May 7 (Reuters) - Highlights from week 11 of Super Rugby:
Blues wing Tevita Li bagged a last-gasp try to earn his side a bonus-point victory over South Africa’s Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.
Melani Nanai also registered two touchdowns to go with scores for hooker James Parsons and replacement scrumhalf Billy Guyton as the New Zealanders left it late to grab the extra point against Super Rugby’s most porous defence.
It was a more competitive showing from the Kings who trailed by four points going into the final 10 minutes, following their 73-27 mauling by the Jaguares in their previous game.
The Sharks returned to winning ways with a comprehensive four-try victory over the Hurricanes at King’s Park as wing JP Pietersen bagged a brace either side of halftime.
It was a close game at the break with the teams level at 8-8 but the Hurricanes wilted in the second period as the home side dominated territory and in the set piece.
The Sharks were able to welcome back Springbok flyhalf Pat Lambie for his first appearance of the season off the bench after surgery on a dislocated shoulder.
The New South Wales Waratahs eased to victory in a game in Sydney that never reached any great heights as a spectacle.
Wing Reece Robinson and flyhalf Bernard Foley scored tries for the home side, with the latter also contributing three penalties and a conversion.
Waisake Naholo returned from two months out with a broken leg to score two tries and help to create another to give the Highlanders an impressive 26-13 victory over the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.
Prop Dan Lienert-Brown also scored a try for the Highlanders, which had been sparked by a counter-attacking burst from Naholo, while flyhalf Lima Sopoaga slotted home three penalties. Marty Banks added a conversion.
Flyhalf Aaron Cruden slotted home an early penalty and grabbed a try while replacement Sam Vaka scored a consolation try in the final minute for the Chiefs.
Winger Marcel Brache scored a hat-trick of tries as the Western Force took advantage of a controlled first-half performance to beat Japan’s Sunwolves 40-22 in Tokyo on Saturday and earn their second win of the season.
Loose forwards Brynard Stander, Ben McCalman and Angus Cottrell also crossed for the Perth-based side, who had the game essentially won by the 54th minute when they held a 33-5 lead.
The Sunwolves scored three of their four tries in the final 25 minutes with winger Akihito Yamada, who had also scored in the third minute, flyhalf Tusi Pisi and centre Derek Carpenter crossing to give them some respectability on the scoreboard.
Pietersen at the double as Sharks sink Hurricanes
Naholo back with two tries as Highlanders beat Chiefs
Macilai hat-trick leads Crusaders to easy win
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‘Smiling assassin’ McKenzie inks Chiefs deal
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New Zealand Super Rugby conference
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Super Rugby 2016 at a glance
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Super Rugby champions
Winger Jone Macilai scored a hat-trick of tries as the Crusaders eased to a 38-5 victory over the Reds in Christchurch on Friday.
Lock Scott Barrett, flanker Jordan Taufua and hooker Codie Taylor also scored tries for the home side, whose eighth successive win propelled them to the top of the table with the Waikato Chiefs on 37 points.
Reds centre Campbell Magnay scored his side’s only try.
Second-half tries from Nigel Ah Wong and Tomas Cubelli gave the Brumbies a comfortable 23-6 victory over the Bulls on Friday and snapped a two-game losing run.
Flyhalf Christian Lealiifano scored from three penalties and was also on target for the two conversions for the hosts, who climbed to the top of the Australian conference.
Bulls flyhalf Francois Brummer scored his team’s points from penalties. (Compiled by Greg Stutchbury and Nick Said; Editing by John O‘Brien, Hugh Lawson and Clare Fallon)