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Chiefs rally late to outlast Lions

NEW Zealand's Waikato Chiefs scored 26 unanswered points in the last 20 minutes to come from behind and beat South Africa's Lions 36-29 in Hamilton yesterday.

Waikato winger Dwayne Sweeney completed a hat-trick of tries while replacements Jackson Willison and Hika Elliott also crossed as the in-form Chiefs collected maximum points after trailing for most of the Super 14 match.

"The Lions really got stuck into us in the first half but I'm proud of my boys for the way they came back," Chiefs captain Mils Muliaina said.

The Johannesburg-based Lions, who had won only two matches this season, looked to be on their way to a third victory after leading 22-10 at halftime at Hamilton.

Scrumhalf Jano Vermaak scored an early try and center Jaque Fourie crossed twice before the break to give the visitors a healthy lead at the break. They extended their advantage to 19 points early in the second term when substitute Earl Rose scored but failed to add to their total as the Chiefs stormed home.

In Sydney, New South Wales winger Lachlan Turner scored two tries from chip kicks to lead the Waratahs to a 12-6 win over the Stormers yesterday.

Turner completed a spectacular solo effort in the fifth minute when he beat two defenders then regathered his own kick to score next to the posts and give Daniel Halangahuna a simple conversion.

Turner, who also had a try disallowed because of a forward pass from Lote Tuqiri, scored a second touchdown four minutes from fulltime to seal victory for the Australians after winning the race to a kick from Kurtley Beale.

The Waratahs squandered four try-scoring opportunities and landed just one of six shots at goal but still managed to escape with the win to cement their place in the top four.

The South Africa-based Stormers were also left to rue their missed chances after they were restricted to two penalties, one in each half, to flyhalf Peter Grant as they suffered their fifth loss this season by less than seven points to slip to 10th place.


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