Cruden stars as Chiefs win
All Black fly-half contributes 13 points in Durban victory
Last Updated: 21/04/12 7:08pm
Aaron Cruden scored 13 points as the Chiefs stayed top of the Super 15 table with an 18-12 victory over the Sharks in Durban.
The New Zealand fly-half ran in the opening try of the game and kicked the conversion and two penalties to help extend the visitors unbeaten run to seven matches.
Augustine Pulu also crossed at the death for the Chiefs, while all of the Sharks points came from the boot of Patrick Lambie.
The Chiefs started well and went in front in the 18th minute when Cruden burst through a gap in the home defence to dot down.
He slotted over the extras and, 11 minutes later, was successful with a 25-yard penalty after the Sharks were penalised at the scrum to put his side 10-0 up.
Lambie reduced the deficit with a penalty of his own just before the break and the Sharks continued to eat away at the lead early in the second half.
He banged over his second penalty two minutes after the restart and brought his side to within a point five minutes later.
Cruden gave the Chiefs some breathing space with a 62nd-minute penalty, but Lambie responded by kicking his fourth to leave his side trailing just 13-12.
The Chiefs were hanging on and Lambie had a chance to put the hosts in front but missed his first penalty of the match, going short with a long-range effort from more than 50 metres.
Cruden then pushed a kick from distance right before Pulu wrapped up the win for the Chiefs, breaking up the touchline to score a last-gasp second try.
Cruden could not add the conversion as the Sharks at least went away with a losing bonus-point.