Planet Rugby

Relief for six-try Chiefs

03rd May 2014 10:22

Share:

tim nanai williams chiefs lions

Wrapping it up: Tim Nanai-Williams

A much-needed success for the Chiefs put them back on top of the New Zealand Conference after defeating the Lions 38-8.

Gareth Anscome, Tanerau Latimer, Charlie Ngatai, Paulasi Manu, Bundee Aki and Tim Nanai-Williams were all try scorers for the home side.

The Chiefs were not quite at their 2012 or 2013 level, but this is a different outfit - hindered by injury and trying to find their feet.

To say the Lions were a little green would be putting it lightly. 17 players were running out for the first time in New Zealand but we've often seen this season that Johan Ackermann's men are not to be underestimated.

The Chiefs meanwhile have looked off-colour for a few weeks, capped by their thrashing received from the Brumbies last weekend that saw Dave Rennie make 14 changes to his matchday squad.

Against a Lions outfit who hadn't won since Round 6, you sensed that this could be the chance for the Chiefs to fire their season up again.

They made slow work of it though in the first half. The Lions' scrummaging prowess won an early penalty for Elton Jantjies to slot over to give the visitors the lead.

Little bits of execution were just lacking for the Chiefs, a sure sign of low confidence, but they did bag the game's opening try.

Patient work inside the Lions' 22 saw Liam Messam drive close to the line in the corner, before quick recycling lead to Tim Nanai-Williams feeding Gareth Anscombe for the try.

More chances were difficult to come by but Nathan Harris must have thought he'd finished off a dream score when he sprinted for the corner. Consultation with the TMO however revealed an earlier obstruction from Josh Hohneck, but it was a tough call.

Perhaps Hohneck doesn't even know his own size, because he nearly stopped the Chiefs scoring again when Tanerau Latimer dove over. This time the tighthead prop was reprieved, with the TMO happy to award the try after inspecting Latimer's grounding. 12-3 to the hosts heading into the break.

There was still a little bit of time for the Chiefs to add another try though before the siren sounded and it came through Charlie Ngatai.

After the TMO was used yet again, Nanai-Williams sucked up the defenders and the loose ball behind the ruck presented itself perfectly for Ngatai to dive on it. A comfortable lead, with the Chiefs suggesting they would run riot in the second half.

Pauliasi Manu wasted little time to wrap up the bonus point. Nanai-Williams' running after Brodie Retallick's initial break had the Lions scrambling on their line, but they couldn't stop the power of Manu with Hohneck behind him driving over the line.

Not that the Lions were likely to give up so soon. Warren Whiteley's flying break left them just short but after making a mess of the Chiefs' scrum deep in their 22, the visitors retained possession and made space for Courtnall Skosan to go over for his third try of the season.

With half an hour to go, another score for the Lions might have turned a bit of heat up on the Chiefs.

Successive driving mauls from kicks into the corner were well defended by the Lions, winning a scrum from which they cleared their lines as the Chiefs were penalised at the set-piece once again.

There were still signs that the Chiefs weren't quite at their best, forcing forward passes and not always looking secure at the breakdown. Part of that came down to some continued aggression in defence from the Lions, who refused to fade away as expected.

Jacques van Rooyen was somehow stopped short on a barreling run to the line but the Lions were denied, although the possession and territory stats were beginning to fall their way.

You always sensed the Chiefs had another score in them though. Andrew Horrell's grubber kick was perfectly timed as his fellow replacement Bundee Aki waited for the bounce of the ball before notching up the Chiefs' fifth try.

Overall it felt like a fair scoreline at 31-8, although the Chiefs can produce much more.

A fine wraparound from a central scrum laid the foundation for their sixth, the Lions' defence finally opening up as the excellent Nanai-Williams skipped through for the final blow.

All in all this was a much needed confidence boost for Rennie and his men, a small reminder that while not at their best the Chiefs are still the champions and a title contender.

The scorers:

For Chiefs:
Tries: Anscombe, Latimer, Ngatai, Manu, Aki, Nanai-Williams
Cons: Anscombe 3, Horrell

For Lions:
Try: Skosan
Pen: Jantjies

Chiefs: 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Dwayne Sweeney, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Tom Marshall, 11 James Lowe, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Messam (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Ross Filipo, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Replacements: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Ben Tameifuna, 19 Matt Symons, 20 Michael Fitzgerald, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Bundee Aki, 23 Andrew Horrell

Lions: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Martin Muller, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 MB Lusaseni, 20 Willie Britz, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 JW Jonker.

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Mike Lash (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Preview
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs SharksPumas vs Sharks Preview
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Preview
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Preview
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Friday , August 29
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00