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MATCH REPORT: Chiefs re-enter the winner's circle at Lions expense

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James Mortimer     03 May 2014     Getty Images

It was Dave Rennie’s second win from his last seven matches, but a valuable bonus point ensured that the Chiefs will remain on the fringe of Super Rugby Finals Series qualification as Round 12 concludes.

The Lions made the early running, thanks to some real enthusiasm from their forwards, and the first points were scored as Elton Jantjies knocked over a penalty several minutes into the match.

It wasn’t until the second quarter began that the first try was scored as Gareth Anscombe was the beneficiary of some fine build up work by Tim Nanai-Williams.

Tries didn’t flow though, it wasn’t until the 37th minute that Tanerau Latimer scored the Chiefs second, but the home team’s willingness to chance their arm and back their natural instincts paid off shortly after.

Charlie Ngatai scored at the close of the half, and despite the hosts still looking far from their best, they held a 19-3 lead as the first stanza came to a close.

The Chiefs frenetic attack was more measured as the second half started, building up to give Pauliasi Manu a try, ensuring that title holders had earned their bonus point early.

The Lions then registered their first try, as again their scrum and willingness of their men up front led to a Courtnall Skosan try.

Despite a comfortable 26-8 lead, the Chiefs will have been disappointed how the Lions dragged them into a battle of attrition for the next quarter hour.

Indeed, despite no further points the visitors had the better of proceedings.

This was until the 72nd minute, when the host’s pack began to lift, aided by a curious kick by Marnitz Boshoff from his own red zone which led to Anscombe counterattacking to give Bundee Aki the team’s fifth try.

Tim Nanai-Williams, among the Chiefs best, scored the game’s final try as the Lions began to look a beaten outfit and some flimsy defence led to the young back crossing the line.

It was the Lions fourth straight defeat, with 13 points being their lowest losing margin in this time – a far cry from four wins from their first six.

The Chiefs will play great rivals the Blues next weekend.

Chiefs 38

Tries: Anscombe (20), Latimer (37), Ngatai (40), Manu (42), Aki (71), Nanai-Williams (76)
Cons: Anscombe (21, 38, 43), Horrell (77)

Lions 8

Tries: Skosan (46)
Pens Jantjies (7)