25 May 2013

Chiefs claim crucial Crusaders win

6:14 am on 25 May 2013

The Chiefs have overcome the Crusaders 28-19 in a ferocious local Super Rugby derby in Hamilton, thanks to a huge defensive effort.

In a game that had all the hallmarks of an international test, first five eighths Aaron Cruden and captain Craig Clarke both scored first-half tries after charging down Crusaders kicks.

Openside flanker Matt Todd also scored before half-time for the Crusaders, when the Chiefs led 15-13.

Tom Taylor kicked four penalties and a conversion and the Crusaders led 19-18 before Chiefs midfielder Bundee Aki crossed for a 70th minute try to wrestle back the lead, then Cruden kicked a late penalty on the hooter to deny the Crusaders a losing bonus point.

The Chiefs top the Super Rugby table and will lead the competition after the weekend, regardless of other results.