21 Mar 2011

Chiefs win as eyes turn to New Zealand derbies

5:00 am on 21 March 2011

The Chiefs kicked off the Super Rugby weekend by edging past the previously undefeated Sharks 15-9 in a tryless affair at wet Waikato Stadium, before the Reds crushed the Rebels 53-3 in Brisbane.

Replacement first five Mike Delany kicked four penalties and fullback Tim Nanai-Williams also slotted an early penalty, while the Sharks number 10 Patrick Lambie kicked three penalties for the visitors in a tight and niggly arm wrestle.

The home side were the more enterprising of the two teams, often making line breaks, only for their poor handling to let them down with numerous dropped balls.

Tonight pits the remaining four New Zealand sides in two highly anticipated local derbies with the conference-leading Highlanders hosting the Crusaders in Dunedin before the Hurricanes travel to Auckland to face the Blues.

The Blues and Hurricanes share a common reputation for inconsistency but the Blues All Black prop John Afoa says the Wellington-based side has a better excuse.