All Blacks back for Blues

Both missed last week with niggling injuries, although the squad still has 12 players unable to be considered for selection.

Coach Tana Umaga said he is looking for a significant improvement in their team defence and discipline for the repeat game against the Chiefs, after last week's loss to the Sharks.

"We let ourselves down with our team defence. The boys all realise that and have come in this week with a determined attitude. Last year we were developing into a strong team defensive unit and we must get back to that level.

Wainui try secures tight Chiefs win over Highlanders

Wainui gave his side the lead for good after a topsy-turvy encounter on the scoreboard even though the home side had dominated much of the possession and territory.

Fullback Solomon Alaimalo and hooker Nathan Harris had scored either side of half time to give the home side a 20-7 lead only for the visitors to come storming back with tries to Tevita Li and Sio Tomkinson and take a two-point lead with about 20 minutes remaining.

Chiefs need to be more clinical

The limping visitors will take a no-excuse approach into Friday's match at Eden Park featuring two teams seeking to avoid twin losses to start their season.

Both fell short in the South Island last weekend - the Blues beaten 41-34 by the Highlanders before the Chiefs conceded late tries in a 45-23 lesson from defending champions the Crusaders.

Assistant coach Neil Barnes believes that score was unflattering and doesn't want to alter much.

Penalty try sinks Chiefs in Christchurch

It was a game that once again showcased the incredible array of talent in the New Zealand Super Rugby conference. However, while both sides produced glimpses of unbelievable skill, there was also enough ill-discipline from both sides to cause some concern for coaches Scott Robertson and Colin Cooper.

The first half started brightly for the Chiefs, who almost scored off the opening passage through a McKenzie break. However, that was basically the last they saw of the ball for the next 12 minutes.

Chiefs outmuscle Brumbies, unearth star

The scoreline does the Brumbies plenty of justice, as they scored three tries at the death with the result beyond any doubt, after trailing 26-7 at half-time.

While the result will keep Chiefs coaches happy, they would have been far more pleased with the form of Solomon Alaimalo, who was simply unstoppable on the left wing.

The Chiefs' in 2017 rookie of the year, Alaimalo's blistering first half was packed with tackle busts, line breaks and try assists left a shell-shocked Brumbies unable to respond.

Highlanders heading to Fiji

Led by new coach Aaron Mauger, the Dunedin-based side have agreed to stage a home game in Suva on June 30 against the Colin Cooper-coached Chiefs - who have played the Crusaders in Fiji in 2016 and 2017.

Club chief Roger Clark says it is a sound sporting decision.

"We are aware of the large following Super Rugby enjoys in Fiji and we're happy to have the chance to showcase our style of game in the islands," Clark said.

"Fiji has produced so many great players including our own Waisake Naholo - it will be great experience for him and all the players."

Chiefs not eyeing Fiji

For the past two years the franchise has taken their big game, against what have become their fiercest rivals, to Suva, in a deal which reaped financial benefit, but left local fans missing out on attending the key derby. 

The 2018 draw was announced on Thursday, and while none of the New Zealand sides have confirmed their venues for their eight home fixtures, the Chiefs aren't expecting to play in Fiji for a third successive year.

Tears as Cruden bids farewell

The Chiefs co-captain's playing days in NZ drew to a close in his side's 27-13 Super Rugby semifinal defeat to the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday night.

It was immediately clear after fulltime just how much the Chiefs meant to Cruden, and how much of a different turn his career is about to take, with the influential first five-eighth wiping away tears as it dawned on him that that was it.

'Father-son' era ends at the Chiefs

The Crusaders 27-13 victory last night puts them into the final where they'll play the Lions in Johanesburg, after they beat the Hurricanes 44-29 this morning.

The Chiefs will now say goodbye to club mainstays Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and James Lowe, as well as coach Dave Rennie.

Cruden who has played 50 tests for New Zealand and 85 games for Chiefs says it will be tough saying goodbye to his super rugby franchise.

Crusaders beat Chiefs 27-13 to advance to Super Rugby final

With their backs against the wall for much of Saturday’s match, and barely one-third of possession, the Crusaders seized on every chance.

Midfielder-cum-winger Seta Tamanivalu bagged a clinical double, after earlier efforts by halfback Bryn Hall and Test stalwart Israel Dagg.

Without the ball, the Crusaders were equally impressive, holding a territorially dominant Chiefs outfit — with Damian McKenzie lurking from deep — to a single try, a late consolation to lock Brodie Retallick.