Chiefs roll over Lions in Super Rugby



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    The Chiefs machine rolled on at Pukekohe on Saturday, notching up their ninth straight Super Rugby win with a clinical 34-21 victory over the Lions at Growers Stadium.

    The New Zealand conference leaders, second overall, haven’t been beaten since the first round, while the Lions haven’t won since then.

    Powered by a monster effort from their forwards, the Lions never stopped trying, but the Chiefs’ customary defensive efficiency and four well-taken tries saw them home.

    The Chiefs paced their game well, two Aaron Cruden penalties giving them a 6-0 lead at the 15 minute mark.

    Three minutes later the nippy pivot crossed for the Chiefs’ first try, an initial midfield break from Richard Kahui carried on with good support play and finished off out wide by Cruden.

    With the half-hour mark looming, and with the Chiefs’ solid defence creating plenty of turnovers, Sonny Bill Williams set up a second try with a bullocking run to the line.

    Captain Craig Clarke powered over from the quick recycle, and the conversion gave the Chiefs a 20-0 lead with 10 minutes remaining until halftime.

    Lions replacement flanker Cobus Grobbelaar made the most of his brief time on the field, as the visitors finally established some field position and go-forward ball.

    The Lions’ big men proved unstoppable from the 10m lineout, Grobelaar rumbling across for the try.

    Ahead 20-7 at halftime, the Chiefs maintained momentum in the second spell. Tries to slippery winger Lelia Masaga and halfback Brendon Leonard were separated by another bruising forwards’ try to the Lions, captain Josh Strauss dotting down to keep the visitors in touch.

    The Lions’ strong lineout, and more superb mauling, narrowed the gap further when Grobelaar drove over for his second try in the 67th minute.

    With both teams tiring from the physical encounter, the scoreline remained unchanged as the Chiefs’ well-organised defence shut out the game.

    Clarke was already looking ahead to next weekend’s clash with defending Super champions the Queensland Reds in Brisbane.

    “That’s a Sunday match, so we’ve got a little bit longer than usual to prepare,” Clarke said.

    “It will be interesting to see how they go against the Crusaders (on Sunday) and we’ll have to go over there and put a big effort in before our bye.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (3)

    • May 6th 2012 @ 5:44am
      Riccardo said | May 6th 2012 @ 5:44am | ! Report

      Thought Strauss was immense in a losing effort.

      The man is a warrior.

      Scotty Stevenson was funny talking about the small communities living in his beard . His dour commentary is probably not for everyone but I find it refreshing.

      Chiefs let the Lions back into the match after again taking the foot off the pedal when they had the cats on the ropes.

      This appears to be the Chiefs achilles’ heal and they need to address it as finals football will find them out if they don’t.

      Message to smiling Sona. Don’t believe the hype!

      • May 6th 2012 @ 7:36am
        Moaman said | May 6th 2012 @ 7:36am | ! Report

        Riccardo mate! SS’s commentary style seems a tad overdone to me BUT at least he is a bit different.Have you heard Danny Morrison on IPL? Dreadful.As to the Chiefs’ Achille’s Heel—- I think the reshuffle may have been designed to address any areas of complacency and /or fatigue but it didn’t appear to be the remedy sought,did it? Noticed the drop in standard in pitch-surface too with the move away from Hamilton.Maybe afternoon games would be better in the smaller venues?

      • May 6th 2012 @ 9:45am
        Kuruki said | May 6th 2012 @ 9:45am | ! Report

        The hype? Sona has got the better of every prop he has faced this year and also has the better of 99% of the competition when it comes to scoring tries. You better beleive the hype because he is backing it up and has done since the World cup.
        The Chiefs have had the luxury of being able to rotate players all season and still win games. We will see a more settled selection with maybe only hooker and possibly loose forward being rotated, when this happens the Chiefs will make the step to the next gear that they have not even reached yet.

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