The Chiefs kept their play-off hopes alive by mounting a staggering fightback to pull off a shock 40-27 victory over the Crusaders in a Super Rugby classic.
Colin Cooper’s side came into the New Zealand derby in Suva bottom of the New Zealand Conference, but stunned the defending champions in a 10-try thriller on Saturday.
The Chiefs looked to be heading for a thrashing when they trailed by 20 points midway through the first half at ANZ Stadium, tries from Scott Barrett, Mitchell Drummond and Sevu Reece putting the Crusaders in command.
There was just a point in it at half-time, though, after Solomon Alaimalo, Samisoni Taukei’aho and Jesse Parete crossed.
Braydon Ennor struck for the Crusaders – already assured of a play-off spot – in the second half after Anton Lienert-Brown had failed to find touch, but Brad Weber finished at the other end to reduce the deficit.
There was even more drama to come as Shaun Stevenson raced under the posts to put the Chiefs in front, then captain Sam Cane came up with a huge turnover close to his own line before Tumua Manu snaffled a short drop-out to dot down after Jack Debreczeni missed a shot at goal.
Chiefs v Crusaders | Super Rugby 2019 Rd 16 Highlights
Fijian fans were treated to an exhilarating match in Suva with @ChiefsRugby coming from behind to end their 5 game winless run against @crusadersrugby, 40-27.#SuperRugby #CHIvCRU pic.twitter.com/9eIF5tRlI6
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) June 1, 2019
The Jaguares maintained their 100 per cent record against Australian sides this season with a 34-23 defeat of the Reds at Suncorp Stadium.
Santiago Carreras scored two of five tries for the Gonzalo Quesada’s men, who hold a seven-point lead at the top of the South African Conference with two matches to play.
The Brumbies have a five-point advantage at the summit of the Australian Conference following a 42-19 thumping of the Sunwolves in Toyko, hooker Connal McInerney scoring a hat-trick after coming off the bench.
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