Chiefs too good for Cheetahs
Bloemfontein - Chiefs flyhalf Aaron Cruden notched 14 points as his side secured a thrilling 39-33 win over the Cheetahs in their Super Rugby match on Saturday.
The Chiefs scored five tries to collect a bonus point that moved the New Zealanders to the top of the table after eight rounds.
Prop Arizona Taumalolo bagged two tries while wing Lelia Masaga and centres Sonny Bill Williams and Richard Kahui picked up one apiece in a match that was in the balance until the last three minutes.
Replacement flyhalf Johan Goosen claimed 16 points for the Cheetahs in only 30 minutes on the field with a try, a conversion and three penalties.
He is the tournament's leading scorer this season on 127 points.
Earlier, Cheetahs starting flyhalf Sias Ebersohn slotted four penalties and replacement flank Ashley Johnson dived over for a try.
Taumalolo's first try in the 47th minute helped give the Chiefs a 17-9 advantage but their opponents quickly turned the game around to lead 22-17.
A second try by Taumalolo in the 57th minute put the Chiefs back in front before Goosen levelled matters at 25-25 with his second penalty.
Williams scored six minutes from time and Kahui crashed over three minutes later to seal the win.
Goosen then landed a 56-metre penalty on the final whistle to earn the South Africans a bonus point for losing by fewer than seven points.
The Chiefs picked up a full-house of five points for their victory and extended their lead atop the New Zealand Conference and moved to the top of the Combined standings, surpassing the Stormers.
The Cheetahs picked up a single point for losing by seven or fewer points, but stayed fourth and 11th in the South African Conference and Overall log respectively.
In next weekend's Round 9 action, the Chiefs travel to Durban to play the Sharks, while the Cheetahs have a bye.
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss (captain), 11 Willie Le Roux, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Philip Van der Walt, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 George Earle, 3 WP Nel, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen
Substitutes: 16 TBA, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Andries Ferreira, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Johan Goosen, 22 Philip Snyman
15 Andrew Horrell, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Tim Nanai-Williams, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Alex Bradley, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (captain), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Arizona Taumalolo
Substitutes: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Josh Hohneck, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 22 Robbie Robinson