Planet Rugby

Chiefs hold off Rebels fightback

12th April 2014 10:23

Share:

Tanerau Latimer Chiefs v Rebels SR 2014

Tanerau Latimer takes on the Rebels defence

The Chiefs staved off a late fightback from the Rebels before claiming a hard-fought 22-16 victory in Hamilton on Saturday.

Stand-in fly-half Gareth Anscombe was the home side's hero, contributing 17 points via five penalties and a conversion but the Chiefs will be disappointed that they didn't capitalise on their early dominance which saw them racing into a 19-0 lead inside the opening quarter.

The hosts dominated dominated and three Anscombe penalties inside the opening 10 minutes gave them a 6-0 lead. The visitors were battling at the breakdowns - particularly captain Scott Higginbotham, who was penalised several times - and Anscombe added another penalty in the 12th minute before Michael Fitzgerald got the game's opening try in the 15th minute.

Anscombe, who was doing a fine job deputising for injured All Blacks pivot Aaron Cruden, showed that goal-kicking was not the only string to his bow as he made the initial break which set up Fitzgerald's five-pointer.

Anscombe added the extras and gave his side a 19-0 lead when he slotted another penalty in the 21st minute as the Rebels were still struggling to come to terms with the Chiefs' intensity in most facets of play.

The men from Melbourne eventually got onto the scoreboard via a Jason Woodward penalty in the 26th minute after several Chiefs were caught offside while on defence close to their try-line.

The rest of the half saw more attacking from the home side but their finishing let them down and the only other points of the opening period came via a Woodward penalty on the stroke of half-time which meant the Chiefs held a 19-6 lead at the interval.

After the restart, the Rebels stepped up a gear while the Chiefs' intensity levels seemed to drop remarkably.

The visitors attacked from the kick-off and were rewarded in the 43rd minute when Shota Horie crashed over the whitewash from close quarters. This after Tom English laid the groundwork with a fine attacking run after the Rebels had initially attacked from a line-out on the Chiefs' 22.

Woodward slotted the conversion which meant the home side's lead was reduced to six points but although the Rebels were more competitive, their indiscipline at the breakdowns would come back to haunt them 10 minutes later.

Higginbotham was the man who paid the price when referee Matt O'Brien sent him to the sin bin for a cynical foul close to his try-line after the Chiefs launched a maul at a line-out on the Rebels' five-metre line.

With the visitors down to 14 men, the Chiefs tried to make their numerical advantage count but they could not breach their opponents' defensive line. The Chiefs eventually opted to kick at goal and Anscombe's 58th minute penalty gave them some breathing space but it would prove to be the last time that the hosts would add to their points tally.

Despite losing their captain, the Rebels fightback continued and another Woodward penalty in the 64th minute brought them within a converted try of taking the lead.

They spent most of the closing stages inside the Chiefs' half but could not extend their lead. Woodward had an opportunity to narrow the gap to three points but his penalty attempt, in the 75th minute was off target.

That setback didn't deter the Rebels, who kept up the pressure but although the Chiefs were also reduced to 14 men in the 76th minute - when Pauliasi Manu was yellow carded for deliberately collapsing a maul - the visitors could not convert their dominance into points.

The scorers:

For Chiefs:
Try: Fitzgerald
Con: Anscombe
Pens: Anscombe 5
Yellow card: Manu (76th minute, deliberately collapsing a maul)

For Rebels:
Try: Horie
Con: Woodward
Pens: Woodward 3
Yellow card: Higginbotham (55th minute, professional foul)

Chiefs: 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 (c), 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.

Melbourne 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 (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 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)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Preview
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26