13 Jul 2013

Crusaders quell Hurricanes but Chiefs win NZ conference

5:57 am on 13 July 2013

The Chiefs have won the local Super Rugby conference after the Crusaders beat the Hurricanes 25-17 in Christchurch on Friday night to secure home advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

The Crusaders were hunting a bonus-point win to put pressure on the Chiefs but only scored three tries, handing the champion Chiefs a second straight local conference victory.

The Hurricanes, who were already out of the playoffs race, fought to the finish and took it to the hosts, pulling within a point in the last 15 minutes when winger Julian Savea scored a late try.

The visitors searched desperately for a late score, but jet-heeled winger Tom Marshall dribbled a kick to the left corner in the final minutes and bolted half the length of the field to touch it over the line.