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Blues capitalize on Highlanders' errors to earn win

(Reuters) - The Auckland Blues seized on errors from the Otago Highlanders to score three tries in their 30-12 victory in their Super Rugby clash at Eden Park on Saturday, which moved them to the top of the New Zealand conference. George Moala, Ma'a Nonu and Charles Piutau all scored tries as a direct result of the Highlanders' failure to clear their own territory to move to 16 points, two ahead of the twice champion Waikato Chiefs, who play South Africa's Bulls later.

RugbyU: Auckland Blues 30 Otago Highlanders 12

Result of a Super 15 match between the Auckland Blues and Otago Highlanders at Eden Park on Saturday: Auckland Blues (NZL) 30 Otago Highlanders (NZL) 12 (h-t: 17-9) Blues - Tries: George Moala, Ma'a Nonu, Charles Piutau. Conversions: Simon Hickey (3). Penalties: Hickey (3) Highlanders - Tries: Penalties: Lima Sopoaga (4) Referee: Steve Walsh (AUS) afp

RugbyU: Hurricanes edge Crusaders in thriller

The Wellington Hurricanes defeated the Canterbury Crusaders 29-26 Friday in a see-sawing match played at blistering pace between the New Zealand rivals. The Hurricanes scored four tries to three to earn just their second win of the Super 15 season and leave the Crusaders at the bottom of the New Zealand conference. Johnny McNicholl managed two first-half tries for the home team but it was a wonder try from Alapati Leiua that settled the match, with the winger shrugging off five tacklers as he ran almost the length of the field to score in the dying stages.

Rugbyu: Crusaders 26 Hurricanes 29

Result of a Super 15 match between the Canterbury Crusaders and Wellington Hurricanes in Christchurch on Friday. Canterbury Crusaders (NZL) 26 Wellington Hurricanes (NZL) 29 (h-t: 18-17) Crusaders- Tries: Johnny McNicholl (2), Colin Slade. Conversion: Tom Taylor. Penalties: Taylor (3). Hurricanes - Tries: Faifili Levave, TJ Perenara, Julian Savea, Alapati Leiua. Conversions: Beauden Barrett (3). Penalty: Barrett. Referee: Nick Briant (NZL) afp

RugbyU: Super 15 - Highlanders 35 Hurricanes 31

Result of a Super 15 match in Dunedin on Friday: Otago Highlanders (NZL) 35 Wellington Hurricanes (NZL) 31 H-t: 18-9 Scorers Highlanders - Tries: Phil Burleigh, Patrick Osborne. Conversions: Lima Sopoaga (2). Penalties: Sopoaga (7). Hurricanes - Tries: Ben Franks, Beauden Barrett (2). Conversion: Barrett (2). Penalties: Barrett (4). Referee: Nick Briant (NZL) afp

RugbyU: All Black stars in sleeping pill cocktail binge

New Zealand rugby chiefs on Thursday admitted two prominent All Blacks abused prescription sleeping pills during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but denied the practice was commonplace among professional players. New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief executive Steve Tew said Cory Jane and Israel Dagg "let themselves down" when they took pills on a night out in Auckland just before the All Blacks' quarter-final against Argentina. He denied the drug abuse, details of which only emerged after media reports on Thursday, had been covered up, saying it was dealt with at the time.

RugbyU: Ex-All Black captain Frank Oliver dead at 65

Former All Blacks captain Frank Oliver has died at the age of 65, his old provincial club Manawatu said Tuesday, describing him as "a truly great rugby man". Oliver played for the All Blacks 43 times from 1976-81, including 17 Tests, captaining the New Zealanders to a series win over Australia in 1978. His son Anton Oliver was also an All Blacks captain. "He was one of New Zealand's tough men of rugby, both as a player and as a coach," Manawatu chief executive John Knowles said in a statement.

RugbyU: Otago Highlanders 29 Western Force 31

Result of a Super 15 match between the Otago Highlanders and Western Force at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday: Otago Highlanders (NZL) 29 Western Force (AUS) 31 (h-t: 16-21) Highlanders - Tries: Shaun Treeby, Malakai Fekitoa, Hayden Parker. Conversion: Lima Sopoaga. Penalties: Sopoaga (4) Force - Tries: Nathan Charles, Sias Ebersohn, Ben McCalman, Junior Rasolea. Conversions: Ebersohn (4). Penalty: Ebersohn Referee: Glen Jackson (NZL) afp

RugbyU: Chiefs survive Highlanders scare

It took a late try for the Waikato Chiefs to resume normal service in the Super 15 New Zealand conference Saturday when the defending champions snatched a 21-19 victory over the Otago Highlanders. Charlie Ngatai scored in the corner at Waikato Stadium with 11 minutes remaining to put the Chiefs back at the head of the pack, replacing the Highlanders who had led after a surprise bonus-point win over the Auckland Blues last week.

RugbyU: Waikato Chiefs 21 Otago Highlanders 19

Result of a Super 15 match between the Waikato Chiefs and Otago Highlanders at Waikato Stadium on Saturday: Waikato Chiefs (NZL) 21 Otago Highlanders (NZL) 19 (h-t: 7-16) Chiefs - Tries: Tim Nanai-Williams, Liam Messam, Charlie Ngatai. Conversions: Aaron Cruden (3) Highlanders - Try: John Hardie. Conversion: Lima Sopoaga. Penalties: Sopoaga (4) Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (AUS) afp
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