Chiefs beat Highlanders in Dunedin
Cape Town - The Chiefs relied on tigerish defence and two intercept tries to get their 2017 Vodacom Super Rugby campaign off to a winning start against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday.
As it happened: Highlanders v Chiefs
The Chiefs won 24-15 after leading 14-9 at half-time.
The Chiefs scored two first half intercept tries through wing James Lowe and a third five-pointer by hooker Hika Elliot in the second half.
Flyhalf Aaron Cruden added all three conversions and a penalty.
The Highlanders replied with five Lima Sopoaga penalties.
The Chiefs, last season's beaten semi-finalists, picked up a full-house of five points for their victory, while the Highlanders left empty-handed.
In next weekend's Week 2 action, the Chiefs host the Blues in Waikato (Friday, March 3 at 08:35 SA time), while the Highlanders will look to bounce back when they host the Crusaders in Dunedin (Saturday, March 4 at 08:35 SA time)
15 Ben Smith (captain), 14
Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Tevita Li, 10
Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Gareth
Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1
Substitutes: 16 Adrian Smith, 17 Craig
Millar, 18 Guy Millar, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Kayne
Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes
Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny
Faauli, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8
Liam Messam, 7 Mitchell Karpik, 6 Taleni Seu, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4
Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Kane Hames
16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, 18 Atu Moli, 19
Mitchell Brown, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Tim
Nanai-Williams, 23 Shaun Stevenson