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Super Rugby: Chiefs thwart late Hurricanes charge to secure away win
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The Chiefs resisted a late storm from the Hurricanes to seal a 17-12 victory and go top of the table in Wellington on Friday.
A try-less first period tested the nerve of Beauden Barrett and Aaron Cruden with seven penalty kicks exchanged.
Barrett opened the scoring for the hosts in the third minute before Cruden kicked two successful penalties in five minutes to take the Chiefs into the lead.
The Chiefs appeared to be in command and looked the most likely to score as Matt Vant Leven came close before he was tackled into touch just short of the line.
Scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow also almost crossed for the Chiefs but was thwarted illegally resulting in another penalty as Cruden gave the visitors a slender 12-9 lead at the interval.
However the decisive moment came early in the second half. A Hurricanes lapse at the line-out early allowed Brodie Retallick to get a hand on the ball before finding flanker Tanerau Latimer who charged over the line to register the only try of the match.
The Chiefs had opportunities to increase their advantage but Cruden faltered, missing the conversion and a later penalty.
Ben Tameifuna was shown a yellow card when he conceded a penalty ten minutes before time which allows Barrett to put the Hurricanes in touching distance.
Despite holding a numerical advantage the Hurricanes were unable to force their way through a resilient Chiefs defence.
Victory elevates the Chiefs to the head of the Super Rugby standings with the Brumbies set to face Waratahs on Saturday.