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Chiefs book play-off berth


Liam Messam scored the Chiefs' second try against the Reds at Suncorp Stadium

Liam Messam scored the Chiefs' second try against the Reds at Suncorp Stadium

Liam Messam scored the Chiefs' second try against the Reds at Suncorp Stadium

The Chiefs clinched a Super Rugby play-off berth on Saturday with a 24-3 victory over the Reds in Brisbane.

The triumph at Suncorp Stadium was the Chiefs' first on Australian soil since 2013 and their first over the Reds in five attempts, spoiling Will Genia and James Horwill's final match in front of their home fans.

The game kicked off on a sombre note with a moment's silence for former New Zealand forward Black Jerry Collins, who died with his wife in a car accident in southern France in the early hours of Friday morning.

The Reds opened the scoring through Quade Cooper's fifth-minute penalty, but that turned out to be their solitary contribution to the scoreboard as the Chiefs' defence stood firm.

Genia touched down for the hosts after a quick lineout on nine minutes, but the television match official review showed he was in touch.

When the opening try arrived in the 25th minute it was at the other end. The Chiefs won a lineout on the Reds' five-metre line and set up the maul, with Hika Elliot offloading and Bryce Heem touching down out wide. Andrew Horrell added the extras.

The visitors had found their rhythm and within six minutes had try number two, captain Liam Messam bursting through at pace to stun the home defence. Horrell again converted for a 14-3 half-time advantage.

Genia again went close on the stroke of the interval, diving over the line after a quick tap but he lost possession in a tackle.

Horrell stretched the Chiefs' lead on 50 minutes with a penalty from the halfway line.

Then, moments after being denied a try by the TMO for a foot in touch, the Chiefs had their third score courtesy of centre Charlie Ngatai cutting in from out wide and dotting down on 69 minutes.

Horrell made no mistake with the conversion to put the Chiefs 21 points up, with the Reds showing no signs of mustering a fightback.

The Chiefs complete their regular season against leaders the Hurricanes in New Plymouth next weekend, while the Reds finish their campaign against champions the Waratahs in Sydney.

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