The Crusaders have one hand on the Super Rugby Aotearoa title

Ruben Hill
August 2, 2020

The Chiefs have lost eight successive games, including all seven in the domestic competition.

The Crusaders extend their Super Rugby Aotearoa lead after defeating the Chiefs at the FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton on Saturday.

Although the Chiefs had dropped their first six games of the season, there was a feeling they could push the Crusaders hard in a nothing to lose clash and do a massive favour to the four other New Zealand teams still in the title reckoning. The Crusaders bounced back following their loss last week against the Hurricanes.

They raced out to a 12-0 lead inside the first 15 minutes thanks to tries from No 8 Tom Sanders and full-back Will Jordan.

Rather than try to go around him though, Sanders simply barged straight over the top of McKenzie to score the Crusaders' first of the evening.

The Crusaders edged the Chiefs 18-13 in their last meeting in Christchurch a month ago.

The Chiefs began to look more threatening when they stretched the Crusaders on the flanks, using wingers Shaun Stevenson and Sean Wainui, keeping the ball in hand.

Meanwhile, Warren Gatland's Chiefs only replied with a sole try by flanker Lachlan Boshier.

The Chiefs also lost Stevenson to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on just before halftime.

Trialing just 20-19 with a quarter remaining, it appeared they had dodged a bullet when Quinten Strange shelled an inside ball from Will Jordan which was subsequently swooped upon by Sevu Reece for a try.

Mo'unga then made a telling short-side break to set up a try for replacement Leicester Fainga'aunku that made the lead 32-19 and put the match beyond the Chiefs.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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