completed a bonus-point victory over the Sunwolves in Singapore.
The Durban-based side held a narrow 21-17 lead going into the final five minutes of the game, but struck three times in quick succession to secure the comprehensive win.
Lock Ruan Botha and wing Sibusiso Nkosi (two) also crossed the tryline for the Sharks, while hooker Takeshi Hino and flank Shuhei Matsuhashi scored for the home side.
The Otago Highlanders completed a rousing eight-try romp over the Western Force in Perth as they took a big step towards securing a playoff place.
Prop Aki Seiuli and replacement fullback Rob Thompson scored two tries each as the visitors dominated in the second half having gone into the break 17-6 ahead.
The victory was an eighth in succession for the 2015 Super Rugby champions, who have now moved 10 points clear of the Auckland Blues in the fourth playoff spot in the New Zealand Conference after 12 matches, significantly boosting their chances of making the knockout stages.
Rampaging centre Vince Aso scored a hat-trick of tries as the Wellington Hurricanes destroyed the Cheetahs on Saturday.
Teaming up with midfield accomplice Ngani Laumape, Aso crossed once in the first half and twice after the break in the nine-try rout at Wellington Regional Stadium.
Humbled by the competition-leading Canterbury Crusaders last week, the Hurricanes were back to their enterprising best, scything through the Cheetahs’ defence at will to notch their ninth win of the season.
The Stormers ended a four-game losing run with a scrappy, ill-tempered victory over the Auckland Blues, who finished the game with 14 players after two yellow cards for wing Matt Duffie meant he saw red.
Loose-forwards Siya Kolisi and Sikhumbuzo Notshe, and flyhalf Dillyn Leyds scored tries for the home side, while centre George Moala, hooker James Parsons and flank Blake Gibson crossed the line for the Blues, who led 12-10 at halftime.
The Blues stay bottom of the New Zealand conference after a sixth defeat of the season, while the Stormers open up a 15-point lead in their Africa Group 1, though they have played a game more than the second-placed Bulls.
Second half tries to David Havili and Ben Funnell ensured the Crusaders remained unbeaten with victory over the Chiefs in Suva.
Flanker Heiden Bedwell-Curtis also scored for the Crusaders, who have won all 12 games so far this season and now opened up a handy 11-point lead over the Chiefs in the highly competitive New Zealand conference.
The Chiefs scored four brilliant tries to Tim Nanai-Williams, James Lowe, Kane Hames and Aaron Cruden, but they only converted two of them to give the Crusaders the victory. (Compiled by Greg Stutchbury, Nick Said, Ian Ransom; Editing by John O‘Brien, Ken Ferris and Pritha Sarkar)