Vodacom Super Rugby
Chiefs too strong for Lions
Johannesburg - Scott Waldrom scored two tries as the Chiefs scored only their third win of the season, beating the bottom-of-the-log Lions 34-30 in a Super Rugbymatch at Coca-Cola on Saturday.
The Chiefs went into the match as the last-placed New Zealand team in the competition but they gave the Lions, who have won only one out of ten matches, a lesson in how to make good use of possession, scoring five tries against the three by the home team.
The margin would have been bigger if Chiefs flyhalf Stephen Donald had not missed four out of eight kicks at goal.
The win enabled the Chiefs to move ahead of the Hurricanes in the New Zealand conference and hoisted them into ninth place on the combined log.
The New Zealand side absorbed early pressure from the Lions, who led 6-0 after two penalty goals by Burton Francis, before a tap penalty deep in their own territory started a move which went through multiple phases before Waldrom scored the first try of the match in the 22nd minute.
The Chiefs led 19-13 at half-time, scoring three tries, all by the forwards, despite only visiting the Lions' 22 metre area four times in the half. Waldrom added a second try and lock Romano Graham the third.
The Lions responded with a try by fullback Michael Killian after Donald missed touch with a clearance kick and wing Lionel Mapoe counter-attacked with a 40 metre diagonal run.
The pattern continued in the second half when prop Toby Smith scored a bonus point try after another patient build-up by the Chiefs.
A try by centre Dwayne Sweeney, after a break by wing Lelia Masaga, put the Chiefs 31-16 ahead but the Lions produced a strong finish with converted tries by flanks Josh Strauss and Cobus Grobbelaar
Chiefs captain Mils Muliaina said results in the competition showed that his team are still in contention.
"There is still a long way to go and we need to get our season back on track."
Muliaina praised his forwards for standing up to the Lions in the physical confrontations but acknowledged that his team had slackened in the last quarter of the match.
Lions captain Doppies la Grange bemoaned another narrow loss - the sixth time the side have lost by seven points or less.
"We've been letting through too many soft tries and it happened again," he said.
: 30 - Tries: Michael Killian, Josh Strauss, Cobus Grobelaar Conversion: Burton Francis(2), Rory Kockott Penalty: Burton Francis(3)
34 - Tries: Scott Waldrom (2), Romana Graham, Toby Smith, Dwyane Sweeney Conversion: Stephen Donald(3), Penalty: S. DonaldTeams:
15 Michael Killian, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange (captain), 11 Deon van Rensburg, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Substitutes: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Kevin Buys, 18 David de Villiers, 19 Josh Strauss, 20 Rory Kockott, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Jaco TauteChiefs:
15 Mils Muliaina (captain), 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Dwayne Sweeney, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Scott Waldrom, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Romana Graham, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 Aled de Malmanche, 1 Toby Smith.
Substitutes: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Nathan White, 18 Hayden Triggs, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 21 Tim Nanai-Williams, 22 Save Tokula.
Referee: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)