Round 8 of Super Rugby Aotearoa saw The Crusaders over-power the Chiefs in a tough battle in Hamilton while the Blues got one over the Highlanders to keep their title hopes alive.
Chiefs v Crusaders
Life didn’t get any easier for the struggling Chiefs as they went down 32-19 to the Crusaders.
While the Chiefs were competitive for most of the game, the Crusaders were lethal in the final quarter, putting to rest any hope the men from Hamilton may have had.
Crusaders captain Codie Taylor was pleased with his charges:
"We had a real honest review, looked in the mirror and said we didn't front up last week and knew what we were coming up here for," Taylor said.
"I'm just really proud we came up here and put on a good show. It was a hell of an arm wrestle and a couple opportunities we took and that's what it's about."
Chiefs captain Sam Cane was in sombre mood:
“It hurts. We'll look at those two moments and how we can better, but credit to the Crusaders, it was a tough battle."
Tries: Lachlan Boshier
Conversions: Damian McKenzie
Penalties: McKenzie (4)
Tries: Tom Sanders, Will Jordan, Codie Taylor, Sevu Reece, Leicester Faingaanuku
Conversions: Richie Mo'unga (2)
Highlanders v Blues
The Blues raced to a 12-0 lead after 10 minutes through well-executed tries by Akira Ioane and Finlay Christie before the Highlanders got on the board through a Josh Ioane.
The Highlanders found some momentum and mauled over the line for their first try, Ash Dixon getting up with the ball.
The Blues were in fine running form, dotting down twice more before the break, through TJ Faiane, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, and struck early in the second half with Finlay Christie going over for his second.
With the score at 32-16, hard-working flanker Shannon Frizell barged over for the final try of the game.
Highlanders 21 (16)
Tries: Ash Dixon, Shannon Frizell
Conversions: Josh Ioane
Penalties: Ioane (3)
Blues 32 (24)
Tries: Akira Ioane, Finlay Christie (2), TJ Faiane, Ofa Tu’ungafasi
Conversions: Beauden Barrett (2)