Super Rugby finals take shape after wild comeback

4 weeks ago

The Chiefs clung to a rapidly diminishing pb to bushed the Fijian Drua 35-34 connected Saturday successful a thrilling lucifer which allowed them to clinch a location quarterfinal successful Super Rugby Pacific.

The past lucifer of the Drua's inaugural play successful Super Rugby was played successful beforehand of a packed location astatine Churchill Park successful Lautoka, Fiji.

Every inch of the crushed was filled and spectators occupied each histrion oregon different vantage constituent overlooking the crushed to spot what turned retired to beryllium 1 of the astir compelling matches of the season.

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The Chiefs led 35-13 with lone 14 minutes remaining successful the lucifer and they indispensable person felt the occupation was done successful hot, humid and sapping conditions.

The Drua launched an bonzer comeback, scoring 3 tries successful the past 10 minutes to marque the lucifer a cliffhanger.

The Drua attacked from everyplace and the weary Chiefs lone conscionable managed to bent connected to the captious points they needed to guarantee a decorativeness among the apical 4 teams.

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A large assemblage turned up astatine Churchill Park. (Getty)

"I thought we'd played our 1 and lone get retired of jailhouse escaped paper against the Rebels a mates of weeks agone but it turns retired we've got two," Chiefs skipper Brad Weber said.

"We conscionable consciousness a consciousness of alleviation much than anything. Man, hats disconnected to the Drua. That past 10 oregon 15 minutes they were conscionable unbelievable. I haven't seen tries scored similar that successful my full career. It conscionable feels incredibly fortunate to beryllium capable to win."

Weber created a effort for winger Emoni Narawa arsenic the Chiefs led 21-7 astatine halftime.

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Prop Angus Ta'avao and flyhalf Bryn Gatland scored tries wrong the archetypal 20 minutes and Weber's touchdown conscionable earlier the interruption gave the Chiefs a comfy advantage.

The Chiefs went further up with a 2nd effort to Fiji-born Narawa and looked to person the crippled nether power erstwhile they were awarded a punishment effort astatine a scrum successful the 66th minute, making the pb 22 points.

Roared connected by the crowd, the Drua refused to beryllium denied.

Angus Ta'avao of the Chiefs makes a tally astatine Churchill Park. (Getty)

They deed backmost archetypal with a magnificent counterattacking effort to Kalaveti Ravouvou and added different 5 minutes aboriginal to Apisalome Vota.

The Chiefs began to consciousness unit astatine 35-27.

The stadium erupted erstwhile replacement prop Timoci Sauvoli scored nether the posts with a infinitesimal connected the timepiece and the conversion chopped the Chiefs pb to a azygous point.

The Drua gained a last possession but the lucifer ended earlier they could marque their rally a winning one.

"In a fewer years, this is going to beryllium a earnestly pugnacious spot to play, particularly for New Zealand teams," Weber said.

"I deliberation it's astir 1 grade successful Hamilton and you travel implicit present and it's 30 degrees with humidity, truthful it's not easy." - Associated Press

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