April 22 (Reuters) - Highlights from week nine of Super Rugby:
Melbourne’s Reece Hodge slotted over the last kick of the game for a rare Super Rugby draw in a dramatic end to an error-strewn game in Durban.
His two first-half penalties put the Rebels 6-3 up at halftime against a Sharks side down to 14 men after the early sending-off of centre Andre Esterhuizen for an illegal spear tackle.
Curwin Bosch kicked three penalties for the Sharks and put the hosts 9-6 up with two minutes left, only for the Sharks to give away another penalty and allow Hodge to tie up the game.
Rebels captain Nic Stirzaker was sent off in the final 10 minutes for a second yellow card offence of slapping away the ball.
Rebels’ Hodge puts pressure kick over to seal rare draw
Highlanders trounce Sunwolves 40-15 in Invercargill
New South Wales ‘Horror-Tahs’ reach new low in Super Rugby
Late penalty salvages Lions win over feisty Jaguares
Super Rugby axing provokes contrasting reactions
Aso scores hat-trick as Hurricanes blow away Brumbies
Pollard injured in training as jinx returns
Bok centre Van Rensburg sidelined with knee injury
Wallaby Fardy rails at ‘faceless men’ running Super Rugby
Waratahs target Kings as chance get season on track
Super Rugby fixtures
Jesse Kriel scored a counter-attack try with only five minutes left to set up a come-from-behind win for the home side on Saturday in a scrappy derby clash at Loftus Versfeld.
Paul Schoeman scored the only try of the first half to give the struggling Cheetahs a 11-3 lead but this was cut to a point midway through the second half when Jacques Potgieter went over minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Penalties were traded to see the Cheetahs go 14-13 ahead before the late turnover allowed the Bulls to keep up their 100 percent home record albeit with an unconvincing victory.
The Chiefs’ Aaron Cruden slotted home three second-half penalties to help secure a laboured 16-7 victory against a plucky Force in Perth.
Liam Messam scored the Chiefs’ only try which was cancelled out when Matt Hodgson crossed and the teams were locked at 7-7 at halftime.
The Chiefs made several unforced errors but Cruden’s accurate boot ensured their seventh win in eight matches this season.
Winger George Bridge ran in three tries and skipper Kieran Read supplied two as Crusaders crushed Stormers 57-24 in Christchurch to maintain their unbeaten run this season.
Michael Alaalatoa, Pete Samu and Manasa Mataele also crossed as the hosts registered their highest score against the Stormers and could afford to take Read off at halftime with a 36-3 lead.
Cheslin Kolbe, Bjorn Basson and Frans Malherbe scored second-half tries for the visitors but it was a case of too little too late.
Elton Jantjies kicked a penalty two minutes from time to earn the home side a seventh win in eight games and break the deadlock after a feisty showing from their Argentine visitors on Friday.
The Lions twice came from behind, first after going behind to Matias Orlando’s try, to lead 14-7 at halftime through scores from Harold Vorster and Lionel Mapoe.
Jaguares forwards Rodrigo Baez and Guido Petti crossed the line twice in three minutes to reclaim the lead for the visitors in the second half before Ruan Ackermann’s try made it 21-21 10 minutes from time.
Jantjies slotted over a penalty to win the game to the relief of the Ellis Park crowd.
South Africa’s Kings rallied in the second half to shock an error-prone Waratahs 26-24 in Sydney on Friday to pick up only their second win of the season.
The Kings, who trailed 17-7 at half-time, scored tries through prop Justin Forwood, fullback Masixole Banda and hooker Michael Willemse and were awarded a late seven-point penalty try. Flyhalf Lionel Cronje kicked two conversions.
The season continued to get worse for 2014 champions Waratahs, who walked away with a solitary bonus point after winger Taqele Naiyaravoro went over for his second try of the evening after the siren.
Winger Cam Clark and centre Rob Horne also crossed for the hosts, with flyhalf Bernard Foley adding two conversions.
Centre Vince Aso scored a hat-trick of tries as the Wellington Hurricanes overhauled ACT Brumbies in Nelson on Friday.
Aso touched down in the seventh minute and grabbed two more in the second half as the defending champions overhauled a 21-14 halftime deficit to claim their seventh win in eight matches this season.
Callum Gibbins collected a brace of tries in the second half, with Cory Jane, Mark Abbott and Ngani Laumape also crossing.
Tevita Kuridrani, Sam Carter and Joe Powell scored tries for the Brumbies, who were kept scoreless for the final 50 minutes.
Centre Matt Faddes scored a brace of tries as the Otago Highlanders cruised to a bonus-point victory over the Sunwolves in their Super Rugby match at Invercargill on Saturday.
Faddes touched down twice in an eight-minute burst after halftime as the 2015 champions notched up their fourth straight win to shore up their place in the playoffs berths.
Malakai Fekitoa, Liam Squire, Aaron Smith and Ben Smith also crossed, with Marty Banks converting five of the home side’s six tries.
After an early penalty by Yu Tamura, the Japanese visitors were kept scoreless for nearly 50 minutes but grabbed consolation tries to Willie Britz and Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco. (Compiled by Ian Ransom, Sudipto Ganguly and Mark Gleeson; Editing by David Goodman, Ed Osmond)