Chiefs get bonus-point winning start

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 06:03

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Chiefs recorded a 24-15 bonus-point win over the Highlanders to get their 2017 season underway in perfect fashion.

 

The Chiefs made the error-prone Highlanders pay dearly, outscoring them by three tries to none - the first two tries both came from opposition mistakes.

The Chiefs result means the Chiefs ending a six-game losing streak against their New Zealand rivals - dating back to 2014.

"It was a really polished team performance," captain Aaron Cruden said.

The Highlanders drew first blood with a Lima Sopoaga try but then conceded two easy tries off loose balls, both to Chiefs' wing James Lowe.

The first came when Malakai Fekitoa tried a spectacular back pass to get out of trouble, then Lowe swooped on the ball and evaded a tackler before dotting between the posts.

Waisake Naholo then gifted Lowe another, sending the ball straight to the wing, who gratefully darted down the sideline for another five-pointer.

After going into the break 14-9 up , the Chiefs extended their lead by a converted try when Hika Elliot made a cheeky run from a line-out to again embarrass the Highlanders' defence.

The Highlanders managed some penalties from there, but it was a lost cause.

Man of the match: As you have come to expect, Damian McKenzie showed his brilliance in bucketloads. However, our award goes to the Chiefs' Al Black lock Brodie Retallick - who showed an amazing workrate, more evidence as to why he is rated as the premier second row forward in the world.

The scorers:

For the Highlanders:
Pens: 
Sopoaga 5

For the Chiefs:
Tries: 
Lowe 2, Elliot
Cons: Cruden 3
Pen: Cruden

Teams:

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Liam Squire, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Smith, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Guy Millar, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes.

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Mitchell Karpik, 6 Taleni Seu, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Tuake'iaho, 17 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 18 Atu Moli, 19 Mitchell Brown, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Tim Nanai-Williams, 23 Shaun Stevenson.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

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Sun, 25 February 2018
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Crusaders v Stormers 06h35 Christchurch
Sharks v Waratahs 13h05 Kings Park
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 15h00 Sandy Park
Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Gloucester v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Kingsholm
Bulls v Lions 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scarlets v Leinster 15h15 Parc y Scarlets
Zebre v Ospreys 17h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Cheetahs v Connacht 17h35 Bloemfontein
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 1 1 0 0 5
Waratahs 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 1 1 0 0 4
Sunwolves 1 0 0 1 1
Reds 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 5
Highlanders 1 1 0 0 4
Hurricanes 1 0 0 1 1
Blues 1 0 0 1 1
Chiefs 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 2 2 0 0 9
Stormers 2 1 0 1 5
Bulls 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Jaguares 2 0 0 2 0