Planet Rugby

Masaga hat-trick sinks Kings

15th March 2013 19:00

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Lelia Masaga of the Chiefs v Kings

Hat-trick: Lelia Masaga

Lelia Masaga scored three tries as the Chiefs racked up another bonus point win by beating the Kings 35-24 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

The defending champions will now head back to New Zealand with seven points out of a possible ten from their two-game tour of South Africa after picking up two bonus points against the Stormers last week.

Masaga scored twice in the first half to help the visitors to a 18-13 lead at the interval before sealing his hat-trick in the second half after Sam Cane had added the Chiefs' third. The accurate boot of full-back Gareth Anscombe added the remaining points with three conversions and three penalties.

Many had expected the Kings to get thrashed but in another gutsy performance they stayed in touch until the death.

A 95m try against the run of play from teenager Sergeal Petersen just before the break kept the hosts in the game and number eight Jacques Engelbrecht's try from short range on the hour mark was just reward for the plucky newcomers to the competition. Fly-half Demetri Catrakilis slotted four penalties and a conversion.

While the Kings were not completley outclassed and had more opportunities with the ball than in previous games, the New Zealanders were in control for much of the encounter.

Slick handling and passing by the Chiefs exposed the Kings defence twice in the first half and Masaga needed no second bidding to shoot over for two tries.

It helped the Chiefs build a handy 18-6 cushion and they were on the attack heading towards halftime when a dropped pass by Masaga saw Petersen swoop on the ball just metres from his line to run almost the length of the field for a thrilling try under the posts.

It gave the home fans some hope, but Chiefs again pulled ahead through Cane, who scored off the platform of the dominant Chiefs scrum. Masaga's third try in the 53rd minute to make it 32-13.

However, the Kings refused to lie down and hit back through Engelbrecht's strong effort after a driving maul while Augustine Pulu was in the sin bin for a professional foul.

The Chiefs had the final say when Anscombe slotted his third penalty with just minutes remaining to seal the deal for the visitors.

The Kings now head to Christchurch to face the Crusaders while the Chiefs host the Highlanders.

The scorers:

For Kings:
Tries: Petersen, Engelbrecht
Con: Catrakilis
Pens: Catrakilis 4

For Chiefs:
Tries: Masaga 3, Cane
Cons: Anscombe 3
Pens: Anscombe 3
Yellow card: Pulu (60th min- professional foul)

Kings: 15 SP Marais, 14 Marcello Sampson, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 Steven Sykes, 4 David Bulbring, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Jaco Engels, 19 Daniel Adongo, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Hadleigh Parkes, 24 Tomās Leonardi

Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Ross Filipo, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Michael Fitzgerald, 4 Craig Clarke (c), 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Brodie Retallick, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Charlie Ngatai, 22 Patrick Osborne.

Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha (South Africa), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Meuwessen (South Africa)

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