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CHIEFS 28 - 19 CRUSADERS
80 PENALTY, CHIEFS, CRUDEN 28-19. The Crusaders have been denied a bonus point as Cruden nails the penalty! And that's the match!
79 The Chiefs go backwards from the line-out but they still have possession and that's what matters. The Chiefs look to keep it tight but Cruden decides to go for the line and he's through! His pass doesn't go to hand but the Crusaders are really scrambling and they concede the penalty for going off their feet at the ruck. The Chiefs can make this safe now!
78 The ball is grubbered through from the scrum and the Crusaders are under big pressure and are forced to hack it away. The Chiefs spread it wide with Cruden putting another kick into space and the ball is out 10 from the Crusaders line. As much as the men in red want the ball, Taylor has to clear because his team are under so much pressure.
76 The Chiefs shuffle it wide but they're bundled into touch on the 10m line. It looks for a moment like Cruden may have got the ball back for the Chiefs as he flies loose but there was a Chiefs hand in the way. A bit sloppy here from the Crusaders but Marshall does well, running strongly as the visitors look to work their way towards halfway. A little jab kick through from Carter and it's collected by Guidlford but the winger loses it forward as he goes to ground and the Chiefs' defence is once again immense!
72 The Crusaders look to hit back but they don't get far and the ball is spilled. Chiefs scrum around the 'Saders 10m. There are a number of players down with cramp at the moment.
71 CONVERSION, CHIEFS, CRUDEN 25-19 Cruden adds the conversion.
71 TRY, CHIEFS, AKI, 23-19. They have the try this time! They go for the scrum and Masaga is brought in at an angle, a great run and it puts the Chiefs just short. No need for dummy runners this time as Bundee Aki dives over!
69 Superb stuff here as the Chiefs manage to get it against the put in at the scrum, they've barged the 'Saders off it! Amazing stuff! They move it wide and Charlie Ngatai cuts at an angle and dives over! Walsh goes to the TMO though, he's worried about potential obstruction and there is certainly something in it as Taylor was obstructed by a player who changed his line - no try says Ben Skeen! They come back for a penalty five out though.
66 A partial charge down from an Augustine Pulu kick works out well for the Chiefs as the ball spills loose and the hosts are on it! After so long in their on 22 the Chiefs are just out with Tikoirotuma 5 out. Robinson goes close two after Clarke hits it up. They're just out from the line but the ball is knocked on at the base of the ruck!
63 Replacements coming on for both sides now. Time for some fresh legs to make an impact. Superb take from Robinson! The full-back pockets an up and under and the Chiefs have it but a Crusaders hand knocks it on and we have a scrum.
61 Marshall tries to slip through as he's brought in at first receiver and he does really well, they're 10 out and with momentum. The ball is lost though! Cane - who is on as a replacement - snuffles it and the Chiefs clear!
59 Super stuff from Clarke as he steals the line-out and the Chiefs clear! Ellis brings it up and the Crusaders are perhaps lucky to hold onto the ball as it's deemed unplayable.
57 Tameifuna is penalised at the ensuing scrum and the Crusaders go for touch and the attacking line-out.
56 Dagg gets to stretch his legs in earnest for the first time and surges into opposition territory. It's really competitive at the ruck as the Crusaders have to work really hard to hold on to possession. They over run it though and it's into touch. The Chiefs take it quickly and Cruden chips over the top. The Crusaders find some space behind the defence and Read manages to collect. He's meters short of the line and is just short as he goes to ground and some gladiator-like defence from Bundee Aki as he somehow manages to get underneath the ball and hold it up! Heroic stuff.
53 PENALTY, CHIEFS, CRUDEN, 18-19. We're back to a one-point game!
53 The Chiefs want to drive it up from the line-out put they first go sideways and then backwards under big pressure. Kerr-Barlow does well to get it away in the end and they bash it up before Read is pinged at the ruck and the Chiefs have a penalty right in front.
