Chiefs hold off Highlanders in Hamilton

DEFENDING Super Rugby champions the Chiefs withstood a fierce first-half onslaught from the winless Highlanders but dominated after the break to run out 19-7 winners in a sometimes frenetic encounter in Hamilton on Friday.

A first-half try from centre Tim Nanai-Williams and four penalties from the boot of full-back Gareth Anscombe proved sufficient for the win, which firmed up the hosts' position atop the New Zealand conference.

The Highlanders, who started the season with high hopes of going deep into the competition, had a converted try from Aaron Smith in the first half but were unable to add to that score and fell to their fourth straight defeat.

The Chiefs were forced to endure a breathless first half assault from the visitors but took a 10-0 lead against the run of play courtesy of an early Anscombe penalty and the eighth-minute try from centre Nanai-Williams.

The try came from a Highlanders attack with Nanai-Williams showing good hands to scoop the ball up from his bootlaces after lock Josh Bekhuis's fumble before turning on the afterburners to race 55 metres to score.

Read more at ABC news online.

Topics:  highlanders super rugby

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