10 May 2009

Bulls go top but it's NZ 2, 3 and 4

6:56 am on 10 May 2009

It's South Africa first and New Zealand second, third and fourth after the penultimate round of Super 14 rugby.

With just one round of matches left, the Bulls of South Africa are top with 42 points, followed by the Chiefs on 41, the Hurricanes with 39 and the Crusaders 37.

The Bulls beat the Cheetahs 29-20 in the all-South African match in Pretoria on Sunday morning to take the top spot, thanks to the home side's winger Bryan Habana, who scored an intercept try in the final moments to ensure the bonus point.

The Chiefs, who beat the Hurricanes 16-8 in Hamilton, are right on their heels with the two New Zealand sides still in contention rounding out the top four semi-final places.

But the ACT Brumbies have knocked the Blues out of play-off contention, coming from 10-6 down at half-time to win 37-15 in Canberra.

The Australian veteran Stirling Mortlock scored a try and kicked seven points to become the all-time highest Super rugby point scorer.

In Durban the New South Wales Waratahs kept their campaign alive with a crucial 16-12 win over the Sharks while in Cape Town, the Stormers ended the Western Force's title hopes with a 25-24 win.