Damian McKenzie sparkled as the Chiefs stopped the rot with a 23-23 Super Rugby draw against the Hurricanes and the in-form Folau Fainga’a inspired the Brumbies to victory over the Waratahs.
The Chiefs and Hurricanes players united in a huddle for a poignant minute’s silence before the game at FMG Stadium following the terror attacks in Christchurch which claimed the lives of 49 people.
Colin Cooper’s side had lost all five matches before their New Zealand rivals arrived in Hamilton, but raised their game in a pulsating derby.
Anton Lienert-Brown got the Chiefs off to a dream start, charging down an attempted clearance from Chase Tiatia and scooping up the loose ball to give his side an early lead.
McKenzie showed a rapid turn of foot to score a second Chiefs try after a Matt Proctor score and a Beauden Barrett penalty put the Canes in front.
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) March 15, 2019
Two McKenzie penalties gave the Chiefs a 20-13 half-time lead after Jordie Barrett was on target from the tee with a long-range strike, but Wes Goosen’s finish following another Beauden Barrett penalty restored the Hurricanes’ lead.
McKenzie bisected the posts again to level it up midway through the second half – taking his tally to 18 points – and neither side could force the victory as defences stood firm in the final quarter.
The Brumbies denied the Waratahs a third consecutive win, sealing a 19-13 triumph at Gio Stadium.
Fainga’a became the first Brumbies player for 16 years to score in five consecutive games, claiming a claiming a first-half double after Michael Hooper dotted down at the other end.
Alex Newsome’s five-pointer was in vain as the Brumbies ground it out, a penalty try giving them breathing space as they saw out a second win of the season.
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