The Chiefs beat the Blues 29-23 in their Super Rugby encounter in Hamilton on Friday. The hosts got off to a fast start as they opened the scoring on five minutes through a Mitchell Graham try as he powered over in the corner before Damian McKenzie missed the conversion. The visitors then disturbed the scorers on 16 minutes when Ihaia West knocked over a penalty (5-3).
The home side extended their lead on 23 minutes when Charlie Ngatai brilliantly broke the line, after a turned over lineout. He was tackled just short and the Waikato side moved the ball quickly out wide to see Shaun Stevenson dive over but the conversion was missed again (10-3). West kicked over another penalty to make the score 10-6 going into half-time.
The second half saw the game explode into life. On 41 minutes the away team scored their first try as Melani Nanai caught the ball midfield, stepped two men to break the line and then used his pace to run through and score a brilliant try. West added the sundries (13-10).
The Auckland-based team then scored again as Rieko Loane received the ball out wide and used his pace and power to go over and extend the lead to 20-10 after the conversion. Dave Rennie’s men hit back on 49 minutes when an angled run saw Aaron Cruden slice open the defecence and he stretched over, but the conversion was missed (20-15). The Chiefs then took the lead when a scrum centre field saw the ball moved out wide to Seta Tamanivalu who scored in the corner. McKenzie converted on this occasion (22-20).
Brody Retallick scored a try late on to ensure the victory for his side even though West struck a late penalty as it finished 29-23.