Colin Cooper’s men were ruthless from the get-go, running in nine tries to secure a bonus point victory which has assured them of a place in next week’s quarter-finals.
It exemplified their sublime turn in fortunes at the backend of this season, with Friday’s result being their fourth win from their last six matches to counteract the seven losses from their opening 10 fixtures.
While the Chiefs’ 51-point riot was impressive as a whole, there was one try in the first half that stands out as arguably try of the season.
Fielding a Quade Cooper chip kick inside his own 22 metre mark, former Rebels first-five Jack Debreczeni scooped the ball up, evaded a loose tackle attempt from Luke Jones, and embarked on an ambitious run through the middle of the park.
Drawing in the tackle attempt of Will Genia near his own 10 metre mark, the 26-year-old flung a hopeful ball in-field to the supporting Anton Lienert-Brown, who continued to stretch the Rebels’ defence by dragging in another defender near halfway.
A deft offload into the hands of halfback Brad Weber was enough to take play into the hosts’ territory, and the livewire halfback didn’t need a second invitation to capitalise on an open backfield.
He swiftly stepped past Cooper and bolted upfield at pace, closing in on the opposition 22 before firing a wide ball out to an unlikely candidate in prop Angus Ta’avao, who was in acres of space as Reece Hodge, Campbell Magnay and Richard Hardwick all closed in on the one-test All Black.
The big tighthead didn’t have enough gas to finish the job off from five metres out, though, but when swarmed by a quartet of players in navy blue jerseys, he picked out the right pass by feeding his co-captain Sam Cane with a short inside ball, allowing the openside flanker to go crashing over in under the posts.
— RUGBYcomau (@rugbycomau) June 14, 2019
It was a spectacular piece of play that started 80 metres out from the home side’s tryline, and the ball shifted through five pair of hands before it was finally dotted down at the other end of the park.
Many onlookers were dazzled by the spectacle, as was seen on Twitter in the wake of the try.
— Christopher Logan (@CLCourtney82) June 14, 2019
That’s some try! #REBvCHI
— Nigel Yalden ?? (@NigelYalden) June 14, 2019
WHAAAT A TRY!!! #REBvCHI
— Ibnul Hussaini (@IbnulHussaini) June 14, 2019
— Super Rugby Podcast (@SuperRugbyPod) June 14, 2019
Great try Chiefs. Let’s go again! #REBvCHI
— Lakerman_NZ (@LakermanNz) June 14, 2019
— Qwine (@Qwine) June 14, 2019
Beautiful try chiefs. But a stupid kick. Why do the Rebels kick so much possession away? #REBvCHI
— Rugby Report Card (@rugby_podcast) June 14, 2019
The win puts the Chiefs in sixth spot on 36 points with four more matches to be played this weekend.
The winner of the Stormers v Sharks clash in Cape Town will overtake them regardless of the victor, while the Hamiltonians will be relying on the result of the Bulls v Lions in Pretoria to see if they will be playing the Crusaders in Christchurch or Jaguares in Buenos Aires next week.
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