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Chiefs book home Super Rugby Semi-final

Tryscorer Bundee Aki tackles Charles Piatau

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Article Published: Saturday 13 July 2013






The Chiefs ensured that they will host a home Super Rugby Sem-final by beating a 14-man Blues team 16-26 at Eden Park in Auckland.

The result means that the Chiefs will finish as one of the top two teams in the final Super Rugby standings so they get next weekend off.

The Chiefs took five points in the standings from the match and move provisionally into first place above the Bulls who could overtake them if they beat the Stormers later in the round.

The victory is the Chiefs fifth straight victory over the Blues who have not beaten the Waikato side since March 2011.

The loss for the Blues is their sixth consecutive loss against all teams.

The turning point in the match came in the 23rd minute when Kane Barrett was shown a red card for stamping on a Chiefs players head. However the card appeared to galvanise the Blues who went to take the lead and hold it for some time in the match.

While it was the result the Chiefs wanted, bouncing back after their 15-43 defeat to the Crusaders last week, they will be disappointed with the way they were made to struggle against an understrength Blues.

As if the long flight home from South Africa during the week was not enough of a handicap for the Aucklanders, they were further hamstrung by Barrett's red card when they were trailing 3-8.

With their season already over, the Blues could have given up when their blindside flanker was dismissed for stomping.

Instead, they raised their passion and increased the pressure on the New Zealand Conference winners with a try by Charles Piutau to regain the lead 10-8.

With nothing but pride to play for, and to send captain Ali Williams off on a high note in his final game in New Zealand before heading to France to play for Toulon, the Blues ruffled the Chiefs with their intense pressure.

By half-time it was 13-13 after Hika Elliot scored the Chiefs' second try, following an early touchdown by Bundee Aki and Baden Kerr landed his second penalty for the Blues.

The Blues struck first in the second half with a third penalty from Kerr to open a 16-13 lead.

However, minutes later the fly-half went from hero to villain, yellow-carded for deliberately knocking the ball down, and the Chiefs made the most of their two-man advantage to hit the front again with a try by Ben Tameifuna.

Although the Chiefs enjoyed an overwhelming territory and possession advantage they let themselves down with frequent errors and were only able to score one more try when Tameifuna crashed over for his second after the Blues lost a defensive lineout.

The Chiefs were also not helped on the scoreboard by Aaron Cruden missing all four conversion attempts.

A Gareth Anscombe penalty on the stroke of full-time concluded their scoring and ensured the Chiefs will have a week off before their semi-final match.

Final Score Blues 16 (13) Chiefs 26 (13)

Scorers

Blues
Tries - C.Piutau
Pen - B.Kerr 3
Con -B.Kerr
Drop -
Cards - K.Barrett (23rd min Red), B.Kerr (46th min yellow)

Chiefs
Tries - B.Aki, H.Elliot, B.Tameifuna 2
Pen - A.Cruden. G.Anscombe
Con -
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee:
Chris Pollock
Assistant Ref 1:Jonathon White
Assistant Ref 2:Garratt Williamson
TMO : Glenn Newman

Teams

Blues

15. Charles Piutau,14. Frank Halai,13. Rene Ranger,12. Francis Saili,11. Lolagi Visinia,10. Baden Kerr,9. Piri Weepu,8. Peter Saili / Brendon O'Connor,7. Luke Braid,6. Kane Barrett,5. Ali Williams,4. Anthony Boric,3. Angus Ta'avao,2. Keven Mealamu,1. Sam Prattley,

Replacements : 16. James Parsons,17. Ofa Tu'ungafasi,18. Liaki Moli,19. Brendon O'Connor / Sean Polwart,20. Jamison Gibson-Park,21. Jackson Willison,22. Marty McKenzie

Chiefs

1.Toby Smith , 2.Hika Elliot , 3.Ben Tameifuna , 4.Craig Clarke (c) , 5.Brodie Retallick , 6.Liam Messam , 7.Tanerau Latimer , 8.Matt Vant Leven , 9.Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10.Aaron Cruden , 11.Robbie Robinson , 12.Bundee Aki , 13.Tim Nanai-Williams , 14.Lelia Masaga , 15.Andrew Horrell

Replacements : 16.Mahonri Schwalger , 17.Pauliasi Manu , 18.Michael Fitzgerald , 19.Sam Cane , 20.Augustine Pulu , 21.Gareth Anscombe , 22.Asaeli Tikoirotuma

 
 
 
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