Super Rugby 2014: Chiefs open title defence with 18-10 victory over New Zealand rivals Crusaders
Replacement James Lowe ran 75-metres after intercepting five minutes from time to secure the win
Friday 21 February 2014
The Chiefs opened their defense of their back-to-back Super Rugby titles with an 18-10 win over seven-time champions the Crusaders on Friday in the first match of the season in the New Zealand conference.
Replacement fullback James Lowe galloped away for a 75-metre intercept try in the final minute to clinch the win for the Chiefs and flyhalf Aaron Cruden added a sideline conversion which denied the Crusaders even a consolation bonus point.
Center Robbie Fruean, who transferred from the Crusaders to the Chiefs between seasons, opened the scoring with a ninth-minute try which helped the Chiefs to an early 11-0 lead. They protected that advantage under exceptional pressure for the remainder of the match.
The Crusaders closed to 11-10 with seven minutes remaining and were pressing the Chiefs line when Lowe pounced on the pass near the right-hand touchline and dashed away to score his first Super Rugby try.
Cruden's conversion capped an outstanding victory for the Chiefs who were without many first-string players, suffered more injuries during the match, yet beat the team favored to win the New Zealand conference.
Fruean's try gave the Chiefs an early boost. The powerful center, whose career has been dogged by a heart ailment caused by rheumatic fever, finished a movement which began on the Chiefs' 22 when he brushed off three tacklers, including the New Zealand captain Richie McCaw, to score wide out.
Cruden kicked a goal in the 39th which gave the Chiefs an 8-0 lead at halftime, while Crusaders flyhalf Tyler Bleyendaal missed five straight shots at goal before being replaced.
The Crusaders' only try came in the 48th when lock Sam Whitelock burst through a poorly defended lineout.
Tom Taylor, who replaced Bleyendaal, landed his first shot at goal by converting the try, but missed two more attempts before kicking the 73rd-minute penalty which cut the Chiefs' lead to one point.
Both teams had a player sin-binned in the first half and the Chiefs were hard-hit when prop Ben Tamiefuna and lock Brodie Retallick were forced from the field in the second half after a head clash.
Tries: Fruean, Lowe.
Penalties: Cruden 2.
Jay Hart sex tape: Clitheroe footballer sacked after being filmed having sex with unknown blonde woman in manager's dug-out
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Jack Grealish: Surely the FA will belatedly try to snap up Aston Villa star after his Wembley heroics
Cesc Fabregas in Premier League title dig at Arsenal after pointing out '27 year wait'
Sergio Aguero vs Harry Kane vs Diego Costa: Who will win the battle to be Premier League top scorer?
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
- 5 Google search history can now be downloaded in its entirety, mass embarrassment expected
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments