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McKenzie stars in Chiefs win

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Bryce Heem helped the Chiefs secure a 23-18 win against the Blues

Bryce Heem helped the Chiefs secure a 23-18 win against the Blues

Bryce Heem helped the Chiefs secure a 23-18 win against the Blues

The Chiefs opened their Super Rugby campaign in impressive fashion as they claimed a 23-18 win against the Blues in Auckland.

James Lowe and Bryce Heem scored the tries for the Chiefs with Damian McKenzie booting 13 points in a brilliant performance at the pivot.

Ihaia West kicked six penalties for the Blues.

West kicked the Blues into an early lead from the tee but that did not last long as the Chiefs scored the opening try after 10 minutes.

The visitors worked forward from a scrum and, after spreading the ball wide to Lowe, the wing beat two defenders before sprinting for the line.

McKenzie added the extras to make it 7-3 but just four minutes later the gap was wider still as the Chiefs went over again.

Sonny Bill Williams did well to gather a high ball and found Heem who raced clear to touch down with McKenzie once again adding the extra two points.

McKenzie had clearly found his range early and he made no mistake with a 40-metre penalty to extend the lead to 17-3.

West and McKenzie then traded further penalties and West added a third before the break to reduce the deficit to 11 points.

Matt Symons was sin-binned for failing to roll away just two minutes into the second-half and West booted the resulting penalty but McKenzie soon replied with a kick of his own.

West added a further six points with the boot to get the Blues within a try and set up a tense finish but the Chiefs held firm to open their campaign with a win.