Super Rugby | Super 15 Rugby and Rugby Championship News,Results and Fixtures from Super XV Rugby

Chiefs extend winning streak over Blues

Shaun Stevenson scores a try for the Chiefs

The Chiefs came from behind to beat the Blues 29-23 with a bonus point in Hamilton and extend their winning streak over the Auckland side to ten straight wins.

The Chiefs victory is their fifth in a row against all teams and will keep them on top of the standings.

The Chiefs had to work for their victory and trailed by 10 points early in the second half but eventually went on to outscore the Blues by five tries to two so they get the try bonus point.

A penalty in extra time from Ihaia West regained the Blues the losing bonus point that had been taken away from them minutes earlier when Damian McKenzie converted Brodie Retallick’s 76th minute try.

The Blues have not won their last 12 matches away from home as their last away victory was in June 2014 when they beat the Force in Perth. They did however draw with the Reds in Round four this year.

While the Tana Umaga-coached Blues have been inconsistent this year, Chiefs skipper Sam Cane said they were always going to lift when facing their North Island rivals.

“If you read the paper you’d think we were going to blow them off the park but we know the history of these Chiefs-Blues clashes and they had a point to prove,” he said.

“We knew we’d have to grind it out.”

The Chiefs took an early lead when prop Mitchell Graham picked up Brad Weber’s speculative pass from the sideline and touched down.

Their second try came when Charlie Ngatai took off from deep in his own half after a line-out steal, dodging two defenders to set up a Shaun Stevenson try.

The Aucklanders created plenty of chances but let themselves down with poor discipline and handling errors, although two Ihaia West penalties meant the gap was only 10-6 at half-time.

Their execution improved with two tries just after the restart, the first a spectacular effort from Melani Nanai, who gathered a kick on half-way and zig-zagged through the Chiefs defence.

Reiko Ioane scored another two minutes later, bouncing off two tacklers to give the Blues a 20-10 lead.

But they could not hold on to the lead as Aaron Cruden clawed back a try for the Chiefs then set up another for Seta Tamanivalu to put them ahead 22-20.

It was desperate, end-to-end play in the final 10 minutes but Retallick sealed it when he broke free from a crush of bodies and stretched his lanky frame over the line.

Blues fly-half West then sent over a penalty with the last kick of the game to narrow the gap to less than seven points, earning Auckland a bonus point.

The Blues play the Sharks at Eden Park in Auckland next week while the Chiefs have a bye but return in Round 9 with a match against the Hurricanes.

Final Score Chiefs 29 (10) Blues 23 (6)

Scorers

Chiefs
Tries – M.Graham, S.Stevenson, A.Cruden,  S. Tamanivalu, B.Retallick
Pen –
Con – D.McKenzie 2
Drop –
Cards –

Blues
Tries – M. Nanai, R. Ioane
Pen – I.West 3
Con – I.West 2
Drop –
Cards –

Attendance : 20990

Match Officials
Referee: Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant Ref 1:Chris Pollock
Assistant Ref 2:Kane McBride
TMO : Shane McDermott

Teams

Chiefs

1. Mitchell Graham , 2. Hika Elliot, 3. Atu Moli , 4. Dominic Bird* 5. Brodie Retallick , 6. Maama Vaipulu , 7. Sam Cane (cc) 8. Michael Leitch , 9. Brad Weber, 10. Aaron Cruden (cc) 11. James Lowe , 12. Charlie Ngatai , 13. Anton Lienert-Brown , 14. Shaun Stevenson , 15. Damian McKenzie

Replacements : 16. Rhys Marshall, 17. Siate Tokolahi , 18. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi , 19. Taleni Seu, 20. Sam Henwood, 21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 22. Seta Tamanivalu , 23. Sam McNicol

*denotes Chiefs debut

Blues

Sam Prattley, James Parsons (c), Charlie Faumuina, Hoani Matenga, Josh Bekhuis, Joe Edwards, Blake Gibson, Steven Luatua; Bryn Hall, Ihaia West, Tevita Li, Piers Francis, Rene Ranger, Rieko Ioane, Melani Nanai.

Replacements: Quentin MacDonald, Namatahi Waa, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Akira Ioane, Kara Pryor; Billy Guyton, Matt McGahan, George Moala.