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Chiefs beat Waratahs in try-fest

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/06/2017

James Lowe of the Chiefs offloads in the tackle of Tom Robertson and Dean Mumm of the Waratahs. © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images James Lowe of the Chiefs offloads in the tackle of Tom Robertson and Dean Mumm of the Waratahs. The Chiefs have driven the Waratahs' Super Rugby title hopes into the dust with a wild and woolly 46-31 win in Hamilton.

Scoring six tries to four, including a hat-trick to winger James Lowe, the home side notched a 10th win for the season to maintain their push for a high ranking going into the knockout phase.

The Waratahs will almost certainly miss the post-season, with the loss meaning the 2014 champions have virtually ceded the Australian Conference honours to the Brumbies.

Both sides played their part in a helter-skelter affair, with the Chiefs setting up victory with tries to Lowe either side of halftime.

Both were the result of brilliant off-loading and support play, with the hosts adding a fluidity to their attack which has been missing in recent games.

Damian McKenzie of the Chiefs. © AAP Image/ David Rowland Damian McKenzie of the Chiefs. Fullback Damian McKenzie was the sparkplug, his brilliant insertions complementing a game which also featured 16 points from his accurate goalkicking boot.

Flanker Mitchell Brown bagged the opening try while halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow secured a second-half double.

Kerr-Barlow's second was set up by Stephen Donald in his last act of the game before being replaced.

Donald received a rousing ovation on departure, having completed 100 matches for the Chiefs.

The Waratahs brought plenty to an open affair, scoring all four of their tries in the second spell, through wingers Rob Horne, and Cam Clark, lock Will Skelton and prop Sekope Kepu.

Wallaby Kepu's 73rd-minute score was an undoubted match highlight. The burly tighthead received a pass 60m out and unfurled a storming run, swatting aside three defenders along the way.

Damien Fitzpatrick of the Waratahs reacts to defeat. © AAP Image/ David Rowland Damien Fitzpatrick of the Waratahs reacts to defeat. His team's ninth loss of the season was also the most points they have conceded in 21 matches against the Chiefs.

The Hamilton-based side face a crucial match against the Hurricanes in Wellington next week, with the winners a strong chance to finish second in the competitive New Zealand conference.

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