Defence was key for the Chiefs as they restricted the Blues in their victory in Hamilton.
The Chiefs controlled the game and never looked in danger of losing, leading 16 – 6 at half time before completing the victory 23 – 16.
Both teams were expected to run in plenty of tries, but the match was limited to only three as defence was the order of the day. The Chiefs were in complete control in the first half, but butchered a few opportunities, while the TMO was involved in denying Gareth Anscombe a great try.
The Blues were the complete opposite to last weekend, as they misfired in the first half and finally got some momentum in the second. The scoreline is somewhat deceiving as the Blues scored their only try in the last three minutes of the match.
The Chiefs are slowly starting to show their Championship potential, winning tough games even when they are on the back foot. Their defence won them this game while their counter attack abilities could have put the game beyond doubt, had they not been called back.
It is back to the drawing board once again for John Kirwan and the Blues, as they have lost three consecutive matches after their good start to the season. The handling errors were less this week, but their attack seemed dull and the balance of the backline just seems off. The penalties conceded at the breakdown kept the Chiefs’ scoreboard tcking.
The Chiefs go into a bye weekend while the Blues host the winless Highlanders, expect another brutal encounter between these New Zealand teams.
By Richard Ferguson