51 A familiar story as the Chiefs look to run back from the clearance after the restart and they do so with some real purpose this time as Cruden breaks the line and sets them on their way. Read comes through from an offside position and the Chiefs have a penalty. Cruden sets up the line-out close in. A host of replacements come on for the Crusaders, reinforcements up front.
49 PENALTY, CRUSADERS, TAYLOR 19-15. The Crusaders try to maul it up but they're not having much luck but with the ball not coming out Tameifuna is penalised for not using his hands and the Crusaders have a penalty with a shot from Taylor 33m out, 15 in from the right wing touch. Beautiful kicking from Taylor.
46 The Crusaders clear the restart and the Chiefs look to build from within their own half. They work it into the 'Saders half before Cruden puts in a little grubber that is cleared by Dagg. Asaeli Tikoirotuma tries to run it back at them but the Crusaders steal the ball at the ruck and the ball is put into the 22 where Messam is forced to run it into touch 5 out from the line.
44 PENALTY, CRUSADERS, TAYLOR 16-15. Ben Tameifuna is really lucky not to be binned as he hit Crotty late but with no arms. Strange decision. Moving on... Taylor makes no mistake with the penalty from 45 out and the Crusaders are out in front once more.
43 Cruden wriggles his way through a few tackles before handing it off to Robinson as the Chiefs look to start the second period strongly. Some great counter rucking from Romano sees the Crusaders get it back. Taylor tries to squeeze through a whole but it quickly closes on him. The ball goes wide and out into touch but referee Walsh is asking the TMO about something, it seems like there may have been a late tackle earlier in the move.
We are back Dan Carter gets the second half back underway!
CHIEFS 15 - 13 CRUSADERS. It's being a hard-fought battle as was predicted but it's the Chiefs who are shading it despite having less possession. They're really putting pressure on the Crusaders kickers and it's paying dividends with two tries resulting from charge downs.
40 Cruden can't extend the lead from out wide and that brings the half to a close.
40 Great work from Robinson as he breaks through the line and looks to spread it wide but his pass doesn't go to hand. It's way forward but none of the officials seem to notice. The Crusaders gather and try to run it out but they're penalsied for holding on out wide and the Chiefs have a penalty.
38 PENALTY, CRUSADERS, TAYLOR 13-15. The centre adds three more.
37 The ball goes over the top at the line-out and it comes off Messam's shoulder and is deemed to be a knock forward. Robinson does well initially to gather the clearance and he beats one man before being tackled into touch. He knocked it on as he tried to pass it inside though. The Crusaders use Marshall as first receiver and it works a charm as he breaks the line before passing it off to Taylor. The Chiefs are penalised for playing the half-back without the ball and the Crusaders have a shot right in front.
33 Cruden goes long and Marshall collects before firing it down to Robinson inside the 22. The full-back slices his kicking into touch and doesn't get out of his half. Great work on defence from the Chiefs as they come up quickly and with purpose and force the Crusaders into coming in from the side. Chiefs line-out just outside the 22.
32 Again the Crusaders go short from the restart and this time George Whitelock manages to get his hands on it. They move it wide and Read makes some ground initially before being bundled into touch.
31 TRY, CHIEFS, CLARKE 15-10. Another charge down and it's another try! Marshall is the man who can't get his kick away this time as he tries to go too low and with Clarke running a good angle to the right of the kicker the skipper is able to get his hands to it and follows up to dive on the loose ball in the in-goal area. Cruden can't convert.
29 Again a lot of pressure on Carter but he clears. Osborne comes strongly back at them and Romano stifles a promising attack as he's in the right place to grab a loose pass. Another little kicking battle and again it's the Chiefs who come out on top as they find touch 5 out from the Crusaders line.
27 George Whitelock knocks on at the restart after making good ground to get to it and the Chiefs have a scrum. The scrum goes down and no real surprise that referee Walsh wants to have a chat with Crockett and Tameifuna and tells them just to stick to the letter of the law. It's a strong scrum from the men in red but the Chiefs clear. It comes right back to them and after a brief attack Cruden hammers it back to Dagg. A little kicking duel breaks out and it's Robinson who brings an end to the little game of chess with Robinson finding some space behind the defence and the Crusaders have a line-out just outside their 22.
