The Chiefs maintained their unbeaten start to the Vodacom Super Rugby season when they comprehensively beat the Sunwolves 43-17 in Tokyo on Saturday morning, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.
The Sunwolves made a brilliant start to the game when Garth April crashed over in the corner after the forwards had done the hard yards to get within five metres of the Chiefs’ line. April converted his own try from out wide as the hosts took an early 7-0 lead.
The Chiefs, though, responded immediately when wing Solomon Alaimalo ran in for an easy finish four minutes later. They went over three more times in the following 20 minutes to take a firm grip on the match – Shaun Stevenson, Brad Weber and Damian McKenzie the scorers, with the latter at the heart of the early Chiefs dominance.
The Sunwolves managed to pull one back on the stroke of half time when hooker Jaba Bregvadze scored from the back of a good rolling maul, giving the Chiefs a 24-12 lead at the break.
They were out of the blocks quickly in the second half, though, when flanker Lachlan Boshier ran 40m to go in untouched under the uprights after the Sunwolves lost possession.
The rest of the second half became rather scrappy, but the Sunwolves rounded off a brilliant score nine minutes from time when replacement Shogo Nakano grabbed their third try of the match.
The Chiefs, however, finished off in style and scored two quick tries through centre Quinn Tupaea and flyhalf Kaleb Trask in the final stages to claim a comfortable bonus-point victory.
Sunwolves – Tries: Garth April, Jaba Bregvadze, Shogo Nakano, Conversions: April.
Chiefs – Solomon Alaimalo, Shaun Stevenson, Brad Weber, Damian McKenzie, Lachlan Boshier, Quinn Tupaea, Kaleb Trask. Conversions: McKenzie (3), Kaleb Trask (1).
Sunwolves – 15 James Dargaville, 14 Siosaia Fifita, 13 Keisuke Moriya (c), 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Tautalatasi Tasi, 10 Garth April, 9 Naoto Saito, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Shunsuke Nunomaki, 6 Mitch Jacobson, 5 Michael Stolberg, 4 Kotaro Yatabe, 3 Conrad van Vuuren, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Jarred Adams. Subs: 16 Efi Ma’afu, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Justin Downey, 20 Tevita Tupou, 21 Takahiro Kimura, 22 Shogo Nakano, 23 JJ Engelbrecht.
Chiefs – 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Shuan Stevenson, 13 Quinn Tupaea, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Kaleb Trask, 9 Brad Weber (c), 8 Dylan Nel, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Tyler Ardron, 3 Atu Moli, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Aidan Ross. Subs: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Ross Geldenhuys, 18 Rueben O’Neill, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Mitchell Brown, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Tiaan Falcon, 23 Orbyn Leger.
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Photo: Michael Bradley/Getty Images
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