Super 15: Chiefs smash Blues

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Chiefs 29
Blues 14

The Chiefs responded to their disappointing defeat last week with a commanding four tries to one victory over the Blues at Waikato Stadium.

The 29-14 victory margin tells the tale of a close match between the two sides yet the Blues were out of the contest long before the final whistle as the home team scored four tries to secure a bonus point in the opening half.

Prior to the season's commencement the Chiefs' had been billed as the 'team to watch' after making key acquisitions across the park, most notably Sonny Bill Williams, but their much-hyped backline failed to sizzle in the season opener.

With six changes to the side, four in the forward pack and a switch at wing and halfback with Tawera Kerr Barlow coming in for the injured Brendon Leonard, the Chiefs could've been forgiven for failing to gel in the early periods of the match.

However despite the fresh look to their side it was the Blues who were stuck in first gear as the home team raced away to four tries before the halftime break in a scintillating effort.

The Blues leave Hamilton with an 0-2 record after two straight defeats and with a grueling tour of South Africa beginning in the new week Pat Lam's search for a win could prove harder than expected.

The Chiefs stampede started in the third minute as giant bald-headed prop Sona Taumalolo powered over from close range after Tanerau Latimer's charge put his side on the front-foot before the Tongan crossed the chalk.

Aaron Cruden, who converted just one from five last week against the Highlanders, wasn't perfect but his improved kicking radar allowed for the Chiefs to build momentum with three conversions and a penalty.

Former Highlanders fullback Robbie Robinson, now in the Chiefs number 15 jersey, instigated the second try with his blistering pace cutting open the Blues defensive line from halfway before his long pass found winger Asaeli Tikoirotuma who outstripped Rudi Wulf to score on his run-on debut.

Kerr Barlow finished off a try in the 30th minute after some brilliant touches from his teammates particularly winger Tim Nanai Williams gave the halfback a channel to sneak through to dot down.

Nanai Williams secured the bonus point with his team's fourth try of the night just before the interval as he got on the end of another Robinson break to score in the 35th minute.

The Chiefs failed to add to their first half tally but the damage was done as a Blues side lacking in ideas and punch at the contact area took til the 77th minute to penetrate the tryline with replacement winger Sherwin Stowers scoring.

For the Chiefs flankers Liam Messam, Tanerau Latimer impressed with the intensity at the breakdown and on the ball but it was livewire halfback Kerr Barlow who would take the man of the match plaudits after an exciting performance.

Captain Kevin Mealamu and number eight Jerome Kaino were the top performers for the Blues in a losing side.

CHIEFS 29 (Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Tim Nanai-Williams, Arizona Taumalolo, Aseli Tikoirotuma tries Aaron Cruden 3 cons pen) bt BLUES 14 (Sherwin Stowers try Michael Hobbs 3 pens) at Waikato Stadium. Referee: Keith Brown.

- Herald online

- Hamilton News

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