June 3 (Reuters) - Highlights from Super Rugby week 16 matches:
The Brumbies ended up comfortable bonus-point winners to keep alive their slim playoff hopes but the Sunwolves brought their trademark attacking game to keep things interesting in the Australian capital.
Flankers David Pocock and Lachlan McCaffrey scored the first two tries for the hosts before the outside backs took over with Tom Banks, Andy Muirhead and Henry Speight all touching down.
Pocock’s replacement Tom Cusack added a sixth before Speight added his second and the margin of victory would have been greater had the Brumbies not missed four conversions.
Tries from centre Jason Emery and prop Hencus van Wyk had the Sunwolves in the contest at 19-17 down in the 42nd minute but any chance of victory was gone when flanker Ed Quirk and debutant winger Kai Ishii crossed in the last 10 minutes.
Pocock and props Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa, selected for the match despite a request from Wallabies coach Michael Cheika that they be rested, were all replaced before the hour mark.
Crusaders outmuscle Chiefs for 10th straight win
Shoulder charge puts Squire in doubt for France opener
Naholo try completes Highlanders win over Hurricanes
Brumbies defy Cheika by naming Wallabies trio
Sonny Bill out of France series
Ireland’s Best ruled out of Australia series
Jenkins to lead Wales against Springboks
Jones keen to improve attacking flair
Jones defends England as injuries mount
Springboks assistant head back to France
Kolisi wants to inspire all South Africans
Gloucester adds two more Springboks
Boks send inexperienced side to face Wales
Hodge shrugs off limited preparations
Hartley refuses to give up on England career
Te’o ruled out of South Africa tour
Uelese ready to step into ‘old man’s pants’
Kolisi to lead Boks in ‘historic moment’
Hansen defends timing of camps
Australian streak ends at one, conference tight
The Waratahs prevailed in a wild 15-try, 93-point shootout against their oldest rivals at Lang Park to move back to the top of the Australian conference heading into the international break.
Waratahs fullback Israel Folau touched down either side of the break and there were also tries for Taqele Naiyaravoro, Cam Clark, Curtis Rona and Michael Wells as well as scrumhalf Nick Phipps and his replacement Jake Gordon.
Izaia Perese opened the scoring for the Reds off a first-minute interception and tries from Scott Higginbotham, Taniela Tupou, Caleb Timu, Alex Mafi, Jordan Petaia and Sef Fa’agase would have given them a chance to win had they managed to convert more than three of them.
Two tries in the last 10 minutes typified the effort from the Reds and prevented the Waratahs from picking up a bonus point, leaving them a point clear of the Rebels at the top of the conference.
The reigning champion Crusaders will head into the June international break on a 10-match winning streak after outmuscling the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.
Winger George Bridge and forwards Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Matt Todd and Luke Romano crossed as the south islanders gave prop Wyatt Crockett a victory to celebrate his unprecedented 200th Super Rugby appearance.
Flanker Luke Jacobson scored tries either side of halftime for the Chiefs with winger Sean Wainui also crossing against his old side but the hosts were no match for the ruthless Crusaders when it came down to the crunch.
The victory means the competition-leading Crusaders go into the international break with a nine-point cushion over the Wellington Hurricanes at the top of the New Zealand conference.
Centre Billy Meakes grabbed a brace at Eden Park as the Rebels snapped a run of 32 straight defeats for Australian Super Rugby sides in New Zealand going back to 2015.
Meakes struck either side of halftime and fullback Dane Haylett-Petty also crossed as the Rebels got ample reward for their direct running and stout defence with a third straight win.
Terrence Hepetema, who came into the centres for the injured Sonny Bill Williams, scored the only try for the Blues in the 35th minute but the home side were unable to register a point in the second half as they slumped to a 10th defeat of the season.
There was bad news for Australia ahead of their June series against Ireland with Rebels hooker Jordan Uelese and winger Jack Maddocks both limping off in the 70th minute, the former with what looked like a serious knee injury.
Waisake Naholo finished off a beautiful team try to ensure the Highlanders kept up their hunt for the playoffs as they beat a spluttering Hurricanes in Dunedin.
The Highlanders leapfrogged the Waikato Chiefs into third in the New Zealand conference and up to 40 points on the table, five behind the second-placed Hurricanes and 10 behind the competition-leading Canterbury Crusaders.
Replacement prop Tyrel Lomax scored his first Super Rugby try, while Tevita Li and Aaron Smith grabbed tries either side of halftime to give the home team the advantage they needed.
Jordie Barrett and tighthead prop Jeff Toomaga-Allen scored for the visitors, who looked mostly clueless and disjointed on attack in the face of the Highlanders’ swarming scramble defence. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by John O’Brien and Sudipto Ganguly)