The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Sharks stumble as Super Rugby playoffs race takes a break for June tests

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand - The Sharks stumbled but held their place atop the championships table as Super Rugby headed into its month-long break for June tests, while the New South Wales Waratahs and Crusaders headed into the break with winning momentum.

South Africa's Sharks won three of four matches in Australia and New Zealand to firm their claim to a home semifinal, then fluffed an apparently simple home game against the 11th-placed Stormers, going down 21-19 to a late dropped goal.

The Waratahs swept past defending champions the Chiefs 33-17 to move into second, two points behind the Sharks, while the Crusaders beat the Western Force 30-7 to rise to third and to stay atop the New Zealand conference.

The Crusaders owed their win, partly, to two of the three penalty tries awarded in the weekend's 16th round.

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