The Chiefs overturned a 19-point deficit in the second half to clinch a 35-29 victory over the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.
Run of play: Four well-worked tries from the Hurricanes in the first half enabled the hosts to open up a commanding 26-7 lead, and from there it was always going to be a case of playing catch-up for the Chiefs. Yet, the comeback looked well and truly on when the Chiefs scored two tries in as many minutes to suddenly reduce the deficit to five points heading into the final quarter. They then took the lead after Naitoa Ah Kuoi dotted down for another try and, despite a subsequent long-range penalty by Hurricanes Jordie Barrett, the result was sealed when Luke Jacobson powered over.
Standout performer: The Hurricanes’ Ngani Laumape and Salesi Rayasi were impressive in the first half, but for the Chiefs, it was Damian McKenzie and supersub Chase Tiatia who provided the spark in a remarkable fightback from the visitors.
Key stats: The Chiefs made plenty of running, with 478 metres carried and 123 carries, but also put more kicks in play compared to the Hurricanes (28 to 24). The Hurricanes were forced to make 135 tackles, while the Chiefs racked up 93.
Losing streak broken: For the Chiefs, believe it or not, this was their first victory in Super Rugby Aotearoa after they went through the 2020 competition without a win. In total, it was the Chiefs’ first win in 12 games.