Chiefs topple the Bulls
Horrell, Tikoirotuma and Cane cross for Waikato side
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter: @SkysportsTC. Last Updated: 25/05/12 10:16am
The Chiefs came through a bruising encounter to topple the Bulls 28-22 in Hamilton.
Both sides put in some huge hits, while the packs were happy to slug it out at the set-piece, with the lead swapping hands several times.
The Chiefs, though, were able to cross for tries through Andrew Horrell, Asaeli Tikoirotuma and Sam Cane, while Aaron Cruden added 13 to seal the win.
The Bulls took the lead four times in the match - with Morne Steyn landing 17 points, while Bjorn Basson scored their only try.
But it wasn't enough as the Chiefs kept on coming at them during an enthralling encounter.
The boot of Steyn opened the scoring after seven minutes - only for Cruden to level the score with the three-pointer of his own.
Both sides were going at it hammer and tongs - particularly upfront - and it was Steyn who moved the Bulls in to the lead with his 24th career drop goal.
However a howler by Akona Ndungane gifted Horrell the opening try. The Bulls winger first failed to gather Cruden's chip ahead cleanly, before he dropped the ball as he got caught by Tikoirotuma allowing Horrell to dribble to the ball over the line.
Steyn, though, kicked the Bulls into the lead for a third time with a penalty before he slotted over a conversion on the stroke of half-time after Basson showed tremendous finishing ability. The Bulls winger crossed for his eighth try of the season after rounding Lelia Masaga with ease.
Cruden cut the deficit to five points with a well-struck penalty from out wide five minutes into the second half.
Although Steyn responded yet again with a penalty, Cruden kept the Chiefs in touch with his third successful three-pointer.
And the Chiefs were rewarded for their adventure after the break, with a superbly executed move from a scrum seeing Tikoirotuma dive over. Cruden added the extras.
However having regained the lead, a silly error at the breakdown gifted Steyn another easy shot at goal to see the Bulls move 22-21 in front.
The Chiefs, though, refused to panic and they were back in front through replacement Cane, who was in the right place at the right time to score after Sonny Bill Williams had broken through the first line of defence following a quick lineout.
And Cruden converted to snatch a superb win for the hosts.