Gareth Anscombe scored three tries and 24 points in total in leading the Chiefs to a win over the Rebels.
For the second successive weekend, the Chiefs allowed the opposition back into the match after building a good lead. Having led 24 – 7 at one point and then 31-14, the Chiefs won 39 – 33.
It was an exciting match that produced 11 tries, which could have gone either way after the Rebels fought back in the second half.
Gareth Anscombe starred in the first half, scoring three of the four tries to wrap up the bonus point by the break. The Rebels kept themselves in the match by scoring five of their own tries, picking up two bonus points.
Neither team’s defence was great, but rather the attacking prowess of first the Chiefs, and later that of James O’Connor and Kurtley Beale, that entertained. Beale made his return to rugby following a team incident six weeks ago, being somewhat of a catalyst in team and scoring a magnificent individual try.
The Chiefs will be slightly worried in having conceded nine tries in the last two matches, both times allowing the opposition back into a position to win the match. The Rebels have now been run close by New Zealand opposition in consecutive weekends, coming close to upsetting the Crusaders last weekend.
The Chiefs take back the lead in the New Zealand conference, after the Blues went into pole position earlier this morning. For the Rebels, they continue to accumulate bonus points to prevent themselves from finishing bottom of the Australian conference.
The Chiefs host the Force next weekend while the Rebels travel to Auckland to take on the Blues.
Rebels: 33 (14)
Tries: Scott Higginbotham, Hugh Pyle (2), Nick Phipps, Kurtley Beale
Conversions: James O’Connor (4)
Chiefs: 39 (24)
Tries: Gareth Anscombe (3), Bundee Aki, Sam Cane, Brodie Retallick
Conversions: Gareth Anscombe (3)
Penalties: Gareth Anscombe (1)
By Richard Ferguson