Chiefs end Highlanders play-off hopes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Chiefs end Highlanders play-off hopes

14/05/2005 07:35:37 PM Comments (0)

A five-try first half blitz by the Chiefs snuffed out any lingering Super 12 playoff hopes held by the Highlanders, winning 31-8 in Hamilton.

Inspired by their brilliant wing Sitiveni Sivivatu who scored a first half treble, the win saw the Chiefs finish a point ahead of the stunned Highlanders, both just outside the top-four.

The home side led 31-3 at halftime, with the only second half points coming from a 78th minute try to Highlanders captain Craig Newby.

The Chiefs ended the season with five wins and 28 points and the Highlanders, who lost their last three in a row, six wins and just three bonus points for a total of 27.

The Highlanders had to win and needed the Bulls to lose to the Stormers in South Africa to make the semifinals, but they had no answer to one of the best first half performances of the season.

Sivivatu opened the scoring in the fifth minute from a long David Hill pass, and they raced to 19-3 after 15 minutes with further tries from fullback Sosene Anesi and Sivivatu.

Effective foraging from the loose forward trio led by Marty Holah, bruising second half defence and slick interpassing among the backs were the features of the Chiefs' performance.

Giant flanker Sione Lauaki crossed for the bonus point try in the 38th minute then Sivivatu beat two defenders for their fifth on the halftime siren.

At 31-3 at the break the Highlanders were down and out, already without their inspirational captain Anton Oliver who was ruled out for six weeks with a torn calf muscle.

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