Crusaders consolidate position at top with 20-34 win over Chiefs

Israel Dagg was part of the winning Crusaders side
Israel Dagg was part of the winning Crusaders side

Chiefs 20-34 Crusaders, FMG Stadium Waikato

Crusaders consolidated their position at the top as they went on to defeat Chiefs 20-34 in their Super Rugby clash at FMG Stadium Waikato on Saturday.

This is Crusaders' 12th win from 14 games as they maintain their position at the top of New Zealand Conference while Chiefs are positioned fourth in the same group.

It took Crusaders just five minutes to get their first points on the board when Heiden Bedwell-Curtis crossed over and a conversion from Richie Mo'unga took them to a seven-point lead.

Damian McKenzie responded back with a 10th-minute penalty goal but his efforts were negated by a three-pointer from Mo'unga seven minutes later. The Chiefs upped the ante with back to back tries from winger Sean Wainui and Luke Jacobson in the 20th and 22nd minutes but McKenzie missed out on the conversion on both the occasions.

However, Crusaders headed into the break with a 13-20 lead following a touchdown from Matt Todd and a conversion and a penalty from Mo'unga.

The Crusaders maintained their momentum in the second half as well with George Bridge strolling past the post in the 45th minute but his efforts were negated by a second from Jacobson six minutes later as the gap between the two teams remained at seven.

The remainder of the second half saw both the teams struggle to score points and eventually Luke Romano dotted down the fourth try in the 77th minute and a conversion from Mitch Hunt saw Crusaders completed a 20-34 victory.

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