Home team Away Team

Crusaders

  • Fruean,
    Penalty goals: Bleyendaal (4),
    Conversions: Bleyendaal,
19 - 24

Chiefs

  • Messam, Taumalolo,
    Penalty goals: Cruden (4),
    Conversions: Cruden,
  • Super Rugby
  • Overall Group
  • 9th Mar 2012
  • KO 06:35
  • Ground: AMI Stadium, Christchurch

Chiefs hold off Crusaders

Messam and Taumalolo both score to seal victory

By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC   Last updated: 9th March 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Chiefs hold off Crusaders

Luke Romano is brought down by Sonny Bill Williams

Related links

Teams

Also see

The Chiefs held on to clinch a nail-biting 24-19 victory over the Crusaders at McLean Park in Napier on Friday.

The Waikato franchise silenced criticisms over the strength of their pack as they took the fight to the seven-time champions.

However a lack of discipline allowed the Crusaders to remain in touch.

Liam Messam and Arizona Taumalolo both drove over for tries for the Chiefs, with 14 points coming from the misfiring boot of Aaron Cruden.

The Crusaders, though, responded with 14 points from rising star Tyler Bleyendaal - while a second-half try from Robbie Fruean made it interesting.

The Chiefs got off to the ideal start as Cruden slotted over a regulation penalty in just the second minute, with Bleyendaal missing a long-range effort to level matters.

Bleyendaal was successful with his second effort on 10 minutes - however the Chiefs should have pulled clear but Cruden failed with two relatively straight-forward shots at goal.

Rewarded

Cruden finally rewarded the Chiefs for their dominance during the opening period with a penalty, however the visitors deserved much more from all their efforts.

The Chiefs, though, finally crossed the whitewash when Messam powered over - with the TMO needing to verify the grounding. Cruden converted.

The Crusaders responded well and, after Andy Ellis had a try chalked off for offside, Bleyendaal cut the deficit with his second penalty of the game.

However, Cruden restored the 10-point cushion before the break with a penalty.

The second half saw the Crusaders come out all guns blazing - and they we rewarded with a try through Fruean, with the centre profiting after Kieran Read had barged through the Chiefs defence. Bleyendaal converted.

The Crusaders couldn't build on their onslaught and the Chiefs were able to reassert their dominance - with Taumalolo burrowing over from close range after a series of drives. Again the TMO was needed to spot the ball under the pile-up.

The boot of Bleyendaal, though, kept the home side in touch - with the fly-half punishing the indiscipline with two efforts to cut the lead to 21-19.

Cruden settled the Chiefs' nerves with a late penalty - and despite Read having half a chance to break their hearts, the visitors held on.

Super 15. Click here to bet.
Forthcoming Super Rugby Fixtures
TimeFixture
Super Rugby
Friday 13th February
Super Rugby
06:35Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels
08:40Brumbies vs Reds
17:10Lions vs Hurricanes
Saturday 14th February
06:35Blues vs Chiefs
15:05Sharks vs Cheetahs
17:05Bulls vs Stormers
Sunday 15th February
06:05Waratahs vs Western Force
Friday 20th February
06:35Chiefs vs Brumbies
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs
17:10Bulls vs Hurricanes
Saturday 21st February
06:35Highlanders vs Crusaders
08:40Reds vs Western Force
15:05Stormers vs Blues
17:10Sharks vs Lions
Friday 27th February
06:35Highlanders vs Reds
11:00Western Force vs Hurricanes
17:10Cheetahs vs Blues
Saturday 28th February
06:35Chiefs vs Crusaders
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies
15:05Bulls vs Sharks
17:10Lions vs Stormers
Friday 6th March
06:35Chiefs vs Highlanders
08:40Brumbies vs Western Force
Saturday 7th March
06:35Blues vs Lions
08:40Reds vs Waratahs

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com