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Chiefs back on top after seventh straight win


Monthati Molosankwe

Sharks 12 Chiefs 18

Matchwinner ... Aaron Cruden ofthe Chiefs scored a try, kicked two penalties and a conversion.

Matchwinner ... Aaron Cruden ofthe Chiefs scored a try, kicked two penalties and a conversion. Photo: AFP

DURBAN: Fly-half Aaron Cruden scored 13 points as the Chiefs stretched a winning Super Rugby run to seven matches with an 18-12 victory over the Sharks on Saturday.


All Black Cruden scored a try which he converted and kicked two penalties for Chiefs to reclaim top place on the southern hemisphere provincial championship table.

The four points for the win enabled the New Zealanders to climb above Western Stormers to 35, two more than the South Africans nine rounds into a competition Chiefs came closest to winning in 2009 when finishing runners-up.

Sharks collected a bonus point for losing by less than seven and even that was in doubt just before the final whistle as Cruden lined up the conversion of an Augustine Pulu try, which veered left of the far post at Kings Park.

The Durban side remain ninth on the overall table and third in the South African Conference behind the Stormers and Northern Bulls, but could still figure in the battle for play-off spots having played six of nine games away.

"It is really satisfying to complete a tour of Australia and South Africa with three wins out of three matches -- something which does not happen too often in Super rugby," said Chiefs skipper and lock Craig Clarke.

"Our defence has improved a lot this season under coach Wayne Smith and we are working better as a team," he added of a team that has conceded only eight tries in eight matches.

Sharks captain and flanker Keegan Daniel refused to blame the humid conditions in the Indian Ocean city for the handling errors that often let his team down when they were close to the Chiefs try-line.

"Professional rugby players cannot offer that as an excuse. We committed far too many errors and must learn to finish off good approach work and not rely solely on penalty kicks for points."

Both teams kept the ball in hand for much of a physical first half with the first points not arriving until the 19th minute when Cruden went over for a soft try he converted.

He added a penalty before the Sharks got their first points with the last kick of the half when fly-half Patrick Lambie slotted a penalty to see his team trail 10-3 at the break.

Lambie kicked three more penalties during the second half and Cruden one as two sweat-soaked teams used the boot more, leaving Chiefs 13-12 ahead 13 minutes from time.

Sharks launched several promising attacks only to be let down by unforced errors and replacement scrum-half Pulu put the outcome beyond doubt with a stoppage-time blindside break and try in the corner.

CHIEFS 18 (Aaron Cruden, Augustine Pulu tries Cruden con 2 pens) bt SHARKS 12 (Patrick Lambie 4 pens) at ABSA Stadium. Referee: Garratt Williamson.


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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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