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Chiefs too hot for Highlanders


Highlanders 27 Chiefs 41

Jarrad Hoeata of the Highlanders looks to pass.

Jarrad Hoeata of the Highlanders looks to pass. Photo: Getty Images

The Chiefs began their Super Rugby title defence in winning fashion on Friday night when they outlasted the Highlanders 41-27 in a see-sawing match of breathless, non-stop action in Dunedin.

The visitors also left with a bonus point, two of their four tries coming via the twinkle toes of novice centre Tim Nanai-Williams.

Ben Afeaki of the Chiefs makes a break.

Ben Afeaki of the Chiefs makes a break. Photo: Getty Images

Usually a winger or fullback, Nanai-Williams was inserted into the midfield as an injury replacement and he showed pace and a goosestep to produce two solo, long-range touchdowns.

Fullback Gareth Anscombe, off-loaded by the Blues last season, added 21 points from the boot, including two late penalties that pushed the Chiefs clear.

The Highlanders were still well in contention going into final quarter when down 28-27.

But Nanai-Williams' second try with 12 minutes to go - after a long, unbroken passage of play that swept up and down the field and back again - finally swung the contest the Chiefs' way.

The Highlanders were without skipper Andrew Hore, still serving a suspension from the end-of-year All Blacks tour, and former Test lock Brad Thorn, out with a calf strain.

But the home side played their part in a highly entertaining contest with three tries of their own and they pressed hard till the end for their own bonus point.

The match opened with two superb tries.

The Highlanders counter-attacked from deep in their own half and then turned down an easy penalty attempt, instead moving the ball to fullback Ben Smith, who finished through heavy traffic.

The Chiefs hit back from a scrum move on their own 40-metre line, Nanai-Williams going through a big gap and then rounding Smith to dot down.

Anscombe landed the conversion and also three penalties and, with a 16-7 lead, the Chiefs appeared to be in command.

But they conceded a converted try just out from halftime, as stand-in Highlanders captain Hosea Gear went past four defenders on his wing to score.

The match continued to swing back and forth early in the second half, with Highlanders winger Kade Poki scoring in between tries for the Chiefs by wingers Patrick Osborne, on debut, and Asaeli Tikoirotuma.

CHIEFS 41 (Tim Nanai-Williams 2, Patrick Osborne, Aseli Tikoirotuma tries Gareth Anscombe 3 cons 5 pens) bt HIGHLANDERS 27 (Hosea Gear, Kade Poki, Ben Smith tries Lima Sopoaga 3 cons 2 pens) at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Referee: Steve R. Walsh.


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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 3 0 3 0 -49 0
Uruguay 2 0 2 0 -107 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 3 2 1 0 56 11
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 2 0 2 0 -32 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Tonga 2 1 1 0 7 6
Argentina 2 1 1 0 35 5
Georgia 3 1 2 0 -71 4
Namibia 2 0 2 0 -58 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Ireland 2 2 0 0 77 10
Italy 2 1 1 0 -17 4
Canada 3 0 3 0 -71 1
Romania 2 0 2 0 -61 0
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