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Chiefs go top

Published 17/04/2015

Dan Carter, pictured, was off-colour for Crusaders as they were defeated by the Chiefs
Dan Carter, pictured, was off-colour for Crusaders as they were defeated by the Chiefs

The Chiefs climbed to the top of the Super Rugby standings thanks to a 26-9 win over Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday.

Michael Leitch, James Lowe and Liam Squire scored tries for the visitors, with Aaron Cruden, Tim Nanai-Williams and Andrew Horrell all kicking a penalty apiece, with the latter also adding a conversion.

Crusaders fly-half Dan Carter kicked all his side's points in the home defeat.

The result means Crusaders have now won four and lost five of their games, with a place in the play-offs looking uncertain as they are now 12 points behind the Chiefs.

The Chiefs were dealt an early blow in the match when Sam Cane was sent to the sin-bin for a yellow card offence after he came in from the side when trying to save a try.

Carter lined up the resulting penalty and kicked the hosts to a 3-0 lead in the sixth minute.

Cruden soon levelled, before two penalty misses for Carter saw Crusaders squander a chance to take the lead before Cane's return.

With Cruden receiving treatment for an injury on the pitch, wing Nanai-Williams stepped up to slot another penalty and they were soon further ahead when Richie McCaw fumbled the ball forwards, allowing Leitch to pounce and score the opening try.

Horrell, who came on for Cruden, added the extras.

Carter had the chance to pull back three points on the half hour mark but he missed his third penalty chance in a row but he landed the next to cut the gap.

However, the Chiefs took an 18-6 lead into half-time as Lowe raced away down the wing to score just as the siren sounded for the break.

Carter started the second half with a successful penalty but that was the last of the points for Crusaders, who fell further behind when they were penalised at the scrum, Horrell nailing the penalty.

Squire touched down for the Chiefs' third try in the 70th minute, Horrell missing the conversion this time, but it did not matter as the visitors claimed the win to take them to the top of the pile.

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