Chiefs

Chiefs get their Chief back

Coach Warren Gatland has made several changes to the Chiefs forward pack with Cane, lock Mitchell Brown and hooker Bradley Slater coming into the starting 15.

Samisoni Taukei'aho shifts to the bench with Brown returning from a neck injury to combine with Naitoa Ah Kuoi in the second row.

Lachlan Boshier shifts back to the blindside, with Cane returning on the openside.

Halfback Brad Weber will run out for his 80th game for the Chiefs jersey and will be joined by a near unchanged backline.

Excitement builds for first post-lockdown Crusaders home game

Lockdown and the cancellation of the regular Super Rugby season meant Christchurch had only been able to host two games so far this year.

Crusaders boss Colin Mansbridge said 13,000 seats had already been sold at the 17,000 capacity stadium and was confident the remainder would be snapped up by their rugby-starved fans.

Crusaders desperate to improve their discipline against Chiefs

So it is no surprise their lack of discipline against the Hurricanes last weekend has been a focal point as they prepare to host the Chiefs in Christchurch on Sunday afternoon.

Conceding 15 penalties, most of them in the first half, didn't stop the red and blacks nabbing a 39-25 bonus point win, but it certainly kept the hosts in the contest.

Indeed, the Hurricanes were outscored five tries to one, yet the game was locked at 25-25 with a quarter of an hour to play.

Blues down tryless Chiefs

They kept the Chiefs tryless in a match which looked set to be decided by a kicking battle between Damian McKenzie for the Chiefs and the Blues' playmaker Otere Black.

But two well-taken tries proved pivotal, and the Blues eased to the top of the Super Rugby Aotearoa ladder with their first win over the Chiefs in Hamilton since 2011.

The Chiefs drew first blood with a McKenzie penalty after 12 minutes, only for the Blues to hit back two minutes later when No.8 Hoskins Sotutu powered over from close range after a solid Blues lineout.

Gatland kicks Highlanders to win over Chiefs

Super Rugby Aotearoa is the first professional rugby competition in the world to have fans return en-masse in the Covid-19 era.

Bryn Gatland gave the home supporters plenty to cheer about with his match-winning last-minute drop kick. The Highlanders had led 22 to 16 at halftime but the Chiefs - coached by Gatland's father, Warren - fought back to take the lead 27-25 with just three minutes remaining.

However, Bryn Gatland snatched the win with a 40m drop goal and just 60 seconds left on the clock.

Canes clinch late win over Chiefs

Jordie Barrett's 40 metre kick in the fourth minute of second-half injury time sealed a 27-24 win for the visitors on Friday night.

The result was a bounce-back for the Hurricanes after their upset loss at home against the Blues last weekend, while the Chiefs suffered their second consecutive defeat in Hamilton.

Discipline had been an issue for the Hurricanes against the Blues, and appeared it may be again as co-captain and halfback TJ Perenara was shown a yellow card for a high tackle in the 57th minute.

Brumbies beat Chiefs for the first time since 2007

Coming into Saturday night's match, the Chiefs were unbeaten in the 2020 season, while the Brumbies were coming off a narrow 23-22 loss to the Highlanders at home the week before.

That last minute loss may have spurred the Brumbies on in Hamilton, as it was the visitors who came out firing from the first whistle.

Fullback Tom Banks was the first to score for the Brumbies off a set piece move inside the Chiefs 22.

Mo'unga out and McKenzie in for Super Rugby showdown

Lingering knee and groin injuries for Crusaders first five-eighth Richie Mo'unga means coach Scott Robertson has rearranged his backline for the round two match.

Regular Crusaders fullback David Havili will start at first five-eighth for the first time at Super Rugby level to fill the gap left by Mo'unga who left the field during the Crusaders opening round win over the Waratahs.

Will Jordan moves to fullback and Sevu Reece lines up on the right wing.

Despite the loss of 17-game All Black Mo'unga, the Crusaders will not be short on experience.

Cane says Chiefs wanted to prove critics wrong

Colin Cooper's side dug themselves out of a 0-4 hole at the start of the season and overcame the loss of key players to injury to book themselves a quarter-final against Argentina's Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

Cane said the New Zealanders had been written off at various stages during the season but managed to rally each time to stay in touch.

"There's been numerous times throughout the year when it was like 'the Chiefs are out of it', or 'they're pretty much done', or 'they're a slim mathematical hope'," he said.

Chiefs keep playoff hopes alive with stunning upset of Crusaders in Fiji

In one of the more scintillating, yet bizarre, games of Super Rugby you are likely to witness, the 'hosts' in Suva came from 20-0 down after as many minutes to down the two-time defending champions in a 10-try thriller at ANZ Stadium.

In hot and humid conditions, players accustomed to running round in single-digit degrees, were very quickly dripping with sweat, lungs heaving, in a wide-open spectacle where defence seemed optional.