Friday's Super Rugby Wrap: Wins for Chiefs and Reds
Last Updated: 02/03/18 12:00pm
The Chiefs extended their dominance over the Blues and the Reds saw off the Brumbies in Friday's Super Rugby games.
BLUES 21- 27 CHIEFS
The victory took the Chiefs' unbeaten run against their New Zealand rivals to 13 matches, a record between two teams in the southern hemisphere competition.
The sequence includes 12 wins and one draw, with the Blues last tasting victory in the North Island derby in March 2011.
It was a particularly painful loss for coach Tana Umaga's side, who led 14-5 midway through the first half and faced a Chiefs outfit weakened by 17 injuries.
The Chiefs were forced to make some last-minute changes when when full-back Shaun Stevenson and All Black lock Brodie Rettallick were ruled out just before kick-off.
Coach Colin Cooper had to reshuffle both his backline and his forward pack, leaving the Chiefs looking disjointed early in the match.
The Blues capitalised when Pulu crossed for a converted try in the eighth minute after being set up by a one-handed pass from hooker Jamie Parsons.
The Chiefs hit back with a Taleni Seu five-pointer but had to absorb sustained Blues pressure, which paid off when Akira Ioane brushed off Damien McKenzie's tackle to score his third try of the season.
Defensive errors gifted the Chiefs a second try through Sean Wainui, narrowing the Blues' lead to 14-10 at half-time.
The Chiefs then stunned the Blues with two tries in two minutes shortly after the restart to take the lead for the first time.
Sam Cane dotted down for the first from a line-out drive and Brad Weber scooted down the wing for the second, with a penalty increasing the lead to 27-14.
The Blues of previous years would have folded but fly-half Bryn Gatland, son of Wales coach Warren, scored a converted try to make it 27-21.
The Aucklanders laid siege to the Chiefs' half and had a line-out after the siren but blew the opportunity by not throwing the ball in straight.
REDS 18-10 BRUMBIES
The Reds downed the Brumbies 18-10 to overcame a horror opening to the new season, with captain Scott Higginbotham and lock Lukhan Tui both suspended in the aftermath of last week's ill-disciplined loss to the Melbourne Rebels.
It was former All Blacks forward Brad Thorn's first win as Reds coach as his young side ground their way to victory with all their points coming from penalty goals.
The Brumbies, last season's Australian conference champions, scored tries through Joe Powell and Isi Naisarani, but the Reds got home through three penalties each by James Tuttle and Jono Lance.
"I thought our set-piece did exceptionally well tonight," Reds skipper James Slipper said.
"We knew we were up against a team that love their set-piece and to go well against them was very pleasing, especially our bench.
"Our young players don't lack any confidence and they did a really good job."
The Reds again were reduced to 14 men after Caleb Timu was yellow-carded for a no-arms tackle on Tom Banks just before half-time.
But the home side came through it unscathed on the back of a performance built on ferocious defence and a strong set-piece showing.