April 9 (Reuters) - Highlights from week seven of Super Rugby:
The Western Force edged the Port Elizabeth-based Kings for their second win of the season as the two teams most likely to be cut from Super Rugby for next year played out a 12-try thriller at Perth Oval.
Fullback Malcolm Jaer grabbed a hat-trick as the visitors, marshalled superbly by flyhalf Lionel Cronje, gave a masterclass in counter-attacking rugby in a thrill-a-minute second half.
The Force always had the edge up front, however, and a penalty try from a five-metre scrum as well as a score from Wallabies loose forward Ben McCalman off a rolling maul allowed the hosts to get back in front in the final quarter.
Winger Alex Newsome grabbed a brace for the Force and flyhalf Jonno Lance started and finished a flowing first-half move for the pick of the home side’s tries.
Pulu’s scintillating double not enough as Chiefs stumble
Brumbies put Reds to the sword with second-half try blitz
Tokyo delight as Sunwolves beat first South African side
SANZAAR to announce Super Rugby future on Sunday
Hurricanes use powerful first half to beat Waratahs
Stiles puts underperforming Reds on notice
World Cup winner Sonny Bill set for return after Achilles injury
Cutting team won’t solve Australian woes - ex-ARU boss
Australia growing inferiority complex against NZ - Kafer
Super Rugby uncertainty affecting Force players - Haylett-Petty
The Stormers’ bravery in defence and enterprise in attack inflicted a first defeat of the season on the Waikato Chiefs despite two remarkable tries from visiting winger Toni Pulu.
The South African side remain unbeaten after six games and have one foot in the quarter-finals with a 17-point lead at the top of their conference.
For Pulu’s first try, the New Zealanders swept the length of the field in a move started by fullback Damian McKenzie and also involving winger James Lowe, who later added a score of his own.
The home side crossed the line through number eight Sikhumbuzo Notshe, flanker Siya Kolisi, flyhalf Robert du Preez and fullback SP Marais, who profited from brilliant skill by winger Dillyn Leyds who whipped a 10-yard pass behind his back into the hands of Marais.
Scrumhalf Cobus Reinach and centre Andre Esterhuizen scored tries as South Africa’s Sharks edged the Jaguares from Argentina in an error-strewn game at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.
The visitors trailed by just two points going into the final three minutes after a gutsy display, but Sharks fullback Curwin Bosch added a second penalty to go with an earlier conversion to extend his side’s lead.
The Sharks fluffed a number of chances to score further tries in slippery conditions, with Bosch himself a culprit as he spilled the ball while trying to dot down, and Reinach was denied a second by the TMO who ruled he had knocked on.
The victory extended to seven the number of home wins in a row for the Sharks, and ended a three-match winning run for the Argentine side.
The ACT Brumbies scored five unanswered tries in the second half to thrash the Queensland Reds in a bonus point Super Rugby victory on Saturday which cemented their place at the top of the Australian conference.
The match was tied 10-10 at halftime after Reds winger Chris Kuridrani and his cousin, the Brumbies centre Tevita Kuradrani, crossed before the break.
Hooker Robbie Abel went over off a rolling maul within two minutes of the restart and fullback Aidan Toua showed his pace to finish off a chance created by a searing break from prop Allan Alaalatoa two minutes later.
Loose forward Jarrad Butler secured the bonus point with a try off the back of a dominant Brumbies scrum in the 52nd minute and James Dargaville and flanker Chris Alcock put the gloss on the victory in the last 10 minutes.
Sonny Bill Williams made his return to rugby after seven months out through injury but could not help the Blues upset the Highlanders in Dunedin.
The All Blacks centre, who last played a game of fifteens in the 2015 World Cup final, came on as a 55th minute replacement with the Blues trailing 23-20.
One Williams midfield burst almost set up a try, and a muffed pass blew another opportunity, but the Blues were unable to turn their possession into points.
Tries from prop Charlie Faumuina and lock Gerard Cowley-Tuioti helped the Blues to a 20-13 halftime lead but five-pointers from fullback Ben Smith and centre Malakai Fekitoa as well as 16 points from Marty Banks’s boot gave the Highlanders a fourth win of the season.
A 69th minute try from Takaaki Nakazuru and a Yu Tamura penalty five minutes later gave the Sunwolves their first win of the year - and only their second since making their Super Rugby debut last season - with a thrilling comeback victory over the three-times champion Bulls.
Sunwolves number eight Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco gave the home side the perfect start when he finished off a flowing move in the sixth minute but centre Burger Odendaal shrugged off two tacklers and ran 40 metres to reply for the Bulls.
The Sunwolves were 11-10 up at the break but a penalty and a converted try from Bulls winger Travis Ismaiel, who broke three tackles to touch down in the corner, gave the visitors a 20-11 lead in the 63rd minute.
The Hurricanes were able to use a scintillating first half to beat the Waratahs, despite having All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett sent off for two yellow cards.
Ngani Laumape (two), Barrett, his younger brother Jordie, winger Wes Goosen and lock Mark Abbott all scored tries for the home side while fullback Jordie added four conversions.
Loose forward Ned Hanigan, fullback Bryce Hegarty, scrumhalf Jake Gordon and replacement Andrew Kellaway all crossed for the visitors, with flyhalf Bernard Foley converting all four. (Compiled by Greg Stutchbury and Nick Said; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty and Ed Osmond)