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RugbyU: Sharks claim derby with solo try as Force win again

The Coastal Sharks won a fierce South African derby to stay top of rugby's Super 15 as Australia's resurgent Western Force won their fifth straight match this weekend. A superb individual try from fullback Lwazi Mvovo secured the Sharks a 25-12 victory over the Golden Lions to hold on to a two-point lead in the southern hemisphere provincial series. Jake White's Sharks needed the win to stay clear of Australia's ACT Brumbies and back-to-back champions Waikato Chiefs.

RugbyU: Crusaders snare Cheetahs with four-try finish

Canterbury Crusaders scored four last-quarter tries to defeat Central Cheetahs 52-31 Saturday after a see-saw Super 15 struggle in Bloemfontein. It was the first clean sweep by the New Zealanders in South Africa since 2008 after comfortably overcoming the Golden Lions in Johannesburg last weekend. And it was the first victory by the record seven-time Super Rugby champions over the Cheetahs since 2007 in the republic.

RugbyU: Late tries seal Crusaders' victory

A couple of late tries clinched a 28-7 victory for Canterbury Crusaders over Golden Lions Saturday in a Super 15 match at Ellis Park. Veteran scrum-half Andy Ellis dived over on 73 minutes and replacement fly-half Tyler Bleyendaal converted to give the New Zealanders a 16-point advantage. And a superb grubber kick from All Blacks full-back Israel Dagg at the end set up centre Kieron Fonotia for a simple try and a deserved win by the seven-time champions.

RugbyU: Taylor perfect as Crusaders down Rebels

The Canterbury Crusaders continued their recovery from a shaky start to the Super 15 season to edge out the Melbourne Rebels 25-19 in Melbourne on Friday. It was the seven-time Super Rugby champions' second straight win after losing their opening two games to get their season back on track. Centre Tom Taylor proved the difference with a faultless six penalties and one conversion after both teams scored a try each.

RugbyU: Melbourne Rebels 19 Canterbury Crusaders 25

Result of a Super 15 match between the Melbourne Rebels and the Canterbury Crusaders in Melbourne on Friday: Melbourne Rebels (AUS) 19 Canterbury Crusaders (NZL) 25 (H-t: 9-12) Crusaders - Try: Ben Funnell. Conversion: Tom Taylor. Penalties: Taylor (6) Rebels - Try: Scott Fuglistaller. Conversion: Bryce Hegarty. Penalties: Jason Woodward (3), Hegarty Referee: James Leckie (AUS) afp

RugbyU: All Blacks skipper McCaw out for two months

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw could be sidelined for up to eight weeks with a broken thumb, Canterbury Crusaders' assistant coach Tabai Matson revealed Saturday. McCaw was injured during the first half of the Crusaders' 35-24 Super 15 loss to the Auckland Blues on Friday night and left the field at half-time. He now has the injured hand in a cast. The Crusaders have received medical advice that the 33-year-old McCaw is unlikely to be back in action until late April, well ahead of the June Test window when the All Blacks face England.

RugbyU: All Blacks skipper McCaw out for two months

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw could be sidelined for up to eight weeks with a broken thumb, Canterbury Crusaders' assistant coach Tabai Matson revealed Saturday. McCaw was injured during the first half of the Crusaders' 35-24 Super 15 loss to the Auckland Blues on Friday night and left the field at half-time. He now has the injured hand in a cast. The Crusaders have received medical advice that the 33-year-old McCaw is unlikely to be back in action until late April, well ahead of the June Test window when the All Blacks face England.

RugbyU: Auckland Blues 35 Canterbury Crusaders 24

Result of a Super 15 match between the Auckland Blues and Canterbury Crusaders at Eden Park on Friday: Auckland Blues (NZL) 35 Canterbury Crusaders (NZL) 24 (h-t: 15-17) Blues - Tries: Frank Halai, Tevita Li, George Moala, Jackson Willison. Conversions: Simon Hickey (3). Penalties: Hickey (3) Crusaders - Tries: Corey Flynn, Colin Slade, Ryan Crotty. Conversions: Tom Taylor (3). Penalty: Taylor Referee: Mike Fraser (NZL) afp

RugbyU: Red-hot Blues put Crusaders to the sword

The Auckland Blues staged a stunning comeback in a 35-24 win over the Canterbury Crusaders Friday, leaving the seven-time champions at the foot of the Super 15 ladder. The Blues looked down and out as they trailed 17-3 after 30 minutes but rattled the Crusaders with two tries either side of half-time to run away with the game and claim a bonus point. Both sides were desperate to make amends for disappointing losses in their opening games but Crusaders captain Kieran Read said his players failed to maintain their intensity after a good start.

RugbyU: Chiefs down Crusaders to open title defence

Reigning Super 15 champions the Waikato Chiefs made a stirring start to their title defence with an 18-10 win over New Zealand rivals the Canterbury Crusaders on Friday. The Chiefs, back-to-back winners in 2012 and 2013, produced a mighty defensive effort to hold out the late-surging Crusaders, with centre Robbie Fruean returning to torment his old club in Christchurch. Fruean, who left the Crusaders last season to undergo a heart operation, scored the opening try in the ninth minute and the Chiefs never relinquished the lead despite sustained pressure from the home team.
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