If nothing else, sport can serve as a distraction. Whether a fan or not, following a game can take your mind away — be it for only an hour or two.

After New Zealand was rocked by the deaths of at least 49 people in mass shootings in Christchurch, the Chiefs and Hurricanes did what they could to provide some brief relief for the 12,902 in attendance at Hamilton's FMG Stadium.

After addressing the horror in Christchurch by coming together in a huddle to observe a moment of silence, the sides squared off in what was the Chiefs' best performance of the season.

In need of a win to revitalise their year, the Chiefs showed up in a big way in Hamilton to fight out a 23-23 draw.


It was a surprisingly impressive performance from the Chiefs, who looked well out of sorts through the first four rounds of their campaign. Their attack, while at times frantic, was cohesive for the most part, with Damian McKenzie shining in his return to fullback.

It didn't take long for the hosts to get on to the scoreboard, with midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown charging down a Hurricanes clearing kick, regathering and running in the first try of the match with ease.

The Hurricanes were their own worst enemies in the initial exchanges. After scoring the opening points, the Chiefs invited pressure in their own 22 but the Hurricanes couldn't hold the ball long enough to threaten the tryline and had to settle for a shot from the tee to open their account.

It was their much scrutinised scrum that lit the fire underneath the Hurricanes offence, with midfielder Matt Proctor waltzing across the stripe from the back of a well-worked set piece to give his side the lead in the 15th minute.

The lead was shortlived, however, as Damian McKenzie ran in a try five minutes later after some sloppy play went the Chiefs' way.

As has so often happened this year, the Chiefs attack looked frantic and rushed as the ball went to ground from some forced play.

Lock Tyler Ardron scooped up the loose ball in a 50/50 contest, sending midfielder Tumua Manu into a hole and he laid off the football for McKenzie to finish.

Heading into the break with a seven-point lead, the Chiefs found themselves behind again just six minutes after the restart as Wes Goosen went over out wide for the Hurricanes.


But after a McKenzie penalty levelled the scores once more, it looked set to become a case of who would be the first to flinch. Instead, it became a case of who could take their opportunities. In the end, neither could close it out.

Chiefs 23 (Anton Lienert-Brown, Damian McKenzie tries; McKenzie 2 cons, 3 pens)

Hurricanes 23 (Matt Proctor, Wes Goosen tries; Beauden Barrett 2 cons, 2 pens, Jordie Barrett pen)

Halftime: 20-13