1 Mar 2009

THree teams unbeaten after three rounds of Super 14

5:56 am on 1 March 2009

South African sides the Sharks and the Bulls have joined the waratahs as the only unbeaten teams after three rounds of rugby's Super 14 competition.

In Johannesburg the Bulls outmuscled neighbours the L:ions 16-9 to maintain their unbeaten record.

In Hamilton the Sharks were twice saved by the video referee in their 22-15 win over New Zealand's Waikato Chiefs at Hamilton on Saturday night.

The Sharks defended superbly in the last 10 minutes against a wave of Chiefs attacks but needed a slice of luck to remain unbeaten after three rounds.

Twice the Chiefs crossed the Sharks' line but on both occasions the television referee gave the benefit of the doubt to the defending team because replays were inconclusive.

The Chiefs also bombed a certain try in the first half when lock Kevin O'Neill dropped a cross-field kick from team mate Stephen Donald with the line wide open.

Meanwhile Cameron Shepherd scored a hat-trick of tries to help the Western Force pull off a surprise 25-16 win over the ACT Brumbies on Saturday night.

The Australian test fullback crossed once in the first half then twice more in the second as the Stormers took the spoils in the first Australian derby match of this season's Super 14.