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Chiefs vanquish Reds

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The Chiefs eased past the Reds 12-36 in a commanding performance at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

Brad Thorn’s side crumbled in the club’s 1,000th capped game, conceding five tries to a rampant Chiefs, who lost Damian McKenzie after he failed an HIA, early in the first-half.

First-half tries from Tyler Ardron, Charlie Ngatai and Brodie Rettalick set the platform for the victory.

Liam Polwart, shortly after half-time, and an 85th-minute injury-time Samisoni Taukei’aho try, secured the bonus-point.

It is the Waikato side’s fourth win in a row against the Queenslanders.

The Reds had 65 percent possession after the break, dominating for long stretches, however, they were not clinical in attack.

Samu Kerevi crossed twice after the interval to save some of the red faces.

This was the Reds’ ninth loss on the bounce to New Zealand opposition, going back to 2016.

The game was lost in the first-half.

The Reds could not get their hands on the ball and when they did, they kicked possession away or lost the ball in contact at the gain-line.

The Queenslanders were turning the ball over far too many times while the Chiefs were getting quick ball from the rucks and always looking to go wide.

Damian McKenzie kicked a penalty but things got worse for the home team when Ardron’s pick-and-drive saw the Canadian crash over for the game’s first try.

The Chiefs were flooding the breakdown and swamping the midfield. They regathered the ball and Solomon Alaimalo was away.

But it was ruled out by the TMO after replays showed that the winger had knocked the ball on as he went over in the corner.

The Reds’ reprieve did not last long. A scrum, five metres out to the home team was lost with a rare tighthead.

The Chiefs shifted the ball quickly and Ngatai strolled in.

Thron’s team were hanging on, yet they had a few chances of their own, but handling and static attacking play curtailed every opportunity.

The game was all but over when Rettalick scored after several pick-and-drives close to the Queensland try-line.

The Reds went into the break scoreless and 24 points down.

If the game wasn’t over, it was soon after the restart when Polwart scored the Chiefs’ fourth.

Alaimalo shrugged off Jono Lance’s tackle and sent the hooker away down the touchline.

It was set up after Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi saw the space on the left and switched the play, catching the opposition’s flat-footed.

Marty McKenzie, on for his brother who left the game after failing an HIA, slotted the sideline conversion to make it 0-31.

Reds fightback.

To their credit, the home side did not wilt. They hit back four minutes’ later when Kerevi crashed through two defenders.

This started a sustained period of dominance in terms of territory and possession as the Reds searched for another quick score to give them some hope.

The next 10 minutes saw the Reds have 70 percent possession as they camped inside the Chiefs half.

But for all their possession and territory, the Australians could not break through the Kiwis’ defence.

Caleb Timu thought he had scored by placing the ball against the base of the post, but after the TMO and ref consulted, the video replay showed the No 8 losing the ball forward.

Eventually, the Reds found a way over the whitewash.

Lance switched play from left to right, playing a long pass to Kerevi.

The centre put on the afterburners and slipped the tackles to score his second.

The try took the Chiefs outside the bonus-point territory, but not for long.

Taukei’aho crashed over for the important bonus-point try after a powerful driving maul: game over.

Reds versus Chiefs video highlights.

Final score: Reds 12 (0) Chiefs 36 (24)

Scorers

Reds
Tries – Kerevi (2)
Pen –
Con – Lance
Drop –
Cards –

Chiefs
Tries – Ardron, Ngatai, Retallick, Polwart, Taukei’aho
Pen – D. McKenzie
Con – D. McKenzie (2), M. McKenzie (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 2: Jordan Way
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore

Teams

Reds

15 Aidan Toua, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Izaia Perese, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Caleb Timu, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper (captain).

Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Jean-Pierre Smith, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 George Smith, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Jordan Petaia.

Chiefs

15 Charlie Ngatai (co-captain), 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Fa’auli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Liam Polwart, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.

Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Luke Jacobson, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Alex Nankivell.

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