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Chiefs beat Crusaders in Suva

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The Chiefs have played the Crusaders 34 times in Super Rugby since 1996, the Chiefs have won 13 matches and lost 21.

The Chiefs’ 13 wins give them a record of winning 38% of their matches against the Crusaders regardless of venue.

Match detail

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1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Suva, Fiji for only the fourth time Super Rugby has come to the island.

2.00: There has been a late change in the centres for the Chiefs, it’s just a jersey and position swap between Alex Nankivell and Anton Lienert-Brown.

3.00: Superb work by Pita Gus Sowakula, winning the penalty at the breakdown after a long period of play by the Crusaders.

4.00: This crowd is loud, they’ve been here since 4 pm local time. They have come to see Sevu Reece, who has been a revelation, this season. His entire family is in the crowd.

6.00: Both teams using the boot in the early stages of this derby.

8.00: Sam Whitelock wins the penalty at the ruck, beating Sam Cane to the ball. Richie Mo’unga kicks to the Chiefs’ 22. The Crusaders attack after the maul goes nowhere.

9.00: Lienert-Brown gets pinged for holding, slowing down the ruck after Mitchell Drummond’s run. Mo’unga calls for the tee, surprisingly.

10.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga opens the scoring at a humid Suva, Fiji. 0-3

11.00: TRY! Scott Barrett races away after Ryan Crotty snapped up an intercept. Crotty found Barrett, on his outside, and the lock ran 40 metres to score. 0-8

13.00: CONVERSION! The ball falls over, the Chiefs stopped charging, but Mo’unga picks up the ball and drop-kicks it through the posts. 0-10

14.00: Shaun Stevenson clears, but the Chiefs are reeling in Fiji. They’ve already missed eight tackles, and are defending inside their 22.

15.00: Mo’unga shapes to drop-kick, but he doesn’t. He shimmies before being snaffled. The Crusaders had the penalty advantage, so the standoff kicks to the corner.

16.00: TRY! Easy as you like. Too much, ball, too many errors, not enough men to defend. The maul breaks up. Michael Alaalatoa splinters to the right and is stopped short. Drummond sees a gap, picks up and dots down. Simple, but effective. 0-15

18.00: MISS! The conversion is wide. 0-15

19.00: Oh dear! Reece drops a cross-kick into touch, he would have had a walk-in, but the Chiefs go quickly. Solomon Alaimalo, breaks from the 22, combining with Sean Wainui with a couple of one-twos on the sideline. The attack breaks down though.

21.00: TRY! Reece races away down the touchline to score his 10th Super Rugby try from the scrum set-piece. Lienert-Brown missed Braydon Ennor, who went through the hole and put Reece away. The move started with Drummond and Mo’unga’s little swivel-shift move before the scrumhalf played Ennor. 0-20

22.00: MISS! The kick is wide, again. 0-20

24.00: The Chiefs are all over the place; they have missed 12 tackles, lost five turnovers, and look knackered.

26.00: Chiefs need to some points.

29.00: TRY! Alaimalo races away for his side’s first try. Tyler Ardron started the attack when he picked up the loose ball inside his 22 and sent it to the fullback. Alaimalo burst through a gap and carried to the Saders’ 10m. He steeped David Havili, who fell over and waltzed in to score. 5-20

31.00: MISS! The kick is wide. 5-20

33.00: Alex Nankivell’s onside kick is caught by a defender, but the Chiefs have the five-metre scrum after the ball was carried back in the in-goal.

34.00: Sowakula is stopped after breaking blind from the scrum. The Chiefs show patience, building slowly with pick-and-drives on the goal-line. They are kept out by strong defending.

35.00: TRY! The Chiefs barge their way over after 16 phases. It was a very disciplined attack by the Chiefs. Sowakula must have carried four or five times before Samisoni Taukei’aho crashed over. 10-20

37.00: CONVERSION! Jack Debreczeni slots the kick. 12-20

38.00: TRY! The crowd is going crazy. Jesse Parete scores after Lienert-Brown’s break. Brad Weber carried. Sowakula collected the bouncing ball, popped to Atu Moli. The prop sent a wide pass to Weber, drew a defender and sent Parete in for the score. 17-20

39.00: CONVERSION! It’s a one-point ball-game. 19-20

41.00: Reece makes a break, but is snaffled. The ball is loose, picked up by the Chiefs; however, they kick the ball into touch, ending an exhilarating half of Super Rugby.

The halftime score was Chiefs 19 Crusaders 20

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in the South Pacific.

43.00: TRY! Braydon Ennor finishes off a superb attack. Mo’unga, Jack Goodhue and Havili all touched the pill before the fullback’s – slightly forward-looking – pass sent the wing away. 19-25

44.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga adds the extras. 19-27

46.00: Ennor knocks on a simple pass, killing a promising attack.

48.00: TRY! Wow! Weber dots down after Debreczeni’s line-break. Debreczeni played Lienert-Brown, who sent a long pass to Alaimalo. The move looked to have broken down, but a couple of exquisite offloads kept the attack going before Weber crossed. 24-27


51.00: Bryn Hall wins a critical penalty at the ruck after his side turned over the ball.

55.00: the game has calmed, both sides are using the boot. The subs are flooding the field, the players are knackered, their jerseys drenched in sweat.

58.00: The Chiefs are looking hot, right now.

59.00: NO TRY! The Chiefs have a try chalked off for a knock on as Angus Ta’avao was dotting down. Goodhue made the try-saving tackle. Goodhue looked offsides, though. Ennor made try-saver, himself. He tackled Weber, short of the line after Taukei’aho broke from midfield, bouncing a defender to start the attack. 26-27

63.00: Mistakes are creeping into the game as the players, tire

64.00: Chiefs have the scrum after their advantage is not used.

67.00: TRY! Shaun Stevenson breaks the line, and races 45 metres to score by the posts, and the Chiefs have the lead for the first time. 31-27

68.00: CONVERSION! The lead extends. 33-27

72.00: Wainui, clears after his forwards won the turnover inside their red zone.

74.00: This is crazy; Cane with two try-saving turnovers inside his red zone keeps the Chiefs ahead. Mo’unga knocked on, the ball was shifted wide for the counter.

75.00: Chiefs have a scrum.

77.00: The chiefs get a game-relieving penalty on halfway for offside by Crotty and Goodhue. Debreczeni will take a shot, run down the clock, too.

78.00: MISS! Debreczeni pulls his kick wide. 33-27

79.00: TRY! GAME OVER! Tumua Manu jumps up and catches the ball from the 22 drop-outs, beating Kieran Read to the ball, and races away to win the game for the Chiefs. 38-27

80.00: CONVERSION! Debreczeni ADDS TWO MORE. 40-27

82.00: The Chiefs almost take the bonus-point, but knock on over the whitewash.


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The final score is Chiefs 40 (19) Crusaders 27 (20)


Tries – Alaimalo, Taukei’aho, Parete, Weber, Stevenson, Manu
Pen –
Con – Debreczeni (5)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Barrett, Drummond, Reece, Ennor
Pen – Mo’unga
Con – Mo’unga (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 2: James Munro
TMO: Shane McDermott



15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Jesse Parete, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Atu Moli.

Replacements: 16 Bradley Slater, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Daymon Leasuasu, 20 Mitchell Jacobson, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Tumua Manu.


15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Braydon Ennor, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Joe Moody.

Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Isi Tu’ungafasi, 18 George Bower, 19 Mitchell Dunshea, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 George Bridge.

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