Rugby Union: Brooke drives Auckland through
Sunday 04 May 1997
They had to dig deep to maintain their unbeaten run in this year's competition, though, coming from 15-7 down at half-time to win thanks to a burst of three tries in four minutes midway through the second half
The wing Jeremy Stanley and the All Black lock Robin Brooke ran in two tries each and the scrum-half Junior Tonu'u, the Fijian international Joeli Vidiri and Lee Stensness also crossed the line.
The victory was the eighth in nine outings for Auckland, who are now certain of a semi-final place. They are nine points clear of Wellington, who beat New South Wales 19-3, and the Australian Capital Territory, who had the weekend off.
Wellington's win in Napier was their sixth in nine games, and was straightforward from the third minute when the All Black full-back Christian Cullen ran in a spectacular try from 80 metres. The back-row forward Martin Leslie and wing Jason O'Halloran also scored tries while Cullen kicked two conversions. New South Wales' only points came from a penalty from their full-back Matthew Burke. The Waratahs have won only three of their nine Super 12 matches and this was the third time in a row in which they have failed to score a try.
Natal and the Gauteng Lions (formerly Transvaal) both suffered away defeats but one of the pair of South African teams is likely to take the fourth semi- final spot. Natal have 27 points from nine games and Gauteng 22.
Natal were appallingly error-prone in the 40-3 defeat at Ballymore which lifted Queensland off the bottom of the table. The South Africans actually took the lead in the 32nd minute through a Gavin Lawless penalty but were then powerless as Queensland moved into top gear. and ran in six tries without reply.
Gauteng fell to a 47-9 defeat by Waikato in Hamilton. The left-wing Caleb Ralph scored a pair of his team's five tries as the Chiefs dominated to score their first win for five games. Gauteng now have to beat Queensland and Natal in their final two games to stand any chance of a semi-final place. Ralph's scoring was backed up by tries from the No 8 Deon Muir and centre Scott McLeod, along with a penalty try.
Latest in Sport
Frank Lampard was RIGHT not to celebrate Manchester City's equaliser against Chelsea
All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Five reasons why Louis van Gaal is a worse Manchester United manager than David Moyes
Sam Wallace: Louis Van Gaal struggled at start of Bayern’s Double-winning season, but United’s problems run deeper and this league is less forgiving
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client in the Financial...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Year 5/6 Teachers needed in WinsfordWe...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: SENCO Greater Manchester
£85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...