Chiefs beat lowly Lions 34-30 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Chiefs beat lowly Lions 34-30

Colin Bryden 24/04/2011 05:27:52 AM Comments (0)

Scott Waldrom scored two tries as the Waikato Chiefs scored only their third win of the Super Rugby season, beating the bottom-of-the-table Golden Lions 34-30 at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The Chiefs went into the match as the last-placed New Zealand team in the competition but they gave the Lions, who have won only one out of ten matches, a lesson in how to make good use of possession, scoring five tries to three.

The margin would have been bigger if Chiefs flyhalf Stephen Donald had not missed four out of eight kicks at goal.

The win enabled the Chiefs to move ahead of the Wellington Hurricanes in the New Zealand conference and hoisted them into ninth place on the combined table.

The New Zealanders absorbed early pressure from the Lions, who led 6-0 after two penalty goals by Burton Francis, before a tap penalty deep in their own territory started a move which went through multiple phases before Waldrom scored the first try in the 22nd minute.

The Chiefs led 19-13 at half-time, scoring three tries, all by the forwards, despite only visiting the Lions' 22 metre area four times in the half. Waldrom added a second try and lock Romano Graham the third.

The Lions responded with a try by fullback Michael Killian after Donald missed touch with a clearance kick and wing Lionel Mapoe counter-attacked with a 40 metre diagonal run.

The pattern continued in the second half when prop Toby Smith scored a bonus-point try after another patient build-up by the Chiefs.

A try by centre Dwayne Sweeney, after a break by wing Lelia Masaga, put the Chiefs 31-16 ahead but the Lions produced a strong finish with converted tries by flanks Josh Strauss and Cobus Grobbelaar

Chiefs captain Mils Muliaina said results in the competition showed that his team were still in contention.

"There is still a long way to go and we need to get our season back on track."

Muliaina praised his forwards for standing up to the Lions in the physical confrontations but acknowledged that his team had slackened in the last quarter of the match.

Lions captain Doppies la Grange bemoaned another narrow loss - the sixth time they have lost by seven points or less.

"We've been letting through too many soft tries and it happened again," he said.

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