Chiefs down Rebels to go top

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Coming off a bye after defeat to the Otago Highlanders in their last outing, the Chiefs had the cowbells clanging at Waikato Stadium from the fourth minute when centre Seta Tamanivalu cut inside two defenders to score their opening try.

The twice champions also had scores from returning two-cap All Blacks hooker Nathan Harris, flyhalf Aaron Cruden and winger Toni Pulu in the first half, while Andrew Horrell crossed for their sole effort after the break.

Fullback Mike Harris scored nine of Melbourne's points with a converted second-half try and a penalty but the Rebels got no reward for their considerable effort and slipped further back in the race to top the Australian conference.

The Chiefs simply overwhelmed sides with their power and pace in the first six matches of the season when they set the standard in Super Rugby and four tries in the first half an hour looked like a reprise of that form.

Ten minutes after Tamanivalu had opened the scoring, Harris got on the end of a Cruden chip to touch down in the corner and, after Pulu had crossed, the flyhalf got a try of his own from close range in the 30th minute following a sweeping counter-attack.

Leading 26-3 at halftime, the Chiefs would have expected to kick on but the obdurate Rebels stalled their progress with Harris's 45th minute try and a series of turnovers.

It was not until the 71st minute that replacement back Horrell snared the Chiefs' fifth try and even then, Rebels centre Reece Hodge scored a second consolation on the counter-attack three minutes later.

Reuters

Original source: Chiefs down Rebels to go top

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