Classy Chiefs beat 14-man Blues
Cape Town - The Chiefs laid out their title credentials with a resounding victory over a 14-man Blues side in their Vodacom Super Rugby clash in Waikato on Friday.
As it happened: Chiefs v Blues
The Chiefs won 41-26 after leading 22-9 at half-time.
The Chiefs scored six tries through flanks Liam Messam and Lachlan Boshier, fullback Damian McKenzie, hooker Hika Elliot, wing James Lowe and centre Anton Lienert-Brown. Flyhalf Aaron Cruden added four conversions and a penalty.
The Blues, who were reduced to 14 men when flank Steven Luatua was shown a straight red card for a high tackle off the ball shortly before the half-time whistle, replied with four tries of their own through lock replacement lock Patrick Tuipulotu, prop Charlie Faumuina and replacement back Rene Ranger.
Blues pivot Ihaia West landed a conversions and three penalties.
The Chiefs picked up a full-house of five points for their victory and moved atop both the New Zealand Conference and the Australasian Group.
The Blues left empty-handed, despite a gallant second half display.
In next weekend's Week 3 action, the Chiefs host the Hurricanes in Waikato (Friday, March 10 at 08:35 SA time), while the Blues welcome the Highlanders to Eden Park in Auckland (Saturday, March 11 at 08:35 SA time).
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Kane Hames
Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, 18 Atu Moli, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Tom Sanders, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Toni Pulu, 23 Shaun Stevenson
15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 4 Jimmy Tupou (captain), 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 Matt Moulds, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Substitutes: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Jerome Kaino, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 George Moala, 23 Rene Ranger