Super Rugby

Chiefs wallop Waratahs: Jonah Lowe grabs four

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Chiefs wallop Waratahs 51-27 in the first-ever Super Rugby Pacific Super Round at AAMI Park, Melbourne.

The Chiefs continued their good run against the Waratahs with a fifth consecutive Super Rugby win over the Sydney-based franchise.

The Waratahs had been on a good run of four from five, cementing their place in the upper echelons of the SR table.

But this crushing loss has once again highlighted the vast gulf that separates the two countries. The Chiefs now go above the Tahs.

The New Zealanders ran in seven tries to three in a crazy contest down under that saw the game swing from one side to the other before the Kiwis cruised to a half-century bonus-point victory.

There was a hat-trick, two doubles, a sending off and two yellow cards, as well as uncontested scrums after NSW, lost both hookers only five minutes into the second stanza.

Three players scored eight of the 10 tries: Jonah Lowe scored four, and Quinn Tupaea and Jake Gordon bagged braces in a seesawing Trans-Tasman clash in Victoria.

Tupaea, playing on the wing for the first time, was made Player of the Match.

Samisoni Taukei’aho also scored for Clayton McMillan’s men, while Alex Newsome’s first-half try sandwiched Gordon’s double.

Angus Bell got sent off and Jamie Roberts was yellow-carded soon afterwards. Tupaea also went to the sin-bin late in the game.

NSW hookers Dave Porecki and Tom Horton were both injured, which left referee Nic Berry no choice but to make the scrums uncontested.

The Chiefs had a comfortable 30-10 lead before the break, but the Waratahs hit back with 17 unanswered points to make it a three-point ball game 11 minutes after the restart

But Lowe’s second-half hat-trick, however, killed off Darren Coleman’s brave team, who ran out of steam after playing with 13 men during the opening stanza.

The men from the Waikato ran in four first-half tries to go with three more after the interval as the Tahs tired.

Taukei’aho, Lowe, and Tupaea (twice) all dotted down for the Hamilton side.

Gordon and Newsome crossed for New South Wales, while Harrison added a penalty and one conversion before going off injured before halftime.

The 28-year-old halfback had a sublime game, adding a second soon after the teams returned from the shed, to keep the Australians in touching distance.

Bryn Gatland had another superb game at first five-eighth.

The 26-year-old had a hand in four tries, assisted two, and kicked two penalties and five conversions (16 pts). He did, however, throw a wayward pass for Gordon’s second score.

Tane Edmed took over from Harrison, landing a goal and two conversions (7 pts).

The Waratahs have now lost their last 11 Super Rugby games against New Zealand opponents in a row.

The Australians have also conceded more than 40 points in nine of those heavy defeats.

The Chiefs punished the Waratahs, playing with 13 players, by scoring three tries to none in nine minutes

The Australians were the architects of their own downfall, losing two players to the sideline inside a quarter of an hour.

Bell’s third-minute red card for a tip-tackle on Sam Cane got his team off to the worst possible start.

Roberts was sin-binned 12 minutes later for a deliberate knockdown that killed a Chiefs attack.

Three tries and 22 points later, the first Trans-Tasman clash of the year was as good as over.

Both kickers traded penalties before Gatland and Alex Nankivell cut apart the Tahs in nine crushing minutes.

Tupaea went close before winning a penalty that was kicked to the corner.

From there, a powerful driving maul saw Taukei’aho flop over the chalk, and Gatland converted.

The 35-year-old Welshman went to the bin before Lowe finished in the corner after Nankivell’s jinking linebreak got the Chiefs near the line.

Some quick ball to Rameka Poihipi set up the try thanks to Nankivell’s double-skip pass.

Gatland pushed his conversion attempt, but he did have a hand in the next score.

A well-worked backline move involving Gatland on the wraparound, led to the flyhalf sucking in the last defender, before finding Tupaea – alone on the sideline – with a skip-pass, which allowed the first-time winger to score.

The Chiefs’ first receiver added the extras to make it 22-3 after as many minutes.

Late in the half, the Hamilton side struck again.

The forwards went through the phases before going wide to Cane, who held off Mark Nawaqanitawase before putting Tupaea away in the corner.

The Waratahs score 17 quickfire points on either side of halftime to stay in touching distance of the Chiefs

The Aussies, with seconds remaining in the half, hit back with a stunning score. Gamble bounced off Angus Ta’avao in midfield and broke into space.

The 25-year-old flanker slipped Luke Jacobson’s attempt, and drew Brad Weber, before sending Newsome away down the touchline.

Edmed, taking over from the injured Harrison, hurt while trying to stop Tupaea from scoring his second try, slotted the touchline conversion to cut the gap to 13 points.

NSW got off to a good start when their young standoff landed an early long-range goal to make it a two-score game.

Ta’avao powered his way over, but the tighthead prop got held up.

Gatland’s loose pass was gobbled up by Gordon, who raced 70 metres to score under the posts, Edmed made no mistake to make it 30-27 after 51 minutes.

The Tahs’ joy was short-lived. Six minutes later, Lowe intercepted Roberts’ stray pass to reopen the 10-point gap.

With 12 minutes remaining, Gatland and Lowe combined for the 25-year-old winger’s third to kill the game.

Tupaea saw yellow for a cynical foul near the end, but it did not matter as Lowe latched onto Xavier Roe’s well-weighted grubber to increase his tally.

Gatland’s fifth conversion brought up the fifty-burger.

This is a bad omen for Australian teams for the rest of the Super Round weekend.

Final Score: Chiefs 51 (30) Waratahs 27 (17)

Scorers

Chiefs
Tries – Taukei’aho, Lowe (4), Tupaea (2)
Pen – Gatland (2)
Con – Gatland (5)
Drop –
Cards – Tupaea (Yellow, 72′)

NSW Waratahs
Tries – Gordon (2), Newsome
Pen – Harrison, Edmed
Con – Harrison, Edmed (2)
Drop –
Cards – Bell (Red, 3′), Roberts (Yellow, 15′)

Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 2: Graham Cooper
TMO: Oli Kellett

Teams

Chiefs: 15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Jonah Lowe, 13 Alex Nankivell, 12 Rameka Poihipi, 11 Quinn Tupaea, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Cortez Ratima, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Tupou Vaa’i, 4 Josh Lord, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Aidan Ross.

Replacements: 16 Bradley Slater, 17 Atu Moli, 18 George Dyer, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Samipeni Finau, 21 Xavier Roe, 22 Rivez Reihana, 23 Inga Finau.

NSW Waratahs: 15 Will Harrison, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Tane Edmed, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Will Harris, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Charlie Gamble, 5 Hugh Sinclair, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Dave Porecki, 1 Angus Bell.

Replacements: 16 Tom Horton, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Archer Holz, 19 Geoff Cridge, 20 Rahboni Warren-Yosayaco, 21 Jack Grant, 22 Ben Donaldson, 23 Dylan Pietsch.

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