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Super Rugby Review: Round 12

Super Rugby Review: Round 12

Super Rugby has returned in all its glory in 2015 and here we review the 12th round of games, focusing on the New Zealand franchises with the upcoming British & Irish Lions tour in mind.

Super Rugby has returned in all its glory in 2015 and here we review the 12th round of games, focusing on the New Zealand franchises with the upcoming British & Irish Lions tour in mind.

The Hurricanes stretched their lead at the top of the New Zealand conference with a bonus-point win over the Crusaders that was only marred by a knee injury to fly-half Beauden Barrett.

The 23-year-old injured his knee during the 29-23 win on Saturday and won't know the extent of the damage until Tuesday .

The first five-eighth's injury concern was the only downside for coach Chris Boyd after his team's bonus-point win extended their lead at the top of the Super Rugby ladder.

The Hurricanes, with nine wins from ten matches, are within touching distance of a playoff berth as their four tries came from Brad Shields, Reggie Goodes, Blade Thomson and Barrett.

Dan Carter and Colin Slade both crossed for the Crusaders who are in real danger of the missing the Super Rugby play-offs this season for the first time since 2001.

The Canes win stretched their lead atop the Kiwi standings to five points after the Chiefs slipped to a narrow 16-15 defeat to the Melbourne Rebels.

Charlie Ngatai and Michael Leitch both went over for the two-time champions but the Rebels held on to claim their first-ever win over the Chiefs in Super Rugby.

Elsewhere the Highlanders continue to impress, running riot in a 48-15 victory over the Sharks in Dunedin.

This season’s top try scorer Waisake Naholo crossed again, as did All Blacks scrum-half Aaron Smith, in a seven-try battering dished out to the struggling South African side. 

The Blues have confirmed the loss of All Blacks stars Jerome Kaino and Charles Piutau for the remainder of the Super Rugby season.

Both were badly injured in last weekend's bonus point 41-24 win over the Western Force.

The struggling franchise released a medical bulletin on Monday that read bad news for their revival hopes and sounded alarm bells for the All Blacks.

Rugged loose forward and captain Kaino has a compound dislocation of his ring finger and will be out of action for about eight weeks, while exciting full-back Piutau has a grade two MCL tear to his knee which will sideline him for about six weeks.

Elsewhere defending champions the Waratahs stayed in contention with a narrow 13-10 win over the Brumbies, the Bulls edged out the Lions in a 35-33 classic and the Stormers beat the Cheetahs 25-17. 

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