Chiefs survive Sunwolves scare to maintain position at top

Sam Cane ended up on the winning side
Sam Cane ended up on the winning side

Chiefs 27-20 Sunwolves, FMG Stadium Waikato

Damian McKenzie contributed with 17 points as Chiefs maintained their position at top with a 27-20 win over Sunwolves at FMG Stadium Waikato on Saturday.

Hika Elliot got Chiefs off the mark with a third minute try but 17 minutes later Hayden Cripps replied back with a penalty to bring down the gap to two points.

However, the hosts dominated the second quarter with tries from Solomona Alaimalo and McKenzie. Fullback McKenzie also added a conversion and a penalty to take Chiefs to 20-3 lead at half time.

Sunwolves showed more intent at the start of the second half with a touchdown from Fumiaki Tanaka but McKenzie's converted try in the 59th minute took the game away from the visitors.

Derek Carpenter's 66th minute crossover followed by a conversion and a penalty from replacement Jamie-Jerry Taulagi were not enough as Sunwolves succumbed to a seven point defeat.

Chiefs now have 37 points from nine matches as they maintained their position at the top of New Zealand Conference while Sunwolves struggle at the bottom of Africa 1 Conference.

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