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ADEN: Fighters loyal to the government gather at the site of a suicide car bombing in this southern city yesterday. — AP
ADEN: Fighters loyal to the government gather at the site of a suicide car bombing in this southern city yesterday. — AP

IS attack kills 71 in Yemen

AUCKLAND: Harry Plummer’s perfect goalkicking proved the difference as the Auckland Blues beat the Wellington Hurricanes 31-27 on Saturday to take over as Super Rugby competition leaders. A thrilling top-of-the-table match in Auckland was decided after the final hooter as the home side repelled waves of Hurricanes attacks. Reserve Blues scrum-half Sam Nock ripped the ball from lock Isaia Walker-Leawere to seal his side’s eighth successive win and propelled them two points ahead of their opponents on the standings.

Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu hoped his team could retain top spot through the remaining three rounds of the regular season. “Very big result, it was a Test match for us,” he said. “With a couple more games to go until the finals, it puts us in good stead. “Those are the games you want to be a part of. Very tough and a see-saw battle right down to the wire.” The Blues’ only loss this season under new coach Vern Cotter was a 29-21 setback in the third round against the Hurricanes in Wellington.

It was just the second defeat for the Hurricanes, who matched the Blues’ four tries but weren’t as accurate off the kicking tee as fly-half Plummer, who landed all five of his shots at goal. The ACT Brumbies remain third, four points behind the Hurricanes and one in front of the Waikato Chiefs, after beating the New South Wales Waratahs 29-21 in Sydney. In a match played in torrential rain, the Brumbies only confirmed their ninth win when reserve prop Sefo Kautai scored his team’s fourth try with two minutes remaining.

The Waratahs are still in 11th, with their two wins this season having both been secured against the Canterbury Crusaders. The Crusaders suffered another blow to their title defense, beaten 32-29 by the Otago Highlanders in Dunedin. The 13-time champions outscored the home side by four tries to two but paid for their lack of discipline, with Highlanders five-eighth Cam Millar landing six penalties in a 22-point haul. It ended a 19-match losing streak for the Highlanders against other New Zealand teams, leaving them seventh while the Crusaders are 10th. — AFP

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