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Second half rally helps Chiefs draw with Cheetahs

Monday, April 07, 2014

WELLINGTON - The Chiefs conducted their second South African Super Rugby escape act in the space of a week to draw 43-43 with the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

In a game baring remarkable similarities to last weekend's 34-34 draw with the Bulls, the Chiefs once again launched an enormous comeback - from 24 points down - and levelled after the final hooter.

This time it was wing Tim Nanai-Williams who scored their sixth and final try, dancing past two defenders in the 82nd minute to score under the crossbar.

First five-eighth Aaron Cruden, as he did at Pretoria last week, slotted the conversion to once again earn his team three competition points.

It means the Chiefs end their three-match tour winless, including a loss to the Western Force in Perth, but the six points secured in South Africa could prove important as they pursue a third successive Super Rugby title.

The Cheetahs, winless in their previous six games, looked set to end their drought when leading 34-10 at halftime.

Inspired by the running of halfback Sarel Pretorius, who scored two tries, they played with speed and power which defied their last placing. The other tries went to wing Rayno Benjamin and flanker Boom Prinsloo.

The Chiefs' only first-half try was scored by halfback Augustine Pulu, who grabbed his second in the 52nd minute to spark a five-try surge over the last half-hour.

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