Giant leap forward for Chiefs

Fri, 11 Jul 2014 14:10
Large aaron cruden chiefs points

The Chiefs took a giant leap towards joining Super Rugby's illustrious hat-trick club - three consecutive titles.

The Chiefs took a giant leap towards joining Super Rugby's illustrious hat-trick club - three consecutive titles.

That club currently has just one member, the Crusaders - who scored their hat-trick in 1998, 1999 and 2000. The Blues (1996 and 1997) and Bulls (2009 and 2010) are the only teams with back-to-back titles - a feat also achieved by the Crusaders in 2005 and 20006, to go with their hat-trick.

The defending champions scraped into the Super Rugby play-offs with a tightly fought 11-8 victory over the Blues on Friday.

The Chiefs needed a win in the final match of the regular season to make the top six and keep alive their dream of securing three Super Rugby titles in a row.

They did it with a strong defensive effort against a committed Blues outfit who had little to play for but came close to derailing their North Island rivals' campaign.

The win means the Chiefs are definitely in the top six, although they must await the outcome of other matches to determine if they will finish fifth or sixth.

Chiefs captain and flyhalf Aaron Cruden believes his team's heroic defensive effort, in the first half, paved the way to the victory in Auckland.

"It was extremely hard work," Cruden said.

"The boys showed a lot of character.

"There's been a lot of doubters, but within our circle we've kept the faith and it's paid off."

While the Chiefs have endured a season marred by inconsistency and poor form, Cruden said they were going into the finals full of confidence after two wins in a row.

"Last week was a step forward and this week is a massive step forward," he said.

"There was a bit of fear coming into this game, it could have been the end of the season, but we stuck it out to win."

The Chiefs weathered that metaphorical storm during the opening period, then asserted themselves by balancing the ledger of territory and possession, then taking the lead with an Aaron Cruden penalty - the only points of the first half.

"We probably made harder work of it than we needed to," said Cruden.

"But we knew it was going to be a tough cookie here against the Blues.

"I'm stoked for the boys. They showed a lot of character, especially in that first 20 minutes and we were able to hang on in the end."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14