Chiefs survive late withdrawals, red to beat Hurricanes
Cape Town - The Chiefs overcame three late withdrawals - and a red card - to beat the Hurricanes in their all-New Zealand Super Rugby clash in Hamilton on Friday.
As it happened: Chiefs v Hurricanes
The Chiefs won 28-24 after leading 21-0 at half-time.
The Chiefs, who rested a number of key players for the match, were hit by a triple dose of 11th-hour bad news, including the loss of skipper Charlie Ngatai and star Canadian lock Tyler Ardron.
They were further hampered when they were reduced to 14 men when Ngatai's replacement, Johnny Fa'auli, was shown a straight red card for a horror shoulder 'tackle' on Hurricanes centre Wes Goosen in the 62nd minute.
Nevertheless, the home side scored four tries through lock Brodie Retallick, who assumed captaincy duties in Ngatai's absence, scrumhalf Brad Weber, fullback Solomon Alaimalo and flank Mitch Karpik. Flyhalf Marty McKenzie was on target with all four conversions.
The Hurricanes replied with four tries by Goosen, No 8 Blade Thomson and replacements, prop Ben May and wing Julian Savea. Fullback Jordie Barrett added two conversions.
The Chiefs picked up four points for their victory, but it ultimately made no difference to their final position of third and fifth in the New Zealand Conference and Overall standings, respectively.
The Hurricanes picked up a single point for losing by seven or fewer points, but stayed second in the New Zealand Conference and fourth in the Overall log.
The two sides will do battle again in next weekend's quarter-finals, but his time at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, where the Chiefs are likely to be without the services of Fa'auli who is bound to be cited - and banned - from the clash.
The exact date and time for the match is yet to be confirmed.
15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Fa'auli, 11 Shaun Stevenson, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Jesse Parete, 7 Mitchell Karpik, 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick (captain), 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Liam Polwart, 1 Sam Prattley
Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Sefo Kautai, 19 Luke Jacobson, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Tiaan Falcon, 23 Alex Nankivell
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Wes Goosen, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith
Substitutes: 16 James O'Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Gareth Evans, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Julian Savea