Anton Lienert-Brown (Photo by Mark Evans / Getty Images)
A clinic Chefs held defeated the Melbourne rebels 36-26 in the final Super Rugby Trans-Tasman Sunday game.
A sunny Leichhardt Oval in Sydney hosted the meeting, where the Chiefs punished the Rebels’ mistakes by running in rugby.
After 15 minutes of disjointed play, the Chiefs would finally run efficiently. A roster took them a few yards from the line and after the Rebels forwards were drawn in, Bryn Gatland sent the kick far away for Shaun Stevenson to retrieve him, who then brought him in for his full-back Kaleb Trask. .
The New Zealanders then crossed the whitewash twice in three minutes. The first came from a set piece, as the ball passed through the hands of Quinn Tupaea, who added a skillful touch to put center center Anton Lienert-Brown in the gap. The All Blacks then passed the last defenseman for the try.
Then a few minutes later, the Chiefs cleared the ball and a good run from Trask made space that Lienert-Brown took advantage of to grab his second try of the afternoon. Gatland added the extras and the Chiefs led 19-0 after 25 minutes.
But the Rebels’ return to 19 points began with a dominant scrum at 5 meters. The Cobous Eloff prop was immense as they bent and smashed the Chiefs with their own ball and eighth Isi Naisarani would fall on the ball over the line for their opening points.
Thanks to brilliant one-on-one play from Carter Gordan, the Rebels continued to make their way. The opening half rounded a defender and put a grubber through the defense, which he recovered, then executed a blind pass to center Stacy Ili that remained intact.
The comeback was complete on the stroke of halftime as Naisarani crossed the line near the posts for his second with some help from his friends in the front peloton.
The Chiefs continued to show their dominance with the ball in hand in the second stanza. Starting from an offensive scrum in the shade of the posts, scrum half Xavier Roe passed Gatland who threw a loop pass to substitute Chase Tiatia, who dived into the corner.
Lienert-Brown was again on the Chiefs’ fifth try. The back line continued to show off his handling skills and once the ball was wide, Lienert-Brown drew in two players and passed to Trask who scored his second.
But the rebels managed to bounce back. A good run from Naisarani gave them the ball forward and substitute Andrew Kellaway would bounce over the line after running a support line. Matt To’omua added the extras to bring the score to 31-25 with 20 minutes remaining.
An exciting stint of play would end with Trask tiptoeing across the sideline and finding Tiatia inside, who clocked in to the corner for the game’s final score.
Tests: Trask (2), Lienert-Brown (2), Tiatia (2)
Conversions: Gatland (3)
Trials: Naisarani (2), Ili, Kellaway
Conversions: To’omua (3)
15 Kaleb Trask, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Quinn Tupaea, 11 Bailyn Sullivan, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Xavier Roe, 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Pita Gus Sowakula, 5 Tupou Vaa’i, 4 Josh Lord, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Reuben O’Neill.
Alternates: 16 Bradley Slater, 17 Oliver Norris, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Mitch Brown, 20 Zane Kapeli, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Alex Nankivell, 23 Chase Tiatia.
15 George Worth, 14 Lachie Anderson, 13 Stacy Ili, 12 Matt To’omua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Carter Gordon, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Michael Wells, 5 Trevor Hosea, 4 Rob Leota, 3 Cabous Eloff, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cameron Orr.
Alternates: 16 James Hanson, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Rhys Van Neck, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Michael Icely, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Andrew Kellaway, 23 Frank Lomani.