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Super Rugby: Chiefs Advance To Semi Finals

The Chiefs beat the Stormers with a commanding 60-21 win at Newlands in Cape Town, South Africa to advance to the Super Rugby semi finals.

The visitors ran in eight tries as their typical expansive style of rugby proved too much for an under-par Stormers. A drumming like this further illustrates the importance for South African sides to have regular competition against New Zealand sides.

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck wanted his side to be tested in Super Rugby, and this is exactly what happened at Newlands. The Stormers were unable to match the pace of the Chiefs in the opening half. Led well by Springbok legend Schalk Burger, playing his last match in Cape Town. The home side strung multiple phases together and used the width of the field, but it all came to just three tries in front of their home fans.

Chiefs co-captain Aaron Cruden said that the hard work by the coaching staff was a factor in his sides brilliant performance.

We know the Stormers are a strong side so we were really happy to get a good start and keep the momentum rolling. The coaching group do everything they can to ensure we can do the job, we prepared really well. We know we are in for another big challenge next week.

The result was never in doubt, but it didn’t come without further injury concerns. Stephen Donald left the field early in the first half with a shoulder injury. Co-captain Sam Cane suffered a concussion and was replaced at halftime by Lachlan Boshier.

Super Rugby: Chiefs Advance To Semi Finals

Tries to Sam McNicol (pictured) and Brad Weber put the Chiefs out to an early lead. Chiefs coach Dave Rennie would have been delighted with his sides accuracy with the quick pass. James Lowe continued improve with his kicking off the left foot. Lowe set up a try of his own with a brilliantly weighted grubber as he was nearing the touchline.

The line speed on defense saw the Chiefs charge-down Stormers clearing kicks twice in the first half. Loose forward Tom Sanders was benefit of a charge-down by Aaron Cruden. Unable to clear, Cruden’s charge left a loose ball for Sanders to dive on to score another Chiefs try in the opening half.

The power of Vincent Koch gave the Stormers some respite. Koch powered his way to the try line twice in the first half, continuing an impressive season of Super Rugby.

The home side were well up against it at halftime, trailing 34-14 at the break.

Well down on the scoreboard, the Stormers never gave up in the second half. Continuing to hold more possession, the home side could only run in one try in the second half. Replacement Nizaam Carr broke through late in the game, but with little over 10 minutes remaining, any hope of a miraculous comeback was gone.

Carr’s try appeared to have angered the Chiefs, and the visitors came back charging. Rennie’s men scored three tries in less than five minutes to ram home a 40 point margin of victory. Tevita Koloamatangi, Hika Elliot, and Tawera Kerr-Barlow were the last three try scorers as the Chiefs beat the Stormers 21-60.

Damian McKenzie Wins Man Of The Match

With 25-points on the night, Damian McKenzie had what was un-arguably his finest performance in the Chiefs jersey yet. Along with scoring his 10th try of the season, McKenzie converted nine of his ten kicks and played an integral part, once again, in the backlines’ success.

Damian McKenzie of the Chiefs during the Super Rugby Quarter Final match at DHL Newlands

It was a great all round team performance. There has been a lot of travel and it’s been great being here in Cape Town.

Stormers 21

Tries: Vincent Koch 2, Nizaam Carr. Penalties: nil. Conversions: Robert du Preez 2, Brandon Thomson 1

Chiefs 60

Tries: Sam McNicol, Brad Weber, Tom Sanders, James Lowe, Damian McKenzie, Hika Elliot, Tevita Koloamatangi, Tawera Kerr-Barlow. Penalties: Damian McKenzie 2. Conversions: Damian McKenzie 7.

The Semi Final Picture

The Chiefs will now travel back to New Zealand, where a semi final encounter with the Hurricanes awaits. After thrashing the Crusaders in Johannesburg, the Lions will host the Highlanders. Those semi final matches will take place on Saturday August 30. The Hurricanes host the Chiefs in Wellington. and the second semi final at Ellis Park.

“Main photo credit”


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