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.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.