14 Jul 2014

Chiefs down Blues to reach playoffs

11:08 am on 14 July 2014
Aaron Cruden in action in the wet at Eden Park

Aaron Cruden in action in the wet at Eden Park Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Defending Super Rugby champions the Chiefs slugged out a crucial wet weather win over the Blues, triumphing 11-8 at Eden Park to secure a playoffs place in their final regular season game on Friday.

Liam Messam ran in an intercept try while six points came from the boot of fellow co-captain Aaron Cruden, to keep the Chiefs' hopes alive of recording a hat-trick of Super Rugby titles.

The outcome shattered the playoff dreams of the Blues, who went into the match with an unbeaten home record this year but also missing All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock and captain Luke Braid through injuries.

After a tight first half, George Moala scored a second-half try in the right hand corner but it was not enough in the end for a side burdened with a mammoth pre-game task of needing to win by more than 38 points.

The hosts' All Blacks midfielder Ma'a Nonu didn't help matters with a sin-binning before half-time, when the Chiefs only led 3-0.

The result also ends the Hurricanes' hopes of a finals berth.