McKenzie, Retallick star as Chiefs run riot to end winless run
All Blacks Damian McKenzie and Brodie Retallick starred as the Chiefs ended a five-match winless run since the Super Rugby season began by hammering the Bulls 56-20 in Pretoria Saturday.
Full-back McKenzie was involved in almost every attacking move of the New Zealanders, who outscored the lethargic South Africans by seven tries to two at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
He was also immaculate with his goal-kicking, slotting nine consecutive kicks before a difficult conversion rebounded off the post with his last attempt.
Lock Retallick scored pushover tries just before and after half-time with the first giving the Chiefs a 24-6 half-time lead and the second effectively ending the match as a contest.
It was the first victory by the Chiefs in Pretoria since 2001, and was achieved without All Blacks centre Anton Lienert-Brown, a late withdrawal due to injury.
From start to finish, the visiting team dominated possession and territory, belying the fact that they began the match bottom of the 15-team combined standings.
Before the match, the teams, replacements and match officials formed a circle and observed a brief period of silence in memory of the victims of the Christchurch massacre last weekend.
"That was a really good result because it is never easy beating the Bulls on the Highveld," said man-of-the-match McKenzie.
"Our attitude was great, there was a lot of energy within the team, and we scored some really great tries by playing good footie."
Winger Solomon Alaimalo, who was sin-binned for a high tackle in the second half, scored two tries for the two-time champions.
Retallick and centre Alex Nankivell also scored two tries each and replacement back Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi one for the New Zealand outfit.
McKenzie slotted six conversions and three penalties for a 21-point tally that lifted him to second behind Handre Pollard of the Bulls in the Super Rugby scoring charts.
Centres Jesse Kriel and Burger Odendaal scored a try each for the Bulls and fly-half Pollard kicked two conversions and two penalties.
Later, brothers Robert and Daniel du Preez contributed 23 points between them as the Sharks coasted to a 28-14 victory over the Melbourne Rebels in Durban.
Loose forward Daniel used his strength to barge over for a seventh-minute try and open the scoring at Kings Park.
Fly-half Robert then took over, scoring a try and kicking two conversions and three penalties while a try by winger Makazole Mapimpi completed the South Africans' total.
Winger Tom English and full-back Jack Maddocks scored a try each for the Australians and fly-half Quade Cooper converted both.
Defeat completed a disappointing tour by the Rebels, who arrived boasting a three-match winning streak only to squander a 28-point lead when losing to the Lions in Johannesburg last weekend.
The Sharks were happy to get back on the winning trail after losing their last two matches having begun with two victories.
"We are very disappointed having come to South Africa aiming for at least one victory," admitted Rebels skipper and loose forward Angus Cottrell.
"The positives included our line-outs and scrums, but we missed too many tackles and conceded a lot of penalties."
? 2019 AFP