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A round-up of Super Rugby matches played in South Africa and Australia this weekend.
SHARKS 24 STORMERS 17
Burly prop Thomas du Toit crashed over for a late try as the Sharks claimed a crucial victory over the Stormers in their South African derby at King’s Park in Durban on Saturday.
The match was full of errors from both sides, but sprung to life in the second half as the Sharks kept their playoff hopes alive and inflicted a sixth defeat of the season on the ailing Stormers.
Brilliant centre Lukhanyo Am and flank Jean-Luc du Preez also crossed the tryline for the home team, who move to 18 points in the South African conference, 12 behind runaway leaders the Lions, with both sides having played nine matches.
The Stormers scored their tries through wing Raymond Rhule and hooker Ramone Samuels, and were always in the game as they led 7-3 at halftime.
"We were a lot more clinical with the ball in hand and held onto it when we had to," Sharks captain Ruan Botha said at the post-match presentation.
"We have a bye now, so we can have some time off and come back fresh to face the Highlanders."
WARATAHS 0 LIONS 29
South Africa's Lions weathered a strong start from the Waratahs then controlled the tempo of the game and much of the ball as they easily beat the Australian conference leaders in Sydney on Friday night.
Winger Michael Tambwe scored the only try of the first half, while Kwagga Smith, Harold Vorster and Marnus Schoeman crossed in the second for the visitors who arrived in Australia only on Wednesday but showed no signs of jet lag.
The bonus-point victory moved them to 30 points at the top of the South African conference, 16 ahead of the Bulls, who have two games in hand.
BULLS 28 REBELS 10
Three first-half tries set the scene for the fast-improving Bulls to register a comfortable bonus-point victory over the Rebels at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.
The Bulls outscored their Australian visitors by four tries to one to register a third win in a row and stay second in the South African conference.
The Pretoria-based side scored their tries through hooker Adriaan Strauss, centre Jesse Kriel, wing Divan Rossouw and halfback Andre Warner.
The Rebels managed just a single score through halfback Michael Ruru and slipped to a third successive defeat after a surprise loss to the Jaguares in Melbourne in their previous outing.