Chiefs beat Hurricanes to go top
Defending champions, the Chiefs have reclaimed top spot on the overall log after beating the Hurricanes 34-22 in Hamilton this morning.
The Chiefs started off the game slowly but took the lead in the 8th minute through a Cruden penalty. The Hurricanes hit back 6 minutes later with a Trush try that Barrett converted. The Chiefs regained the lead only minutes later with a converted try by Vant-Leven. A lead they would not give up again. After some good attack buy the Chiefs, Cruden set up the next try with a brilliant chip kick collected by Aki. After the conversion the Chiefs had a 17-7 lead. The Hurricanes fought back with a try and penalty by Barrett to -make the halftime score 17-15.
The second half belonged to the Chiefs as they ran in two tries and kicked a penalty. It did however take all of 24 minutes before Kerr-Barlow scored the first of these tries. It was a controversial one as the defenders were cleared out from the ruck allowing him to go over. The TMO however ruled in favour of the Chiefs and the try stood. Ten minutes later Tameifuna scored the bonus point try and the try that sealed it for the Chiefs. The Hurricanes did hit back with a consolation try with 4 minutes to go but by then the victory was sealed by the Chiefs.
Chiefs 34 – Tries: Matt Vant Leven, Bundee Aki, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Ben Tameifuna. Conversions: Aaron Cruden (4). Penalties: Cruden (2)
Hurricanes 22 – Tries: Jeremy Thrush, Beauden Barrett, Ben May. Conversions: Barrett (2). Penalty: Barrett.
Match Officials – Referee: Garratt Williamson. Assistant Referees: Nick Briant, Richard Kelly. TMO: Glenn Newman
Chiefs: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Matt Vant Leven, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (captain), 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu. Substitutes: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Ben Tameifuna, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Andrew Horrell, 22 Charlie Ngatai.
Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Reynold Lee-Lo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben May, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks. Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Reggie Goodes, 18 Mark Reddish, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Tusi Pisi, 22 Alapati Leiua