The Rebels’ winless Super Rugby trans-Tasman campaign has continued after going down to the Chiefs 36-26 at Leichhardt Oval.
The Rebels had their chances of pulling off an upset against a Chiefs’ outfit, who were coming off a shock loss to the Queensland Reds last week.
Despite allowing the Chiefs to race out to a 19-point lead early in the match, the Rebels ultimately owned the final 15 minutes of the first half when they notched three tries to level scores at the main break.
But the men from Melbourne allowed the Hamilton-based side to score the opening two tries of the second half before the task became too much.
The game saw four players score doubles – Anton Lienert-Brown, Kaleb Trask and Chase Tiatia for the Chiefs and Isi Naisarani for the Rebels.
A total of 21 turnovers conceded and 23 missed tackles proved costly in the end.
“We gave them far too much of a head start and we were playing catch-up,” Matt Toomua told Stand Sport after the match.
“To go in even at half-time, we were happy with that, but then we had a slow started in the second half and we gave away two tries and then we were catching up again.
“There’s a lot of fight and determination in the group, however, we keep finding ourselves in a position where we are chasing.
“There’s a few mistakes there, they’re obviously well-coached. Credit to them, they’re a good bloody team.”
With one round remaining before the June 19 final, today’s result for the Chiefs keeps their slim grand final hopes alive. They currently sit in fourth spot on the table and will need results to go their way next weekend.
– with Stuff
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