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Chiefs secure handy halftime lead

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Sportal.co.nz     04 Aug 2012     Getty Images

The Sharks defence was uncompromising through the initial stages, rattling the home team with some jarring tackles courtesy of No.8 Ryan Kankowski, a menace from the outset, flankers Marcell Coetzee and Keegan Daniel and the front brother Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis.

The Chiefs finally broke the shackles in the 18th minute after a chip kick from first five-eighths Aaron Cruden which caught fullback Pat Lambie in two minds. The ball rebounded from Lambie to centre Andrew Horrell and he carried play forward. It was moved back to the right where second five-eighths Sonny Bill Williams broke through and linked with fullback Robbie Robinson. He carried play to the line and from the ruck it was moved to the left where right wing Tim Nanai Williams wormed his way between the Du Plessis brothers to go across in the tackle. Cruden added the conversion.

Six minutes later Cruden landed a penalty goal from wide out to negate that which first five-eighths Frederic Michalak landed in the sixth minute to open the scoring.

In the 32nd minute a piece of indiscipline from Jannie du Plessis who punched Chiefs hooker Mahonri Schwalger after referee Steve Walsh had already awarded a penalty to the Sharks saw the penalty reversed and Cruden punished the Sharks further when landing a 45m penalty goal.