Chiefs captain Craig Clarke believes their fast-paced game laid the foundation for their 28-22 win over the Bulls in Hamilton on Friday
The Chiefs, who scored three tries to one in a tightly contested match in which the lead changed hands six times, bounced back from a lacklustre first-half display to outscore the Bulls 20-6 after the break.
The Bulls’ rolling maul and Morne Steyn’s boot kept the dogged South Africans within touching distance, but a Sam Cane try 10 minutes from time proved decisive.
“It was good that we wanted to do some stuff up tempo because we know how they are very structured and like to be very controlling of how they play,” Clarke told Sportal.
“We certainly knew that if we upped the tempo, play some footy and catch them unawares we’d try that if it was on.”
Bulls skipper Pierre Spies said that while he regarded two wins on his team’s four-match tour as a good return, he was frustrated by the way Friday’s match at Waikato Stadium slipped away.
“They put us under pressure at the breakdown and we couldn’t get our game going, then they got that try,” he said.
“We thought we had a chance but that try made it very difficult for us.”
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said the victory was extra special as his side have several difficult encounters coming up against their fellow New Zealand franchises.
“We’ve got a lot of tough games coming up so a loss tonight would have put us right back in the pack,” he explained.
“It’s key that we have a good week next and front for the Blues, because they’re too good a side not to knock someone over and we don’t want to be that team.”