Cape Town - Aaron Cruden scored 13 points for
the Chiefs as they moved back to the top of the Super Rugby table with a
narrow 18-12 victory over the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
young flyhalf opened the scoring with a try midway through the first
half, while Augustine Pulu added a second on the final whistle with the
hosts paying for their countless errors throughout the game.
the Sharks' points came via the boot of Patrick Lambie and even though
they picked up a consolation bonus point, they will rue missed chances
in their first match at home after a tour of Australasia.
They had all the territorial advantage early on but were kept out by some steely Chiefs defence.
It took 12 minutes for the tourists to mount their first real attack, with Tawera Kerr-Barlow bursting through the middle.
After the ball was off-loaded to Asaeli Tikoirotuma on the left, however, the winger lacked support and eventually knocked on.
was the start of a dominant period for the visitors and they made it
count with a 19th minute opener from Cruden, who ran straight through a
gap in defence after good phase play from his teammates.
Chiefs number 10 comfortably converted, before adding another three
points on the half-hour mark when Charl McLeod was caught offside.
The mistakes continued from the hosts, much to the frustration of coach John Plumtree.
they finally had their first points in the final minute of the opening
half when Lambie slotted over a penalty, awarded when Kerr-Barlow was
penalised for playing the ball on the ground.
It was 10-3 at the
break and straight after the restart the young Sharks flyhalf sent over
another three points when Sonny Bill Williams failed to release in the
The Chiefs forwards were then penalised for collapsing
the scrum, giving Lambie another shot at goal which he happily accepted,
as the gap was reduced to one point.
However, Keegan Daniel
failed to roll away from a ruck quickly enough, allowing the Chiefs
another shot at goal that was sent over by Cruden.
battle continued when Lambie slotted over three more points for the home
side, but he then missed a 50-metre penalty that would have put his
team in front with 10 minutes remaining.
Both Lambie and Cruden
missed penalties in the final 10 minutes, before Pulu sold a dummy and
ran along the right touchline to score in the final phase of the game.Teams:Sharks:
15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11
Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel
(captain), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven
Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Dale Chadwick
16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 19 Jean
Deysel, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Frederic Michalak, 22 Meyer BosmanChiefs:
15 Andrew Horrell, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Sonny Bill
Williams, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8
Alex Bradley, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig
Clarke (captain), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Arizona Taumalolo
Substitutes: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Josh Hohneck, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Tanerau
Latimer, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Jackson Willison, 22 Robbie Robinson