2 May 2010

Blues gone but Hurricanes still alive - somehow

9:09 am on 2 May 2010

The Cheetahs have dashed the Blues' Super 14 rugby finals hopes - but somehow the Hurricanes' playoff push remains alive.

The 36-32 victory in Bloemfontein was enough for the lowly South Africans to end the Auckland side's push for an unlikely semi-final place.

On Saturday night the Hurricanes came from behind to beat the Chiefs 33-27 in Wellington, with All Blacks prop Neemia Tialata sealing the vital bonus point for the Hurricanes with a try right on full-time.

Kicking again cost the Chiefs, with two of their four tries going unconverted and just one penalty slotted.

The Hurricanes are now seventh on 32 points, just behind the ACT Brumbies, a point behind the fifth-placed New South Wales Waratahs, and two behind the fourth-placed Queensland Reds.

The Brumbies remain in contention after running away with a 32-12 bonus point victory over the injury-hit Reds in Canberra to maintain their 15-year unbeaten run against the Queensland side.

The top of the table Bulls are virtually assured of a playoff spot after almost certainly eliminating the Sharks, winning the South African derby 27-19 in Pretoria.

In Perth the Western Force beat South Africa's Lions 33-12.