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Crusaders hold off Chiefs

Date

Crusaders 28 Chiefs 21

Raw power ... Kieran Read takes on the Chiefs' defence.

Raw power ... Kieran Read takes on the Chiefs' defence. Photo: Getty Images

The Crusaders scored three contentious tries to beat the Chiefs 28-21 in Super Rugby on Friday night, threatening the Chiefs' lengthy tenure atop the standings while firming their own playoffs bid.

MATCH STATS

The Chiefs entered the match four points ahead of the Cape Town-based Stormers but their third loss in 15 matches offered the South Africans the chance to move into first place if they can take a bonus-point win from their match against the Cheetahs on Saturday.

Ryan Crotty of the Crusaders charges forward.

Ryan Crotty of the Crusaders charges forward. Photo: Getty Images

Canterbury opened a 20-6 lead with first-half tries to back-rower Kieran Read, who appeared to lose the ball over the line, and lock Luke Romano, who may have been offside.

But the Chiefs gradually battled back, finally managing to break the Crusaders line as the half-hour mark neared when second-rower Brodie Retallick latched onto halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow's beautifully timed pass five metres out.

Cruden added the extras and another penalty as halftime neared cut the Crusaders' lead to 20-16 at halftime.

Ellis extended the lead 10 minutes into the restart when the video referee ruled he had been shunted over for the Crusaders' third try, but it only took the Chiefs four minutes to respond.

Kerr-Barlow made the initial break from a turnover before Sonny Bill Williams showed superb strength in the tackle to touch down and narrow the gap to four.

A 62nd minute Carter penalty stretched it back out to seven, but the Crusaders' defence was tested to the limit for the rest of the match.

CRUSADERS 28 (Andrew Ellis, Kieran Read, Luke Romano tries Daniel Carter 2 cons 2 pens drop goal) bt CHIEFS 21 (Brodie Retallick, Sonny Bill Williams tries Aaron Cruden con 3 pens) at Waikato Stadium. Referee: Steve R. Walsh

AAP

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SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
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ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
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CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
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SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
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RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
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ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
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