10 May 2014

Chiefs belt Blues

10:37 am on 10 May 2014

The Chiefs' bonus point 32-20 win over the Blues in New Plymouth has consolidated the champions' hold on top place in the local Super Rugby conference.

Prop Ben Tameifuna picked up a double for the Chiefs, in their first outing at their new Taranaki home base, while centre Tim Nanai-Williams did a bit of everything - scoring one try and setting up another, and also spending 10 minutes in the sin bin.

Tameifuna scored a try in each half as the Chiefs grabbed four tries to the Blues' two, to move five points clear in New Zealand, and second overall behind South Africans the Sharks.

Chiefs captain Liam Messam says their defensive effort was the best they've had all season and it was probably the most physical game he's played all season.

So both teams will be looking forward to next week's bye to rest their battered bodies.

But the Blues could be forgiven for looking ahead to next season now, with their playoff hopes slipping away - while the Chiefs will be confident of pushing on for a third straight title.

Meanwhile the Blues got nothing and remain last here, winless in 14 straight road games dating back to the start of last season.

And the loss also came at a cost for the All Blacks, with the Blues fullback Charles Piutau limping off the field with a serious knee injury in the first half. Piutau will now miss the June internationals against England - he's out for six to eight weeks.

The Hurricanes are up to second in the local conference and back into the playoff places, after grinding out a 25-15 away win over the Melbourne Rebels.