June 1 (Reuters) - Highlights from Super Rugby week 16 matches:
Kwagga Smith scored two tries and Andries Coetzee, Courtnall Skosan, Aphiwe Dyantyi and Hacjivah Dayimani all also went over as the Lions moved into a playoff place with a much-needed bonus-point home win at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Johan du Toit, Herschel Jantjies and Joshua Stander replied for the visitors from Cape Town, whose own playoff hopes are now in peril.
The Lions, who dropped Springbok pivot Elton Jantjies for disciplinary reasons, had a narrow 13-10 lead at half-time but two quick tries after the break effectively broke the Stormers’ resistance.
It was the first win in five attempts this season for the Lions over fellow South African opposition.
Barrett return has Hurricanes back to winning ways
Crusaders juggernaut knocked off course by Chiefs in Fiji
Waratahs hold off Rebels to keep season alive
Jantjies dropped from Lions for indiscipline
Kolisi out for rest of Super Rugby season
Former coach Brown returning to Highlanders
Hurricanes welcome back Coles for Sharks
Vermeulen joins Pollard on sidelines
Skelton still looking to play in World Cup
Hunt doubtful for World Cup after knee injury
Dominant Crusaders to get boost for playoffs
The Hurricanes outscored their hosts by three tries to two at King’s Park on Saturday to keep on course for the playoffs while the Sharks’ hopes suffered a severe blow.
Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape scored tries as the Kiwi visitors went 20-3 ahead just past the half hour mark, but the Sharks clawed it back to 20-10 at the break after Aphelele Fassi dotted down for the home side.
The Sharks then cut the lead to just three points soon after the break with a Juan Schoeman score but allowed the Hurricanes to re-establish control in the last 20 minutes.
Wes Goosen’s try and the boot of Beauden Barrett ensured the Hurricanes returned to winning ways after losing at home to the Jaguares in their last outing.
The Jaguares rounded out their Australasian tour with a third straight victory to return home for their last two matches of the regular season with a strong chance of winning the South African conference title.
Winger Santiago Carreras and scrumhalf Felipe Ezcurra crossed in the first half and replacement forwards Julian Montoya and Marcos Kremer after the break to set the Argentines on their way to victory on Saturday.
Carreras showed some fine footballing skills to score his maiden Super Rugby try in the 24th minute and grabbed a second on the intercept with seconds remaining in the match to secure what could be a vital bonus point.
With home matches against the Sharks and cellar-dwelling Sunwolves to come, the Jaguares are seven points clear of the Bulls at the top of their conference.
The Chiefs came from 20-0 down after 21 minutes to hand the runaway Super Rugby leaders only a second defeat of the season after a breathless 80 minutes in the heat of Fiji’s National Stadium on Saturday.
Bottom of the New Zealand conference 26 points behind the double defending champions at the start of the contest, the Chiefs looked destined for defeat when they conceded three unanswered tries in 11 minutes.
Tries from fullback Solomon Alaimalo, hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho and lock Jesse Parete sent them into the break only a point down, however, and better was to come in the second half.
Winger Braydon Ennor stretched the Crusaders lead just after the resumption but the Chiefs, running the ball from everywhere, hit back through scrumhalf Brad Weber and hit the front courtesy of a blistering run from outside back Shaun Stevenson.
Holding a six-point lead with 13 minutes remaining, the Chiefs still eschewed the conservative and replacement back Tumua Manu snatched a 22 dropout out of the air to seal a famous victory with a sixth try two minutes from time.
The Brumbies ran in six tries to secure top spot in the Australian conference and condemn the Sunwolves to defeat in their final home match of the season on Saturday.
Replacement hooker Connal McInerney grabbed a hat-trick of tries off the back of the rolling maul while number eight Pete Samu, centre Irae Simone and fullback Tom Banks also crossed for the visitors.
The bonus point win put the Brumbies five points clear of the Rebels at the top of the conference with two matches of the regular season remaining, while the Sunwolves are rock bottom of the standings with two wins from 14 matches.
Winger Hosea Saumaki scored the opening try for the Sunwolves in the first minute, fullback Semisi Masirewa crossed with a brilliant individual effort and scrumhalf Jamie Booth also nabbed a five-pointer for the home side.
The New South Wales Waratahs defended grimly to claim an attritional win away to the Melbourne Rebels on Friday and keep their slim hopes of reaching the playoffs alive.
Centre Adam Ashley-Cooper and winger Curtis Rona scored the tries for the Waratahs, who held firm despite the Rebels spending much of the second half camped deep in their territory.
Despite the loss, the Rebels grabbed a bonus point to move to top spot of the Australian conference but can give it straight back to the ACT Brumbies who play the Sunwolves on Saturday.
The third-placed Waratahs moved up to 30 points, four behind the Rebels and the Burmbies.
The Rebels pulled within five points after Will Genia scored their second try in the 59th minute but the home side ended up frustrated on a damp night at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
Flyhalf Harry Plummer missed a penalty goal attempt from a tough angle as the Auckland Blues were held to a nerve-jangling draw by an undermanned Bulls side at Eden Park on Friday.
The result all but ends the Blues’ faint hopes of a spot in the playoffs with two rounds left after the weekend.
The Bulls, missing Duane Vermeulen and Handre Pollard, were dragged back into the game by flyhalf Manie Libbok who grabbed their third try with five minutes left and converted it to level the score.
The Bulls kept their playoffs hopes alive as they leapfrogged the Sharks into second place in the South African conference with 34 points, two points behind the leading Jaguares. (Compiled by Ian Ransom/Nick Mulvenney/Mark Gleeson; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty/Pritha Sarkar/Sudipto Ganguly/Toby Chopra/Tony Lawrence)