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Chiefs hand Sharks first defeat

Forward power dominated as the Chiefs handed the Sharks their first defeat of the Super Rugby season with a 15-9 win in a try-less encounter at Waikato Stadium.

Replacement kicker Mike Delany, on for the injured Stephen Donald, slotted over four penalties from five attempts to down the South African side, for whom Patrick Lambie scored all nine points. Lambie slotted over in the fourth and 27 minutes as the visitors established a 6-3 interval lead.

The hosts' sole reply was a penalty from Tim Nanai-Williams, who took over kicking duties while Donald received treatment before leaving the field to be replaced by Delany. And Delany made an impact at the start of the second half when he landed a 50 metre penalty to level the scores. He added a second four minutes later to claim the lead but in the 53rd minute it was Lambie who landed his third to level the scores.

Delany swung the ball to Kahui and as he charged ahead he worked the reverse pass with Sitiveni Sivivatu who held his feet to drive ahead and while the breakdown formed it was Sharks halfback Charl McLeod who was penalised around his side's 22m area and Delany landed the penalty goal to make it 12-9 with 12 minutes to go.

In the end it was a strength-sapping series of pick-and-goes from the Chiefs that wound down the clock and then produced the vital penalty chance when prop Jannie du Plessis infringed at the breakdown allowing Delany to land his fourth penalty goal which flew through the posts as the final whistle blew.

The Queensland Reds registered their biggest ever Super Rugby win by thrashing the hapless Melbourne Rebels 53-3 at Suncorp Stadium.

The 50-point margin eclipsed their previous best, which came in 2010 with a 50-10 win over the Western Force, and their 53-point haul was enough to give them their highest ever total, pipping their 52 point effort against the Crusaders way back in 1996.

The Reds, who have now won their last seven games at Suncorp, took a while to warm to their task, but the Rebels were off key from start to finish, and the home side were able to dominate all facets of the contest, keeping points coming in a steady stream.

Man of the Match Quade Cooper had another great game with the boot, nailing eight from nine, while interchange back Michael Harris had a magnificent performance in his second game of Super 15 rugby, scoring two tries in two minutes in the second half.

With only three tries from the first four rounds leading into the contest, the Reds were able to find their touch, crossing the line at will and finishing with seven. The Rebels, missing a bevy of front-line stars, were disorganised throughout.


From Belfast Telegraph