Chiefs win to stay in play-off hunt
Tries from Jamie Mackintosh and Brodie Retallick helped the Chiefs to a much-needed 24-16 victory over the Hurricanes that keeps them firmly in the hunt for a Super 15 play-off spot.
Mackintosh crossed in the first half to set the Hamilton-based side on their way and Retallick's score just after the hour mark gave them a comfortable cushion, with Aaron Cruden adding 13 points with his boot.
That ensured Hadleigh Parkes' score - converted by Beauden Barrett, who also scored three penalties - was mere consolation for the Hurricanes.
Victory lifted the Chiefs level on points with sixth-placed Brumbies as the defending champions attempt to seal a place in the play-offs.
Coach Dave Rennie made a string of changes following their defeat to the Highlanders, with Cruden the only back to retain his place in the XV.
Cruden made an inauspicious start by missing the posts with a 35-yard penalty although he made amends by putting the Chiefs ahead after Hurricanes prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen had infringed at the ruck.
The Hurricanes drew level through Barrett soon after as the Chiefs' forwards were punished for a similar offence, but the hosts regained the lead when Mackintosh scored the opening try in the 28th minute after being driven over the line.
Cruden added the extras and booted two penalties in the four minutes before the interval after Barrett had scored his own three-pointer as the Chiefs took a 16-6 interval lead.
Barrett then reduced the deficit to seven points with his third penalty after Mackintosh was penalised for a high tackle on Dane Coles.
But their hopes of launching a comeback were undone by Cruden's penalty after the Hurricanes' forwards collapsed a maul, while Retallick crashed over in the left corner in the 61st minute as the Chiefs took a 24-9 lead.
Parkes narrowed the arrears by bursting through two tackles to score under the posts, leaving Barrett a simple conversion, but it proved too little, too late.