Chiefs beat Rebels in thrilling clash

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FILE Photo. The Waikato Chiefs celebrating during a Super Rugby match. The Chiefs beat the Rebels in close match on Friday in Melbourne. Picture: AFP PHOTO / Marty Melville

Melbourne – The Chiefs beat the Rebels in an absolutely thrilling closely-contested Super Rugby clash on Friday.

It was a try-fest as the teams managed to collectively put 11 balls over the line.

The Chiefs opened the scoring in the very first minute with fullback Gareth Anscombe touching it down in the corner.

Bundea Aki added another try for visitors in the tenth minute, stepping his way through a gap in the Rebels' defence.

Moments later the home-side hit back with a try on the their own with Scott Higginbotham putting the ball over the line after some brilliant teamwork between him and Tom English.

Then the Chiefs turned up the heat, scoring two tries within a matter of minutes.

Fullback Gareth Anscombe produced a stunning hat-trick to give the Chiefs a bonus point.

But five minutes from halftime the Rebels fought back, scoring a try to make 14-24 going into the break.

Ten minutes into the second half Sam Cane put over Chiefs' fifth try.

Then 15 minutes from time the floodgates opened with five tries being scored.

Hugh Pyle brought the Rebels back into the game, then Nick Phipps put over another try for the home side. Seconds later the Chiefs hit back with Brodie Retalick scoring.

Kurtley Beale, who was called back into the squad after being suspended for punching his teammates in March, scored a brilliant try for the Rebels in the 75th minute, side-stepping his way from the 22m line to make it 33-39.

The Rebels, knowing one more try and conversion would give them the victory attacked the Chief’s five-metre line with ferocious resolve, adding phases after phase of attack as the buzzer signalled the end of the match.

But the Chiefs held their ground for a tense few minutes, before gaining control of the ball and claiming the victory.

-eNCA

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