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Force complete Aussie sweep

SCOTT Staniforth and Cameron Shepherd scored second-half tries against their former team to lead the Western Force to a 15-14 win over the New South Wales Waratahs in Super 14 rugby yesterday.

Staniforth's 37th career try gave the Force a one-point lead which they held through the final 14 minutes.

Shepherd, also a former winger with the Waratahs, gathered in a chip kick in the 50th minute for his fourth try of the season and Wallaby flyhalf Matt Giteau converted which put the Force up 10-9.

That lead lasted only two minutes after Will Caldwell, who became the Waratahs' most-capped lock with 64 matches, scored an unconverted just minutes after coming out of the sin-bin.

The win completed an all-Australian sweep for the Force after earlier victories over the ACT Brumbies and Queensland Reds.

It was also the Force's first win over the Waratahs since joining Super rugby in 2006.

"It's a great milestone for the club," Force coach John Mitchell said.

In Brisbane, winger Henno Mentz scored two tries as South Africa's Lions beat the Queensland Reds 31-20 in a match between the also-rans in Super 14 rugby.

The Lions, on a three-match losing streak, and the Reds entered the match each with 2-6 records and sitting in 12th and 13th place, respectively, in the standings. The win moved the Lions to 19 points on the season, still nearly 10 points away from a potential playoff spot and with a half-dozen teams in between.

In Wellington, Ma'a Nonu scored two tries and flyhalf Willie Ripia kept a perfect kicking record as the Wellington Hurricanes beat the leaderless Stormers 34-11.

Ripia, starting in place of regular flyhalf Piri Weepu, kicked two penalties and the conversions of the Hurricanes' four tries to seal his team's sixth win from nine matches this season, keeping them in semifinal contention.

Lock Jeremy Thrush and winger Tamati Ellison scored first-half tries for the Hurricanes, who led 17-8 at halftime, while All Blacks center Nonu scored two brilliant second-half tries.


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