Super Rugby has returned in all its glory in 2015 and here we review the 14th round of games, focusing on the New Zealand franchises with the upcoming British & Irish Lions tour in mind.
Two tries from All Black Ma’a Nonu helped the Hurricanes to a 22-18 Super Rugby victory over the Chiefs in Wellington on Saturday that all-but secured a play-off berth.
Nonu's second try came from an intercept and was his 50th try – the most by an active Super Rugby player – as the table toppers strengthened their position.
The victory moves the Hurricanes 13 points clear of the Chiefs who remain second in the New Zealand Conference.
The result also means that most likely the highest the Chiefs can finish at the end of the regular season is in fourth place, which means they will play an extra match if they qualify for the play offs.
Elsewhere the injury-hit Blues earned their third victory of the 2015 season by beating the Bulls 23-18 at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.
The victory is the Blues’ third in a row at Eden Park but it may have come at a cost as captain Steven Luatua was forced to leave the field on a stretcher with what looked to be a severe arm injury.
The Blues remain in 13th place overall but the Bulls’ losing bonus point moves them to the top of the South African Conference and into second place overall.
Meanwhile the Highlanders kept up their play-off push as they rounded up their South Africa tour with a seven-try win at the Cheetahs.
All Blacks scrum-half Aaron Smith crossed twice in the 45-24 victory that leaves them fifth in the overall standing, full-back Ben Smith capping the bonus-point win with their final try.
Elsewhere the Brumbies beat the Lions 30-20, the defending champion Waratahs beat the Sharks 33-18 and the Reds beat the Rebels 46-29. The Crusaders, Stormers and Force all had a bye week.
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