Chiefs destroy Rebels in Melbourne

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Friday, June 14, 2019    Getty Images

Colin Cooper’s side dominated from start to finish, running in nine tries to one. After starting the season with four straight losses and a draw, losing playmaker Damian McKenzie to a knee injury and playing a large chunk of the year without Sam Cane and Brodie Retallick, not many thought the Chiefs would get anywhere near playoff contention. But they turned a corner over the last few weeks and they’ll now feature in the quarterfinals next weekend.

Both sides lost key playmakers early on in the match. Rebels winger Marika Koroibete was knocked out cold after colliding with Shaun Stevenson. He never returned to the field, while Chiefs second five Alex Nankivell limped off with what appeared to be a lower leg injury after just 10 minutes.

The Chiefs scored one of the tries of the season in the 12th minute of the match. Jack Debreczeni made a great break before passing to Anton Lienert-Brown. He offloaded to Brad Weber, then Angus Ta’avao passed to Sam Cane who slid underneath the posts. 

Reece Hodge kicked the Rebels only points in the first half, a penalty in the 18th minute. 

Shaun Stevenson and Anton Lienert-Brown were outstanding for the Chiefs. Stevenson was into everything in the first half. He charged down a Quade Cooper kick and had too much gas as he made his way to the try line. After the half time hooter, he then swooped on a loose ball and almost made it to the line before offloading to Lachlan Boshier who scored to make it 21-3 at the break.

The flood gates well and truly opened in the second half and it took just two minutes for the Chiefs to strike again. Sean Wainui scored in the left corner, with the Rebels missing several key tackles. 

Lienert-Brown was finally rewarded for his outstanding performance with a five-pointer. He was brilliant for the Chiefs, notching up 101 metres and making six tackles. 

Equally as impressive was Stevenson who bagged a hat-trick. Debreczeni scored against his former side, after Brad Weber made a superb break. 

Rebels lock Matthew Philip scored a consolation try, throwing an impressive dummy and running 20 metres to score the home side’s first and only try of the match. 

Marty McKenzie chimed in and scored the Chiefs ninth try to hand them a 51-point victory. 

Brodie Retallick had a solid performance in his first outing in over two months. 

The Rebels simply made far too many errors and the Chiefs capitalised on every mistake. The win means the Chiefs will be in next week’s playoffs with their opponent to be confirmed over the weekend, but it is likely they will play the Brumbies in Canberra. 

Scorers: Rebels 8 (Matthew Philip try; Reece Hodge pens) Chiefs 59 (Sam Cane, Shaun Stevenson 3, Lachlan Boshier, Sean Wainui, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jack Debreczeni, Marty McKenzie tries; Jack Debreczeni 6, Marty McKenzie cons). HT: 3-21