Super Rugby: Defending champions the Chiefs clinch timely win over the Hurricanes
Last Updated: 04/07/14 10:30am
The Chiefs kept their slim hopes of defending their title alive with a 24-16 win over the Hurricanes.
The victory means that Dave Rennie’s side now lie just outside the wildcard playoff positions, with the Blues to play in their final game of the regular season.
For the Hurricanes, it is a case of waiting and hoping. They are a point ahead of the Chiefs and the Brumbies in fifth but they have now completed their fixtures. And with the Force, Blues and Bulls still in the mix of qualifying they are in danger of missing out.
Jamie Mackintosh and Brodie Retallick scored tries for the Chiefs, while Aaron Cruden added 14 points with the boot.
Beauden Barrett landed 11 points in reply for the Hurricanes, while Hadleigh Parkes scored their only try.
The Chiefs had the better of the opening exchanges but they struggled to break down the Hurricanes defence.
Cruden finally opened their account with a penalty, only for Barrett to reply with a three-pointer of his own.
The Chiefs, though, were rewarded for their efforts when Mackintosh powered over from close range. Cruden’s conversion made it 10-3 only for Barrett to peg them back with another penalty.
Cruden, though, landed two late penalties to give the hosts a comfortable lead at the break.
Barrett got the Hurricanes up and running after the interval with his third penalty but he fell short in his bid to cut the deficit further.
The Chiefs were enjoying the greater territory and possession and although they lacked that cutting edge in the final third, they were able to move 10 points clear with another Cruden penalty.
But New Zealand lock Retallick made the game safe when he managed to get the ball down following a strong run down the flank – with Cruden’s break creating the initial opening.
The Hurricanes gave themselves hope when Parkes spun out of a tackle and just managed to get the ball down. Barrett converted.
However the Chiefs never looked like giving up their lead and both sides will now have an eye on the weekend’s results.