April 14 (Reuters) - Super Rugby highlights from week nine:
Flying fullback Warrick Gelant scored a hat-trick of tries as the Bulls rampaged to a six-try, bonus-point victory over the Sharks in a South African Super Rugby derby at King’s Park on Saturday.
The Springbok hopeful showed pace and guile to give his side a healthy early lead that they never relinquished and they moved into second in the South African Conference, 11 points behind runaway leaders the Lions but with a game in hand.
Hooker Adriaan Strauss, playing a South African record 150th Super Rugby game, and wing John-Ben Kotze also crossed the line, to go with a penalty try, as their powerful pack bullied the Sharks into submission.
The home side’s only score came via centre Andre Esterhuizen as their pre-season promise looks to be fizzling out with them having now recorded just two wins in eight games in the competition.
Gelant hat-trick leads Bulls to crushing Super Rugby win over Sharks
Naiyaravoro brace helps Waratahs bounce Reds at SCG
Naholo sparks Highlanders revival as they beat Brumbies
Hyland brace helps Blues keep Sunwolves in the shade
Barrett shines as Hurricanes end Chiefs’ run
Phipps set for Waratahs return against Reds
No RA sanction for Folau over anti-gay post
All Blacks prop Moody a doubt for France series
Irish rugby union revokes contracts of players acquitted of rape
Goosen out of retirement for Cheetahs
Concussion symptoms a concern for Hartley
Folau comments said damaging for teenagers
Hulking winger Taqele Naiyaravoro scored two tries as the New South Wales Waratahs hammered the Queensland Reds on Saturday in the first Super Rugby match played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The error-strewn contest was barely worthy of the iconic setting but the Waratahs always looked like winning the latest bout in a rivalry that goes back to 1882 to claim an eighth straight victory over the Reds.
Waratahs’ scrumhalf Jake Gordon and replacement prop Harry Johnson-Holmes also crossed, while flyhalf Bernard Foley’s flawless kicking added 17 points to help them move to the top of the Australian conference.
Queensland will not consider winger Filipo Daugunu’s converted try and three penalties just desserts for their efforts but they were overpowered up front at times and lacked direction in attack.
Ben Smith scored twice and Waisake Naholo snatched a vital breakaway try midway through the second half in Dunedin on Saturday as Kiwi dominance over Australian opposition continued in the competition.
Lima Sopoaga, Shannon Frizell and Fletcher Smith got the other scores in a six-try haul for the hosts.
Isi Naisarani and Joe Powell were the Brumbies’ try scorers.
They were just 15-10 down, dominating the second-half exchanges, after the Highlanders lost Sopoaga to the sin bin, and threatening to take the lead when Naholo intercepted near his own try line and raced the full length of the pitch to end any hopes of a first Australian success over Kiwi opposition in almost two years.
The Jaguares came from 11 points behind at half-time to win a thrilling clash in Melbourne on Saturday with Bautista Ezcurra scoring a late winning try for the Argentine visitors.
Both teams scored three tries with the Rebels going over twice before half-time through Bill Meakes and Marika Koroibete to lead 14-3 at the break.
Dane Haylett Petty added a third try for the hosts soon after the break but the Jaguares fought back with scores by Sebastian Cancelliere, Ramrio Moyano and Ezcurra.
Rebels captain Adam Coleman turned down the chance to kick over a late penalty for a draw, opting instead for a scrum in search of victory. The Jaguares won a crucial turnover and held on to win.
Winger Jordan Hyland scored a brace of tries as the Auckland Blues ensured that the Sunwolves remain winless in this season’s competition with a 24-10 victory in Tokyo on Saturday.
The Japanese side, who defeated the Blues last season in their only previous encounter, led 10-5 at halftime thanks to Timothy Lafaele’s converted try and a Yu Tamura penalty before Hyland halved the deficit with a breakaway effort for the Blues.
However, weak tackling from the hosts after the break allowed the Blues to forge 19-10 ahead on tries from Akira Ioane and replacement Dalton Papalii.
Hyland added his second try late on for the Auckland-based outfit, who will be pleased to leave Tokyo with their second victory of a slow-starting campaign. The Sunwolves have lost all seven of their matches in 2018.
Flyhalf Beauden Barrett proved the catalyst for an excellent home victory on Friday for the Hurricanes that moved the Wellington-based side to the top of the New Zealand Conference.
With the Hurricanes holding a 10-6 lead at halftime, Barrett scored a brilliant solo try just after the break and then set up another for centre Ngani Laumape as the home side seized control of the game.
Wing Ben Lam had earlier brushed off three home defenders to score the opening try for the Hurricanes, while the only try for the visitors came from flank Lachlan Boshier. (Compiled by Nick Said, Mark Gleeson and Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O’Brien/Sudipto Ganguly/Clare Fallon)