Chiefs continue their Super rout
Moana Pasifika got off to the worst possible start and things did not improve much from there as the Chiefs romped to a 52-29 victory in their Super Round rugby clash in Melbourne.
Chiefs centre Rameka Poihipi broke a 22-year-old record to score the fastest try in Super Rugby history, crossing after just eight seconds in Melbourne.
Poihipi intercepted the first pass after the kick-off, thrown infield by Moana Pasifika wing Anzelo Tuitavuki, and the Chiefs were up 7-0 before the clock had ticked over to two minutes.
Highlanders lock Vula Maimuri held the previous record of 12 seconds, scored against the Crusaders in Christchurch back in 2001.
The Chiefs proved their 31-10 round-one win over the reigning champion Crusaders was no fluke, running in six unanswered tries in the first half to set up the victory.
The spoils were shared across five players, with halfback Brad Weber grabbing a double.
Star flyhalf Damian McKenzie, who spent last year playing in Japan, crossed in the 37th minute while he also added four conversions en route to a 38-3 halftime lead.
To Moana Pasifika’s credit, they did not shirk the hard work in the second half, and with former Brumbies and Wallabies playmaker Christian Leali’ifano running the attack they were rewarded with four tries for a more respectable scoreline.
While their missed tackle tally had proved costly, they reined that right in to limit the Chiefs to just additional two tries, both scored by fullback Shaun Stevenson.
The only concern for the Waikato-based Chiefs was their discipline, incurring 13 penalties while three players were yellow-carded.
Moana Pasifika is winless after two rounds, having fallen to Fijian Drua by two points in the opening match.
* In the other Saturday the Waratahs emerged battered and bruised, but with a vital win against Fijian Drua.
The Waratahs scored six tries, including five in the second half, to post a 46-17 victory in the Melbourne double-header.
The Sydneysiders broke a 17-17 deadlock in the 56th minute with No.8 Langi Gleeson, who was one of their best, planting the ball across the line.
From there they were never headed, with five-eighth Tane Edmed touching down before Max Jorgensen and Mark Nawaqanitawase followed, the latter two eased by the Drua being down to 13 men after two yellow cards.
The Waratahs started strongly but had little to show for their early dominance, restricted to a try in the 10th minute from Dave Porecki, the hooker diving across the line from the back of the ruck.
Buoyed by a vocal crowd who at one stage cheered every tackle on a Waratahs player, the Fijians started to work their way into the game.
They were piggy-backed by some poor discipline by NSW, who accrued nine penalties in the first half.
Fijian Drua hit the lead in the 31st minute through flanker Joe Tamani, with a late penalty by Edmed levelling the score at 10-10.
The Waratahs looked happy to reach the break level, with lock Jed Holloway telling TV commentary his team had been “bashed” in the final 10 minutes before the whistle.
Drua hooker Tevita Ikanivere crashed through Jake Gordon to again give his side the lead three minutes into the second half but the Waratahs hit back five minutes later through fullback Ben Donaldson.
Gleeson’s effort opened the floodgates for the Waratahs to pick up an important bonus point in the win.
Scores and scorers on Saturday, March 4
Moana Pasifika 29-52 Chiefs
For Moana Pasifika
Tries: Tavatavanawai, Moli, Funaki, Penalty try
Cons: Lealiifano 2, penalty try does not require a conversion
Tries: Poihipi, Coombes-Fabling, Weber 2, Stevenson 3, McKenzie
Cons: McKenzie 5, Gatland
Yellow cards: Brad Weber (Chiefs, 51), Cortez Ratima (Chiefs, 68), Bryn Gatland (Chiefs, 78)
Moana Pasifika: 15 Danny Toala, 14 Timoci Tavatavanawai, 13 Fine Inisi, 12 Levi Aumua, 11 Anzelo Tuitavuki, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Manu Paea, 8 Jonah Mau’u, 7 Solomone Funaki, 6 Miracle Faiilagi, 5 Mahonri Ngakuru, 4 Samuel Slade, 3 Chris Apoua, 2 Samiuela Moli, 1 Ezekiel Lindenmuth.
Replacements: 16 Ray Niuia, 17 Abraham Pole, 18 Suetena Asomua, 19 Michael Curry, 20 Lotu Inisi, 21 Ereatara Enari, 22 William Havili, 23 Henry Taefu.
Chiefs: 15 Shaun Stevenson, 14 Liam Coombes-Fabling, 13 Alex Nankivell, 12 Rameka Poihipi, 11 Etene Nani-Seturo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber (co-captain), 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Pita Gus Sowakula, 5 Tupou Vaa’i, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 George Dyer, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Ollie Norris.
Replacements: 16 Tyrone Thompson, 17 Jared Proffit, 18 John Ryan, 19 Laghlan McWhannell, 20 Simon Parker, 21 Cortez Ratima, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Ngatungane Punivai.
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper & James Doleman
TMO: James Leckie
Fijian Drua v Waratahs
For Fijian Drua
Tries: Tamani, Ikanivere
Cons: Muntz 2
For the Waratahs
Tries: Porecki, Donaldson, Gleeson, Edmed, Jorgensen, Nawaqanitawase
Cons: Edmed 5
Pens: Edmed 2
Drua: 15 Ilaisa Droasese, 14 Selestino Ravutaumada, 13 Iosefo Masi, 12 Kalaveti Ravouvou, 11 Tuidraki Samusamuvodre, 10 Caleb Muntz, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Te Ahiwararu Cirikidaveta, 7 Kitione Salawa, 6 Joseva Tamani, 5 Leone Rotuisolia, 4 Isoa Nasilasila, 3 Samuela Tawake, 2 Tevita Ikanivere (captain), 1 Jone Tiko.
Replacements: 16 Zuriel Togiatama, 17 Livai Natave, 18 Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, 19 Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, 20 Elia Canakaivata, 21 Peni Matawalu, 22 Teti Tela, 23 Taniela Rakuro.
Waratahs: 15 Ben Donaldson, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Max Jorgensen, 10 Tane Edmed, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Langi Gleeson, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Hugh Sinclair, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Archer Holz, 2 Dave Porecki, 1 Tom Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Te Tera Faulkner, 18 Dan Botha, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Will Harris, 21 Charlie Gamble, 22 Harrison Goddard, 23 Ben Dowling.
Referee: Jordan Way
Assistant referees: Nic Berry & Angus Mabey
TMO: Brett Cronan