Chiefs rally to beat Blues
The Chiefs rallied from 13-10 down early in the second half to defeat the Blues 23-16 at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday.
The result extended the Chiefs' winning streak over the Blues to nine matches, and improved their season record to six wins in eight to keep them second in the New Zealand conference and also second in overall points behind competition leaders the Hurricanes.
For the bottom-of-the-table Blues, in contrast, it was a seventh straight Super 15 loss.
The game was a scrappy affair, the Chiefs suffering from a misfiring line-out and giving up a plethora of turnovers, while the Blues struggled to get out of their own half and paid heavily for a lack of discipline.
The hosts looked to be have everything under control after surging into a 10-0 lead in the first half-hour thanks to an 18th-minute penalty from Aaron Cruden, having missed his first two attempts, and a converted James Lowe try.
Dan Bowden kicked a penalty before the interval and then converted Jerome Kaino's score - the back-rower touched down off the back of a five-metre scrum - soon after to make it all square before slotting another penalty to edge the visitors ahead.
But Cruden levelled with another penalty and then number eight Mike Leitch broke out from inside his own 22 resulted in a try for Tom Marshall. New Zealand fly-half Cruden again added the extras and sealed matters with a further penalty.
Blues replacement Ihaia West kicked a penalty after the full-time siren to earn his team a consolation bonus point.