It’s official: the Chiefs have hit high gear in Super Rugby, and have blasted their way into the playoffs. They’ve smashed the hapless Rebels 59-8 in Melbourne, in another embarrassing result for the Australian Conference.
Coming off their bye week, the Chiefs were able to field an almost full strength team, and looking to continue the good form that saw them upset the Crusaders a fortnight ago.
Sam Cane, looking very much like he has completely recovered from the serious neck injury that kept him out of the game for almost half a year, crossed for the Chiefs’ first try after some good lead up work by Anton Lienert-Brown, Brad Weber and Angus Ta’avao.
Shaun Stevenson pounced on a charge down after 21 minutes to double the Chiefs’ score, then played a big hand in sending Lachlan Boshier scoring next to the posts just after the halftime hooter went.
However, the Chiefs did not let up at all after halftime. They scored three tries to settle the result completely, first through Sean Wainui out wide, then Lienert-Brown and Stevenson’s second.
After 57 minutes, it was a special moment for Jack Debrezceni. The former Australian schoolboys player and Rebel scored under the posts for the Chiefs, twisting the knife in an already devastated opposition.
Matt Philip managed to pull back a try for the Rebels, dummying his way to the line, but it was far too little, too late. Marty McKenzie then wiped it out anyway with a try to move the Chiefs past 50.
Stevenson then sealed a huge game with his hat trick three minutes before the end.
Chiefs 59 (S Stevenson 3, S Cane, L Boshier, S Wainui, A Lienert-Brown, J Debrezceni, M McKenzie tries; Debrezceni 6, McKenzie con)
Rebels 8 (M Philip try, R Hodge pen)
HT: 21-3 Chiefs