The Chiefs managed to hold on to beat the Hurricanes in a wet Wellington.
The Chiefs won 17 – 12 after leading 12 – 9 at half time.
The only try of the match was scored by Tanerau Latimer, which was the only points of the second half for the Chiefs. Aaron Cruden nailed four from five penalties in the first half to ensure a narrow lead at the break. Beauden Barrett did all the scoring for the Hurricanes, kicking four penalties in total.
It was a match that could have been very entertaining had rain not intervened. Both teams looked ready to play running rugby, but the conditions did not allow it as a kicking game ensued. It was too important a game to throw the ball around and risk the match. That said, the match went down to the wire, with either team able to win it up until the last minute.
The Chiefs looked like a Champion team, holding possession at important times in the match, and grinding out a victory in a tight match.
The Chiefs have stretched their lead to seven points in the New Zealand conference, practically wrapping up top spot. For the Hurricanes, it is less good news as they will find it very difficult to qualify for the play-offs. They will have to win all their remaining matches and hope for a bad run of results for either the Blues or the Crusaders.
The Chiefs next host the Crusaders while the Hurricanes go into a bye weekend and pick up four points.
Hurricanes: 12 (9)
Penalties: Beauden Barrett (4)
Chiefs: 17 (12)
Tries: Tanerau Latimer
Penalties: Aaron Cruden (4)
By Richard Ferguson