Chiefs leave it late to force draw against Bulls
March 30, 2014
Sharks' JP Pietersen finds himself at the centre of the Waratahs' attention © Getty Images
The Chiefs left it late to force a 34-34 draw against the Bulls in Pretoria. Aaron Cruden's last-gasp try saw the game draw level in a match that saw eight tries. The Bulls brought up their haul thanks largely to the boot of Jacques-Louis Potgieter who slotted 19 points. They grabbed three tries of their own with Deon Stegmann and Bjorn Basson scoring alongside a penalty try. For the Chiefs, Mils Muliaina, Liam Messam, Gareth Anscombe, Matt Symons and Cruden scored alongside five points from his boot and four from Anscombe.
The Sharks saw off the Waratahs 32-10 at Kings Park. After a closely contested first-half in which the boots of Fred Zeilinga and Frans Steyn gave the Sharks a 12-3 lead, the home side pulled away in the second 40 with Willem Alberts and Keegan Daniel's tries, coupled with a further 10 points from Zeilinga, bringing up their 32-point total. The Waratahs battled hard throughout but only had 10 points from Bernard Foley and a yellow card for Dave Dennis to show for their efforts.
The Blues went top of the New Zealand Conference with a comfortable 30-12 win over the Highlanders in Auckland. The result at Eden Park improved the Blues' win-loss record to 3-3 and put them above defending champions the Chiefs among New Zealand sides. Emerging fly-half Simon Hickey kicked three conversions and three penalties as his side kept a tight defensive line to get the win. Lima Sopoaga, who scored all his sides points, nailed three penalties to give the Highlanders an early lead but once behind they never threatened.
lapati Leiua of the Hurricanes skips out of the tackle of Sam Whitelock © Getty Images
Queensland Reds recorded a 22-17 win against the Stormers at Lang Park, putting behind them their back-to-back losses in South Africa. The Stormers led with a Damian de Allende try after 10 minutes, but a 25th minute try from Rob Simmons and two penalties by Quade Cooper gave the Reds a 13-10 half-time lead. The Stormers scored the only try of the second half with five minutes remaining but by then more kicks from Cooper had given the Reds a big enough buffer.
The Melbourne Rebels tossed out the form book to upset the high-flying Brumbies 32-24 at AAMI Park. The Rebels went into the match on the back of three losses while the Brumbies had won four on the trot and appeared set to extend that run after establishing a 17-12 lead early in the second half. But a poor 10-minute period midway through the second half saw the momentum swing.
The Hurricanes timed their run perfectly to take out a see-saw match 29-26 over the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday night. With just seven minutes remaining, and trailing 26-24, the Hurricanes looked to have run out of ideas and steam. But winger Alapati Leuia secured the bonus-point win with a sizzling 60-metre solo try down the right flank, leaving five Crusaders defenders sprawling in his wake. The visitors then held firm to secure their second win from six starts.
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