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Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Chiefs and Lions try fest at Ellis Park

The Chiefs and Lions try fest at Ellis Park

By now youve probably heard about the bizarre game of rugby that took place in the Super 14 on Friday night at Ellis Park. If you havent, the Lions lost to the Chiefs 72-65. Yes, it was indeed a record breaking night.

A week ago the Chiefs pipped the Sharks in a tight and wet match in Durban, but on Friday night in Johannesburg, the floodgates opened in a freakish match as they showed their attacking intent from the start, literally.

From a deep kick-off they ran the ball, resulting in them catching the Lions off guard and working their way down field, eventually scoring a try through Callum Bruce after just two minutes. It pretty much set the tempo for the match.

It looked like it would be a long night for the Lions, and in some regards it was, but they rallied well to stay in the match following two yellow cards to the Chiefs, and at half time the visitors led 27-25.

The dangerous runners from Waikato started the second half as they did the first though, scoring within the first minute and going on to score nine tries in total, with flyhalf Stephen Donald kicking an incredible 12 out of 12 kicks at goal. He scored 32 points in total, with nine conversions and three penalties.

The Lions fell to pieces somewhat, and the Chiefs ran riot as the hosts fell off tackles and were outstripped for pace and superb handling on many occasions. Richard Kahui got himself a hat trick on return from injury, and the Lions were somewhat embarrassed as the Chiefs coasted through gaps regularly.

They reached a 65-25 lead before the Lions showed great heart, somehow scoring five tries in 20 minutes as the visitors looked laboured in their defence, allowing the team from Joburg to get to a 40-7 lead in the second half.

Incredibly they had the opportunity to gain a losing bonus point from the match, to add to the point they got for scoring four tries. They achieved that in added time, as the game looked more like Sevens in the final minutes, with players strewn all over the place from exhaustion.

In the end it was a record points haul for an away team, and a record for a combined score. Eighteen tries in a match is also a record for Super Rugby.

The tackling was almost non-existent at times, but it was an enjoyable game of rugby that had moments of superb skill and handling, the likes of which the Chiefs are well known for.

It was certainly not a match for the purists, but great to watch as a neutral.

Lets hear you opinion:
As a neutral rugby fan, would you rather watch a 9-6 snorefest, or a 72-65 scorefest?

Time: 09:32
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