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Defending Super Rugby champions Waikato Chiefs secured a playoff berth with an 11-8 victory over Auckland Blues in their final week of the regular season encounter at Eden Park on Friday.
Liam Messam ran in a try while six points came from the boot of Aaron Cruden as the Chiefs kept alive their hopes of recording a hat-trick of Super Rugby titles.
The outcome shattered the playoff dreams of the Blues, who went into the match with an unbeaten home record this year but also missing All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock and captain Luke Braid through injuries.
After a tight first half, George Moala scored a second-half try in the right hand corner but it was not enough in the end for a side burdened with a mammoth pre-game task of needing to win by 38 points. – Reuters