Chiefs hold off plucky Rebels

Sat, 12 Apr 2014 09:19
Large latimer rebels.jpg630

The Chiefs were forced to work hard for their 22-16 victory over a gritty Rebels side at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday.

The Chiefs were forced to work hard for their 22-16 victory over a gritty Rebels side at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday.

The defending champions raced out to an early lead, but the Rebels showed great character to fight their way back into the game and push their hosts right to the end.

The Melbourne side have the consolation of a bonus point, but they remain firmly rooted to the bottom of the Australian conference whilst the Chiefs maintain their position at the top of the New Zealand conference.

The teams scored just one try each in what was a tough match up front, with aggressive defence from both teams dominating an even contest.

The home side opened the scoring with a penalty from Aaaron Cruden's replacement Gareth Anscombe. The Rebels tried to shift the ball quickly early on, but they got caught out and after some good driving play Anscombe was able to kick another penalty to put the Chiefs 6-0 up.

The Chiefs had the ascendency in the early scrum exchanges, and a powerful shove gave Anscombe his next opportunity which he knocked over from just in front of the halfway line.

The Chiefs flyhalf got a chance to show off his running skills after that as he sliced through the Rebels defence to set up lock Michael Fitzgerald to barge his way over for the opening try.

Having conceded a point a minute the Rebels were already desperate and refused an easy kick at goal and flung it wide but they could not penetrate the Chiefs' defence.

Instead it would be the Chiefs who extended their lead further as Anscombe's fourth penalty put them 19-0 up before the Rebels opened their account with a penalty from Jason Woodward.

The Rebels continued to look for openings out wide, but some sloppy handling let them down and all they got was another Woodward penalty to trail the Chiefs 19-6 at half-time.

The visitors were first to strike after the break when a good break from wing Tom English saw Japanese hooker Shota Horie get over for their first try which cut the lead down to 19-13.

The Chiefs' response was hard and direct, but their driving play was stopped just short of the line when inside centre Bundee Aki knocked it on. Their next chance came when the ball was turned over on their own tryline and hacked ahead, with the resulting line-out ending with a yellow card for Rebels skipper Scott Higginbotham for a cynical infringement.

The Chiefs took advantage with a big shove at scrum-time and Anscombe was able to kick another penalty, but the Rebels hit back with one of their own which meant that they did not lose any ground in the time that their captain was off the field.

The Chiefs have finished well in recent weeks to claim two draws, but the Rebels seemed to have the late momentum in this match as they pushed for an upset away victory.

They had their chance to snatch victory with an attacking line-out five minutes from the end, and things got even tougher for the Chiefs when replacement prop Pauliasi Manu was shown a yellow card for a cynical infringement at the maul.

However, they coughed it up on the tryline and the Chiefs were able to clear their lines to hold on for a tough win.

Man of the match: The Rebels pack fronted up to the Chiefs well with the likes of Hugh Pyle, Shota Horie and Luke Jones all putting in big shifts, whilst wing Tom English was also impressive, but our award has to go to Chiefs flyhalf Gareth Anscombe who steered his team to a tough win.

The scorers:

For the Chiefs:
Con: Anscombe
Pens: Anscombe 5

For the Rebels:
Con: Woodward
Pens: Woodward 3

Yellow cards: Scott Higginbotham (Rebels, 54 - Cynical infringement), Pauliasi Manu (Chiefs, 75 mins - Cynical infringement)


15 Tom Marshall, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Andrew Horrell, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Mils Muliaina, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Kane Thompson, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Brodie Retallick (captain), 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Jamie Mackintosh.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Ross Filipo, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 Jordan Payne.

Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Male Sau, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle,  Laurie Weeks, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emilie, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Tom Kingston, 23 Angus Roberts.

Referee: Matt O'Brien (Australia)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

There are currently no matches being played
Sat, 25 November 2017
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 12h45 Welford Road
Bath v Harlequins 12h45 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Edinburgh
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand 17h15 Cardiff
Ireland v Argentina 17h30 Aviva Stadium
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 17h30 AJ Bell Stadium
France v Japan 19h00 Paris
Sun, 26 November 2017
Kings v Scarlets 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Liberty Stadium
Zebre v Munster 13h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Allianz Park
London Irish v Wasps 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Fri, 01 December 2017
Kings v Edinburgh 17h15 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff Blues 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Dragons v Ulster 18h35 Rodney Parade
Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks 18h45 Sixways
Northampton Saints v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28