ACT, NSW regain pride, Qld last - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

ACT, NSW regain pride, Qld last

By Melissa Woods 06/04/2003 09:46:44 PM Comments (0)

The ACT Brumbies and NSW Waratahs regained some Australian rugby pride with wins over the Chiefs and Crusaders this weekend however Queensland's slim hopes of a Super 12 semifinal appearance were crushed by the Hurricanes.

NSW ended Australian rugby's longest ever Super 12 drought against New Zealand opposition - stretching nine games and almost 11 months - with a last-ditch 34-31 win over the Crusaders.

The Brumbies backed up that on Sunday as they cruised to a 55-31 win over the Chiefs in Canberra with winger Andrew Walker grabbing a hat-trick of tries.

However, neither Australian side was able to break into the Super 12 top four, still filled by New Zealand sides.

Despite their first loss of the season, 22-11, to the third-placed Highlanders, the Blues lead the charge ahead of the Hurricanes, with the Crusaders edging the fifth-placed Waratahs on points differential.

Last round's win over the Waratahs failed to kick-start the Reds' season as they fell to the Tana Umaga-inspired Hurricanes 26-23 at Ballymore on Friday night.

The All Blacks centre rallied his troops as Queensland threw everything at the Wellington side, knocking back three shots at a penalty goal as the clock wound down in a desperate bid to secure a win.

"Sure a draw would have been better than a loss but we knew we needed a win," Reds winger Wendell Sailor said.

"We knew a draw wouldn't be good enough if we wanted to go on to make the finals so we put all our eggs in one basket because we were confident we could score a try."

Queensland's task of beating the second-placed Hurricanes became an uphill battle after chief attacking weapon Chris Latham left the field 15 minutes into the match after he suffered ankle ligament damage in a tackle.

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