Chiefs stave off Hurricanes in deluge to maintain perfect start


Chiefs made it three wins from three at the start of the 2017 Super Rugby campaign by seeing off defending champions Hurricanes 26-18.

Hurricanes had seen their title defence begin with two successive wins but they were unable to recover in wet conditions after falling 17-6 behind in a first half that saw Ardie Savea and Michael Fatialofa sin-binned.

Brodie Retallick crashed over from close range and Toni Pulu touched down from a kick to give Chiefs a comfortable advantage at the break.

TJ Perenara went over for Hurricanes first try in the 64th minute but, though Julian Savea also crossed for the visitors, the boot of Damian McKenzie had helped Chiefs maintain a healthy lead and he had the final say with a fourth penalty as a dramatic late comeback failed to materialise.

Chiefs are now top of the New Zealand Conference and Australasian Group.

Meanwhile, Brumbies claimed their first win of the season, snatching a late 25-17 victory over Western Force.

Brumbies trailed 17-13 with under 10 minutes to play but the game turned when Ross Haylett-Petty was sin-binned for a late hit on Joe Powell.

Kyle Godwin scored seven minutes from time to edge Brumbies in front - Wharenui Hawera converting - and Robbie Abel made absolutely sure of triumph in the final minute with Brumbies' fourth try.