23 PENALTY, CHIEFS, CRUDEN, 10-10. A great scrum from the Chiefs and they have the penalty with Wyatt Crockett the man who is penalised for popping up. Cruden makes no mistake with the penalty.
22 Carter gets his kick away this time but doesn't find touch and Robinson runs it back at the Crusaders. The Chiefs build it right up until just short of the 22 before the ball gets caught up in the ruck and Steve Walsh gives the Crusaders the scrum feed.
20 CONVERSION, CRUSADERS, TAYLOR 10-7. Taylor adds the extras.
19 TRY, CRUSADERS, TODD, 8-7. Interesting decision as they don't go for posts but rather set up a line-out 5 out from the line. It's tipped down to Ellis who works it out to Carter who hits through the line. Read has a go for the line and is just short. Todd is the next to pick and go and with some help from Nepo Laulala the flank is over for the try!
17 An uneventful scrum for once as Matt Vant Leven picks up at the back and hands it to Tawera Kerr-Barlow, who kicks it straight into touch. Poor from the scrummie. The Crusaders bring the ball up with great purpose as they work the ball from side to side really well. Zac Guidlford makes a half break and hands it off to Dagg. The Chiefs are pinged for illegal entry and the Crusaders have a penalty inside the Chiefs' 22.
14 Carter goes for the short restart down the middle - there was space to be found - but it doesn't go the ten and they're back on halfway for a scrum.
13 CONVERSION, CHIEFS, CRUDEN 7-3. Cruden converts his own try without any trouble.
12 TRY, CHIEFS, CRUDEN, 5-3. The Chiefs make a mess of the line-out and Carter looks to clear with his left boot but Cruden is right up on him and charges it down. The number ten is able to gather and dives over under the posts!
11 The Chiefs are wearing a special jersey for a charitable cause, it's got grey where there would usually be white, but Tanerau Latimer has ruined his with a bit of blood and he heads to the blood bin to be attended to with Sam Cane making his way onto the park. Another penalty at the scrum, this time it's George Whitelock who is the culprit with the flanker ruled to have broken early from the scrum. Cruden finds touch on the 'Saders 10m.
10 Whitelock takes and they look to drive it up but the Chiefs come through the middle and snaffle it. The Crusaders do well to hold onto the ball but as they bash up towards the line a Chiefs player gets his hands on it and it's cleared to Dagg who after some confusion with Marshall brings it forward. A handling error from Ellis on the 10 metre line brings a halt to play.
9 The Crusaders clear from the restart and Cruden puts in a big up and under that falls kindly for Luke Romano. It's loose from the visitors though and the Chiefs have their first chance to attack. It doesn't last long as the ball is knocked on as Messam picks and goes and the Crusaders get it back. The Chiefs are pinged at ruck time for offside and Carter sets up a line-out 10 out from the Chiefs line, a great kick, he was right on the touchline.
6 PENALTY, CRUSADERS, TAYLOR, 3-0. From 45 metres out and five out from the touchline Tom Taylor makes no mistake, drilling it through the middle.
5 This time it's the Crusaders who get the call in their favour this time as Walsh penalises Tameifuna for scrumming in at an angle.
4 An early error as the Chiefs are forced into a forward pass from the line-out and the Crusaders have a scrum. The 'Saders front row is very different to the one we're used to seeing - how will they fair? They engage early first up and the Chiefs get a free kick and call for another scrum.
2 Cruden kicks off and it's Sam Whitelock who collects. Tom Marshall immediately find a touch of space on the far touchline before bring it back infield where Carter clears. The Chiefs bring it back to halfway and Charlie Ngatai puts a little dab in behind the Crusaders where Marshall covers. Robbie Robinson and Carter exchange kicks and we have our first line-out to the Chiefs on their 10m line.
Ready to go The players are out in the middle and we're ready to get underway in front of a huge crowd.
Weather Conditions couldn't be better for this clash, with not a breath of air about.
