Brodie Retallick scored the only try as the Waikato Chiefs edged the ACT Brumbies 19-6 in an arm-wrestle of a Super Rugby Pacific semi-final on Saturday to set up a home title-decider against the Canterbury Crusaders next week.
Both sides defended brilliantly in a match for the purists at Hamilton’s Waikato Stadium, which remained try-less until the big All Blacks lock barged over the line two minutes from time.
Chiefs flyhalf Damian McKenzie, who is expected to return to the All Blacks squad when it is announced on Sunday, had few opportunities to display his running flair but kicked five kicks from five attempts to keep the home side in front throughout.
The Canberra-based Brumbies, looking to become the first Australian team in nearly three decades of Super Rugby to win a playoff in New Zealand, had just two penalties from the boot of Noah Lolesio to show for their efforts.
The 13-times Super Rugby champion Crusaders crushed the Auckland Blues 52-15 in Friday’s first semi-final in Christchurch.