9 Feb 2020

Disciplined Chiefs down Crusaders

12:13 pm on 9 February 2020

A disciplined defensive effort and two well-worked second-half tries have steered the Chiefs to a 25-15 Super Rugby win over the Crusaders in Hamilton.

Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi and Sean Wainui crossed for the Chiefs in the second 40 minutes, while the Crusaders could manage just a solitary penalty to add to their 12-8 halftime lead.

Solomon Alaimalo

Solomon Alaimalo Photo: Photosport

The Crusaders were without first five-eighth Richie Mo'unga, ruled out with lingering knee and groin injuries, and took the field with a rearranged backline featuring regular fullback David Havili at first five-eighth and Will Jordan wearing No.15.

But it was business as usual inside the first five minutes for the defending champions, with Sevu Reece hauling in a Havili cross-kick for the first try.

Reece grabbed his second in the 14th minute, Havili's conversion opening the Crusaders' lead out to 12-3.

The Chiefs built pressure and were rewarded in the 25th minute when winger Solomon Alaimalo scored in the corner. Aaron Cruden couldn't add the extras, and the Crusaders took a four-point lead into halftime.

The Chiefs hit the front three minutes after the restart, halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi diving across after smart work at the ruck.

Cruden nailed the coversion, and the Chiefs led 15-12.

A Havili penalty levelled the scores soon after, but Sean Wainui restored the lead for the Chiefs, sprinting 30 metres to score after Brad Weber offloaded in the tackle.

Cruden added the conversion, and a 79th penalty to earn the Chiefs their second win of the season after last week's 37-29 victory over the Blues.