Planet Rugby

Chiefs triumph in battle of attrition

21st April 2012 15:02

Share:

Sam Cane

Sam Cane: Man of the match showing

It certainly wasn't pretty, but the Chiefs claimed a valuable 18-12 win over the Sharks in Durban on Saturday to send them top of the Super Rugby table.

Twenty-five points were scored by the two teams' respective fly-halves, with Aaron Cruden's haul superior by one to that of Patrick Lambie's. A try after the hooter from replacement scrum-half Augustine Pulu simply adding salt into the home side's wounds.

With the gluttony of possession, the Sharks will feel that they really should have come out on top but a combination of too many errors and dogged defence from the Chiefs meant that the Sharks' homecoming was not a happy one.

The home side dominated the opening exchanges but errors from both sides punctuated much of the opening quarter.

It was only in the 19th minute that the deadlock was broken and slightly against the run of play too. Cruden ghosted over to score under the posts after JP Pietersen was distracted by the dummy run of Richard Kahui. The hosts protested the obstruction had occurred but their pleas fell on deaf ears and the fly-half added the extras.

The number ten added a further penalty before the Sharks finally got on the board just before the end of the first period, with Lambie slotting a three-pointer after Tawera Kerr-Barlow was pinged for off-side.

Both sides had their moments early in the second-half, but handling errors were the name of the game unfortunately as all too often an attacking move was halted by a knock-on.

It was the Sharks who kept the scoreboard ticking over, with Lambie adding two further penalties to bring the hosts within one point.

The Chiefs could consider themselves lucky not to have gone one man down when a shoulder charge from Lelia Masaga on Lwazi Mvovo while the winger collected a high kick left both men lying prone on the ground, with neither continuing but luckily making their way off the field without assistance.

Cruden and Lambie exchanged penalties as the Sharks fought desperately to take the lead for the first time. Penalties conceded at crucial moments hindered their chances though and the Chiefs held on for the win.

Indeed, the victory was secured with a try after the 80 minutes through an opportunistic try from Pulu. With the Chiefs in possession at a maul inside the Sharks half up against the touchline, the hooter went and with everyone expecting Pulu to boot the ball into touch, the replacement darted down the line and crossed over for the try.

The conversion would have denied the Sharks a bonus point but Cruden hit the post from out wide.

The result sees the Chiefs regain top spot on the Super Rugby standings while the Sharks slide further down the mid-table.

The scorers:

For Sharks:
Pens: Lambie 4

For Chiefs:
Tries: Cruden, Tulu
Cons: Cruden
Pens: Cruden 2

Sharks: 15 Riaan Viljoen 14 Louis Ludik, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden 17 Wiehahn Herbst 18 Pieter-Steph du Toit 19 Jean Deysel 20 Marcell Coetzee 21 Frederic Michalak 22 Meyer Bosman.

Chiefs: 15 Andrew Horrell, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Alex Bradley, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (c), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Arizona Taumalolo.
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Josh Hohneck, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Tanerau Latimer, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Jackson Willison, 22 Robbie Robinson.

Referee: Garratt Williamson

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Preview
Argentina vs South Africa20:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs CastresToulouse vs Castres Preview
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs GriquasPumas vs Griquas Preview
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Preview
Hawkes Bay vs TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Preview
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00