The Chiefs mounted a second-half comeback to escape from their opening home Super Rugby match of the season with a 41-28 victory against the Bulls.
In a thrilling encounter at FMG Stadium Waikato, the South African side led 28-14 at the break, before the hosts – aided by the sin-binning of Conraad van Vuuren – amassed 27 points without reply.
Divan Rossouw crossed twice in a four-try first-half haul for the Bulls, who put on an entertaining display worthy of an away strip reminiscent of the Brazilian national football team.
Scores from Johnny Fa’auli and Brodie Retallick kept the Chiefs alive and the home side quickly set about reeling in their opponents after the restart.
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) March 16, 2018
Mitchell Brown and Retallick touched down early in the second period and a Damian McKenzie penalty edged the Chiefs in front for the first time in the match shortly after the hour mark.
McKenzie was then on the end of a swinging arm from Van Vuuren and, while the prop avoided a red card, his yellow with only 12 minutes left to play left the Bulls with a job on their hands to reclaim the advantage.
Solomon Alaimalo went over with the Bulls down to 14 men, before Anton Lienert-Brown wrapped up the victory at the death.
The win is the Chiefs’ second of the season, while the Bulls have now lost three consecutive matches since beating the Hurricanes in the opening round.
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