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RugbyU:Blues hang on in high-scoring thriller

The Auckland Blues held off a late-charging Central Cheetahs to sneak into the top six of the Super 15 competition with a 40-30 bonus-point victory Saturday. The win, in their first home game after a fruitless trip to South Africa, gave the Blues two wins from five matches and lifted them to sixth on the ladder although with four matches still to be played in the round. The Blues and the bottom-placed Cheetahs have the worst defensive records in the competition and the 70 points scored was testament to the high error count by both sides.

RugbyU: Unbeaten Sharks face Bulls test in SAfrican derby

The Coastal Sharks put their unbeaten Super 15 run on the line in this weekend's South African derby with the Northern Bulls, as defending champions Waikato Chiefs trek to in-form Western Force. The Sharks, under former World Cup-winning coach Jake White, have opened their season with four wins, but face a test against the Bulls in Pretoria, where they last won three years ago. The Durban-based Sharks are comfortable eight-point leaders of the South African conference, but Saturday's encounter will give a strong indication of their title credentials this season.

RugbyU: Wales seek warm-up game before Springbok Tests

Deposed Six Nations champions Wales want to play a midweek warm-up match in South Africa during June before a two-Test series. A South African Rugby Union (SARU) statement Monday said the proposed tour opener would be against the Southern Kings on June 10 in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth. SARU added that the fixture must be approved by their executive committee. Wales tackle the Springboks on June 14 in the Indian Ocean port of Durban and on June 21 in the north-eastern city of Nelspruit.

Football: Struggling Stars stun title hopefuls Wits

Struggling Free State Stars pulled off one of the shocks of the South African Premiership season by winning 3-1 at title hopefuls Wits University this weekend. Richard Henyekane, an under-performing loanee striker from Mamelodi Sundowns, finally came good to score a hat-trick at Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg. And it was a dream debut for former Malawi superstar Kinnah Phiri as coach after a midweek exchange of roles with his assistant Themba Sithole.

RugbyU: Lambie lands 19 points as Sharks stretch lead

Coastal Sharks defeated Queensland Reds 35-20 in Durban Saturday to move five points clear at the top of the Super 15 table. In a match that produced three periods of dominance, the South Africans controlled the opening half to lead 25-6 by half-time at Kings Park. The Australians wrested the initiative from the start of the second half and reduced the deficit to eight points with 16 minutes left on a hot, humid evening.

Football: Katsande ends goal drought to sink Pirates

Willard Katsande scored his first goal for Kaizer Chiefs to earn a 1-0 win over arch rivals Orlando Pirates Saturday in a key South African Premiership clash. A sell-out crowd at the 90,000-seat Soccer City stadium in Soweto saw the Zimbabwe midfielder become the unlikely match-winner by nodding a 61st-minute corner past Senzo Meyiwa from point-blank range. Katsande, who is in his third season at Chiefs, has been branded the 'pit bull terrier' of the team, renowned for fierce tackling and relentless, aggressive pressing of rivals.

RugbyU: Super 15 - Lions 39 Blues 36

Result of a Super 15 match at Ellis Park Saturday: Golden Lions (RSA) 39 Auckland Blues (NZL) 36 H-t: 17-0 Scorers Lions - Tries: De Klerk, Skosan, Van Wyk. Conversions: Boshoff (3). Penalties: Boshoff (4). Drop goals: Boshoff (2) Blues - Tries: Piutau, Hall, Halai, Moala, Marshall. Conversions: Noakes (2), Hickey (2). Penalty: Noakes Sin bin Blues: Faumuina 31 minutes, Donnelly 42 Referee: Stuart Berry (RSA) afp

RugbyU: Super 15 - Sharks 35 Reds 20

Result of a Super 15 match at Kings Park in Durban Saturday: Coastal Sharks (RSA) 35 Queensland Reds (AUS) 20 H-t: 25-6 Scorers Sharks - Tries: Alberts, Chadwick. Conversions: Lambie (2). Penalties: Lambie (5), Steyn (2) Reds - Tries: Harris, Genia. Conversions: Cooper (2). Penalties: Cooper (2) Sin bin Reds: Robinson 68 minutes Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (RSA) afp

Football: Platinum end Chiefs' long unbeaten run

Leaders Kaizer Chiefs surrendered an 11-match unbeaten run in the South African Premiership Wednesday by losing 2-0 at Platinum Stars. The defending champions last lost on November 5 away to Ajax Cape Town, and 10 wins and a draw transformed a side that started the season slowly into title favourites. But England-born coach Stuart Baxter warned last week that a hectic domestic and CAF Champions League schedule would inevitably take its toll.

Football: Sundowns, Wits keep slim title hopes alive

Mamelodi Sundowns and Wits University kept alive slim hopes of overtaking long-time South African Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs with impressive away victories Sunday. Early and late goals from Surprise Moriri and Teko Modise earned Sundowns a 2-0 win against mid-table AmaZulu in Durban. Jabulani Shongwe, Burundian Papy Faty and Sthembiso Ngcobo struck before half-time to set up Wits for a 3-1 triumph over relegation-threatened Polokwane City.
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