Chiefs edge Blues in NZ derby thriller
Cape Town - The Chiefs have extended their lead atop the Super Rugby standings with a hard-fought New Zealand Super Rugby derby win over the Blues in Waikato on Friday.
As it happened: Chiefs v Blues
The Chiefs won 29-23 after leading 10-6 at half-time.
The Chiefs scored five tries through prop Mitchell Graham, wing Shaun Stevenson, flyhalf Aaron Cruden, replacement back Seta Tamanivalu and lock Brodie Retallick. Fullback Damian McKenzie added two conversions in an otherwise off-night with the boot.
The Blues replied with tries by fullback Melani Nanai and wing Rieko Ioane. Flyhalf Ihaia West was on target with both conversions as well as three penalties.
The Chiefs picked up a full-house of five points for their victory and extended their lead the New Zealand and Australasian Conferences. The Blues picked up a single point for losing by seven or fewer points.
In next weekend's Round 8 action, the Chiefs have a bye while the Blues host the Sharks at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday, April 16 (09:35 kick-off).
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Brad Weber, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Maama Vaipulu, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Atu Moli, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Mitchell Graham
Substitutes: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Sam Henwood, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Seta Tamanivalu, 23 Sam McNicol
15 Melani Nanai, 14 Rieko Ioane, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Joe Edwards, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Hoani Matenga, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Sam Prattley
Substitutes: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Namatahi Waa, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Akira Ioane, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Matt McGahan, 23 George Moala