Man in the middle Steve Walsh is the man in charge of this fixture. While the Kiwi-turned-Australian is often the centre of attention, it's perhaps TMO Ben Skeen that all eyes will be on given recent controversies with the men upstairs.
Head to head One of the most intriguing battles likely to be on offer at the Waikato Stadium is that between the two fly-halves, the Chiefs' Aaron Cruden and Dan Carter of the Crusaders. Both are All Blacks and if rumours are to be believed they could be playing side by side come the international break, with Carter slated as a possible number 12 due to the shortage of quality in the All Black midfield.
Team news Chiefs boss Dave Rennie has made two changes for this encounter, one of which is injury-enforced. Prop Ben Afeaki has been laid low by a calf strain and Ben Tameifuna comes into the starting line-up as a result. Out on the wing, Lelia Masaga is relegated to the bench with Patrick Osborne handed the number 14 jersey.
Team news The Crusaders were dealt a blow in the build-up to the match as star prop Owen Franks was ruled out by a hamstring strain on Thursday. Todd Blackadder has made two additional changes, the first of which sees Israel Dagg replace Robbie Fruean. Dagg slots in at full-back and this results in a rejig of the backline, with Tom Taylor moving to inside centre while Ryan Crotty shifts one over to wear the number 13 jersey. Among the forwards, hooker Codie Taylor gets a rare run due to an injury to regular hooker Corey Flynn. Ben Funnell, the man who replaced Flynn last time out, is bracketed on the bench as he's struggling with a knee injury.
Where we stand The Chiefs currently top the table with 48 points, six clear of the Crusaders who currently sit in fifth spot, the second play-off berth.
Last time out These two giants haven't done battle yet in this year's edition of the tournament but in 2012 the honours were split, with the Chiefs winning 24-19 in Napier in Round 3 and the Crusaders coming out on top 28-21 in Round 17.
Welcome Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the enticing Super Rugby clash between the Chiefs and the Crusaders in Hamilton.
|Friday 18th April|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Leicester|
|Saturday 19th April|
|15:00||Bath vs Worcester|
|15:00||Exeter vs Sale|
|15:15||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 20th April|
|14:00||Northampton vs London Irish|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Saracens|
|Saturday 3rd May|
|15:00||Bath vs Northampton|
|15:00||Saracens vs Worcester|
|15:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Sale vs Leicester|
|15:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|Saturday 10th May|
|15:15||Newcastle vs Exeter|
|15:15||Leicester vs Saracens|
|15:15||Northampton vs Wasps|
|15:15||Worcester vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Harlequins vs Bath|
|15:15||London Irish vs Sale|
|Sunday 13th April|
|London Irish 40 - 12 Newcastle|
|Saracens 28 - 24 Northampton|
|Saturday 12th April|
|Gloucester 17 - 18 Bath|
|Worcester 33 - 38 Exeter|
|Leicester 27 - 15 Wasps|
|Friday 11th April|
|Sale Sharks 12 - 27 Harlequins|
|Sunday 30th March|
|Newcastle 12 - 17 Worcester|
|Saturday 29th March|
|Northampton 16 - 22 Leicester|
|Wasps 20 - 32 Saracens|
|Exeter 13 - 14 Gloucester|
|Harlequins 23 - 9 London Irish|
|Friday 28th March|
|Bath 11 - 12 Sale Sharks|
|Sunday 23rd March|
|Leicester 45 - 15 Exeter|
|Saturday 22nd March|
|London Irish 23 - 44 Bath|
|Saracens 39 - 17 Harlequins|
|Gloucester 40 - 33 Newcastle|
|Sale Sharks 19 - 6 Northampton|
|Friday 21st March|
|Worcester 11 - 13 Wasps|
|Sunday 2nd March|
|Newcastle 18 - 41 Leicester|
|Saturday 1st March|
|Northampton 39 - 13 Gloucester|
|Exeter 18 - 0 London Irish|
|Harlequins 21 - 20 Worcester|
|Wasps 17 - 21 Sale Sharks|
|Friday 28th February|
|Bath 10 - 23 Saracens|
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