Kolbe makes another treble as Stormers thump Sunwolves

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Cheslin Kolbe scored a hat-trick for the second consecutive match as the Stormers stepped up preparations for their Super Rugby quarter-final with a 52-15 victory over the Sunwolves.

The Stormers are headed for a last-eight clash with a team from New Zealand in a fortnight's time and, with one game of the regular season to come before the play-offs, made it back-to-back wins for the first time since April.

Kolbe was the star of the show as the Stormers held off a Cheetahs fightback in Bloemfontein last time out and hogged the limelight once more, opening the scoring before touching down for two late tries.

Those scores in the dying embers of the match gave the result a more convincing gloss than perhaps the Stormers' performance merited in a scrappy encounter, but their eight-try haul will provide a timely confidence boost for the men from Cape Town.

The Stormers had already beaten the Bulls to top spot in the Africa One Conference and the Pretoria outfit were left stunned on Saturday when the Southern Kings snatched a last-minute 31-30 victory at Loftus Versfeld.

Kings fly-half Lionel Cronje fired over the winning penalty to cap a performance that saw him contribute 21 points to the cause.

The Kings - axed from next season's competition - had led 22-10 at the break, but allowed the Bulls back into the match in the second half before Cronje's pressure kick.

Earlier in the day, the Jaguares were 40-27 victors against the Waratahs on their first Super Rugby trip to Australia, outscoring their hosts by five tries to three.