Super Rugby
Chiefs win keeps title hopes alive
ESPN Staff
July 4, 2014
The Chiefs' Agustine Pulu is brought down by Reggie Goodes of the Hurricanes © Getty Images
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The Chiefs broke a three-match losing streak to keep their Super Rugby hopes alive with a hard-fought 24-16 win over the Hurricanes at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.

The ninth-placed Chiefs desperately needed a win to have any chance of snaring their third successive title, while the fifth-ranked Hurricanes now look vulnerable as they sit out a final-round bye next week. History was against the Hurricanes, who haven't won in Hamilton since 2007, and they struggled for cohesion without key players Conrad Smith, Victor Vito and Alapati Leiua.

Early errors peppered play, but although both teams were guilty of poor handling and sloppy kicking, the Chiefs settled quickest and looked more threatening. Jamie Mackintosh and Brodie Retallick crossed the whitewash for Chiefs tries, while Hadleigh Parkes scored one for the Hurricanes.

But it was Retallick's try that effectively proved the difference between the sides as All Blacks team-mates Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett matched each other from the kicking tee. Chiefs now take a trip to Auckland to face the Blues in their final regular-season fixture while the Hurricanes must hope for favours from elsewhere.

Marnitz Boshoff kicked 19 points to earn the Lions a 34-17 victory over the Melbourne Rebels at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. The hosts won by three tries to two to extend the Rebels' losing streak to six straight matches. Anthony Volmink, Warwick Tecklenburg and Warren Whiteley crossed for the South Africans, with Tom English and Colby Fainga'a touching down for the visitors.

The Lions got off to a flying start and were on the board after only a minute when, having being stopped on a charge for the line, they moved the ball wide and Volmink went over. Boshoff missed the conversion, but was on target with a penalty after eight minutes. Scott Higginbotham looked to respond to the Australians by diving for the corner, but replays showed his foot was in touch. The Lions then missed out when Stokkies Hanekom knocked on after racing to gather a ball that had been chipped ahead.

The Rebels hit back in the 19th minute. A quick tap penalty saw Higginbotham send the ball out wide to English, who raced in to score. Jack Debreczeni slotted the conversion. Debreczeni missed a penalty which would have put the Rebels in front. He was on target with one before the break, but Boshoff nailed two more to leave the Lions 14-10 ahead at half-time.

Boshoff missed another three-pointer soon after the break, and instead Fainga'a dived over the line to put the visitors in front, Debreczeni adding the extras. Tecklenburg responded with the Lions' second try after a patient build-up and Boshoff's conversion put them back in front. Boshoff added two more penalties to put the Lions further clear and the game was up for the Rebels when Higginbotham was shown a yellow card after a TMO review for a lifting tackle The Lions took full advantage as Whiteley crashed over to score and Boshoff added the final conversion.

Australian
Pos Team P W D L Bye F A PD TF TA TBP LBP Pts
1 Waratahs 14 10 0 4 2 403 253 +150 45 23 7 1 48
2 Brumbies 15 9 0 6 2 365 353 +12 42 32 3 1 40
3 Force 14 8 0 6 2 288 326 -38 31 31 3 1 36
4 Reds 14 5 0 9 2 351 429 -78 40 45 4 4 28
5 Rebels 15 4 0 11 2 296 420 -124 28 45 1 4 21


New Zealand
Pos Team P W D L Bye F A PD TF TA TBP LBP Pts
1 Crusaders 14 9 0 5 2 390 301 +89 35 34 3 3 42
2 Highlanders 14 8 0 6 2 377 364 +13 37 42 5 5 42
3 Hurricanes 16 8 0 8 1 439 374 +65 49 36 6 3 41
4 Chiefs 15 7 2 6 2 373 370 +3 43 34 5 3 40
5 Blues 14 7 0 7 2 398 363 +35 44 40 6 2 36


South African
Pos Team P W D L Bye F A PD TF TA TBP LBP Pts
1 Sharks 14 10 0 4 2 352 256 +96 24 18 2 3 45
2 Bulls 14 6 1 7 2 325 312 +13 24 27 2 5 33
3 Stormers 14 6 0 8 2 264 292 -28 28 26 2 2 28
4 Lions 15 6 0 9 2 307 388 -81 23 43 1 1 26
5 Cheetahs 14 3 1 10 2 320 447 -127 32 49 3 3 20

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