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