Sonny Bill Williams of the Chiefs celebrates after scoring a try during the round 17 Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and the Crusaders
Sonny Bill Williams of the Chiefs celebrates after scoring a try during the round 17 Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and the Crusaders Hannah Johnston - Getty Images

Chiefs push Crusaders to the edge

THE Crusaders kept their Super Rugby play-off hopes alive with a tension-charged 28-21 win over the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday.

The Crusaders leapt out to a 20-6 lead 20 minutes into the game but were reeled in by the hosts and forced to defend grimly in the final minutes to secure the valuable win in a frenetic atmosphere at a packed Waikato Stadium.

Trailing by a converted try, the Chiefs won two penalties after the siren as they hammered the Crusaders' defence in a desperate bid to cobble a draw, but were denied when inside centre Sonny Bill Williams was held up on the line.

While Williams might regret not passing out wide to the right where the Chiefs had a three-man overlap, the Crusaders were deserving victors despite having the benefit of a controversial 52nd-minute try awarded by television review.

The win gave the Crusaders valuable breathing space in the wildcard berths for the play-offs, while the Chiefs have already sewn up the New Zealand conference and will contest the postseason.

Read the full match report at ABC news online.


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