Dennis injury mars win for the Waratahs

RUGBY UNION: A 39-8 win against the injury-ravaged Brumbies has secured the Australian conference and a place in the Super Rugby playoffs for the Waratahs with two rounds left.

But the victory, which lifted the team above the Sharks to top place on the standings, has come at a cost with scans yesterday confirming skipper Dave Dennis (pictured) would need surgery this week after rupturing the ACL in his left knee. Michael Hooper will lead the side for the remainder of the season.

The Tahs have now won their past five matches and have games against the Highlanders (home) and Crusaders (away) prior to the playoffs.

The Brumbies, who have a bye next week, are clinging on to sixth place but can be displaced by the Western Force (seventh).

The Force missed a great chance to move into the top six after a disappointing 40-14 loss to the Blues in Perth on Saturday night.

Three New Zealand sides were in the top six after the weekend's games, with the Crusaders (3rd), Highlanders (4th) and Hurricanes (5th) all well on track to play finals footy. Two-time defending champions the Chiefs look set to miss out, however after losing 29-25 to the Highlanders in Dunedin.

RESULTS

HIGHLANDERS 29 (P Osborne, B Smith tries; L Sopoaga 4 pens, 2 cons; H Parker pen) CHIEFS 25 (D Sweeney, T Nanai-Williams, J Hohneck tries; A Cruden pen, 2 cons; G Anscombe pen) in Dunedin on Friday night

REDS 36 (L Turner 2, N Frisby 2, M Harris, R Davies tries; M Harris 3 cons) REBELS 20 (L Burgess, B Hegarty, M Inman tries; J Woodward pen, con) in Melbourne on Friday night

HURRICANES 16 (B Thomson 2 tries; B Barrett 2 pens) b CRUSADERS 9 (C Slade 3 pens) in Wellington on Saturday night

WARATAHS: 39 (A Alofa 2, B Robinson, B Foley, W Palu tries; B Foley pen, 4 con; K Beale pen) BRUMBIES 8 (J Mogg try, C Lealiifano pen) in Sydney on Saturday night

BLUES 40 (I West, C Faumuina, L Visinia, M Nonu, L Braid, P Ahki tries; I West 5 cons) FORCE 14 (N Charles, B Stander tries; J Hayward 2 cons) in Perth on Saturday night



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