5 May 2012

Chiefs beat Lions 34-21, for ninth successive win

9:53 pm on 5 May 2012

The Chiefs beat the Lions 34-21 in their Super Rugby match in Pukekhoe.

Aaron Cruden again underlined his credentials as the long-term successor to Daniel Carter in the All Blacks with a superb all round performance as the Chiefs notched up their ninth win from 10 games.

Cruden scored one try, set up another and slotted four conversions and two penalties for the table-topping Chiefs, who moved to 44 points with the bonus-point win.

Coach Dave Rennie chose to rest several of the forwards that had helped the Chiefs to eight previous successive wins but it made little difference.

Before the game, centre Richard Kahui said several of the Chiefs are playing their way into an All Blacks jersey but says their focus is on extending the franchises near unbeaten run in 2012.

Captain and loose forward Liam Messam looks a shoe-in for the men in black alongside first five Aaron Cruden.

The blockbuster pairing of Kahui and Sonny Bill Williams have also pencilled themselves in as the All Blacks midfield combination, but the former says they're driven by one just one goal, helping the Chiefs to their maiden title.


Players in the Highlanders tem are expecting another physical battle when they take on the Sharks in their Super Rugby clash in Durban before dawn on Sunday (NZ time).

Fullback Ben Smith has played a key part in the Highlanders' success this season as they look to maintain their push for a playoff spot and he says they will look to counter the Sharks physical game.

Despite suffering from a recent concussion, Smith helped revive the Highlanders last week for a second half come back to beat the Cheetahs.

Smith says they expect the Sharks to play a tough and physical game.