Super Rugby
Chiefs start campaign in the perfect way
ESPN Staff
February 22, 2014
Robbie Fruean opened the scoring for the Chiefs © Getty Images

Defending champions the Chiefs opened their 2014 campaign with a 18-10 win over the Crusaders in Christchurch.

It was nip and tuck until just one minute from the end when Chiefs' James Lowe ran 90 metres to win the game. With both teams suffering in the high humidity, the Crusaders attempted a last throw of the dice only to see wing Nafi Tuitavake's pass to hooker Corey Flynn intercepted by Lowe, who sprinted towards the distant goal-line.

The win rewarded plucky defending by the Chiefs and penalised a below-par Crusaders effort which saw opportunities aplenty lost, including seven missed penalty attempts.

Several times, especially during the first-half, the Crusaders let chances go begging and allowed the Chiefs to get away with some untidy line-outs and scrums. Fly-half Tyler Bleyendaal missed five penalty attempts in the first half and Tom Taylor was introduced as his replacement at half-time with mixed results.

Later in the day, the Cheetahs recorded their first ever Super Rugby win over the Bulls as the Bloemfontein hosts ground their way to a 15-9 victory against Frans Ludeke's visitors.

It was far from the most glamorous affair at the Free State Stadium, with soggy conditions ensuring that both teams were forced into their fair share of errors. Despite there being no tries to speak of, the Cheetahs will be pleased with their result, triumphing over their South African rivals at the 12th time of asking.

In the end, a 78th-minute Handre Pollard penalty was all that could salvage a losing bonus point for the away side, Johan Goosen kicking all of the hosts' points.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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