April 9 2005
Chiefs light up their season with big win over Sharks.
After an indifferent start to the 2005 Super Rugby season (one win in the first five matches) the Chiefs came to light with a 40 – 5 (six tries to one) win against the Sharks in Hamilton. First five eight Stephen Donald and centre Niva Ta’auso in their first starts, were impressive, admittedly against rather ordinary opposition.
“Saturday April 9 at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, 5.3Opm
Ref: Scott Young (AUS) Crowd: (11.000) HIT 28-0 Chiefs
With the Chiefs forward pack stepping up to the mark for the second week in a row it was left to the backs to take advantage. Fed by poor kicking from the Sharks early on and complemented by dynamic blind- side flanker Sione Lauaki, they did just that and had their first bonus point of the season before halftime. Coach Ian Foster rejigged his line, moving David Hill out to second five-eighths and bringing former NZ Colts pivot Stephen Donald in to first five for his first Super 12 start. And outside Hill was placed Counties-Manukau Steeler Niva Ta’auso, a star in the making. He was only recently brought into the squad from the wider training group after the season-ending neck injury suffered by Loki Crichton. Admittedly the Chiefs were helped by the woeful Sharks, who gave them early ball with which to counter-attack, but the new combination really added sharpness, straightness and variation to the attack while Donald and Hill gave them two-pronged kicking and playmaking options. Ta’auso, whose biggest game previously had been for the NZ Divisional XV in Fiji last year, had a sleepless night before his debut but those around him settled his nerves and he straightened the attack beautifully and took the right options.
BEST AND FAIREST: Sione Lauaki (Chiefs) 3, Sitiveni Sivivatu (Chiefs) 2, Niva Ta’auso (Chiefs) 1
• This was the first time in two years the Chiefs have recorded 40 points in a match.
• The Chiefs have only once recorded a bigger winning margin in a Super 12 match, and that was a 38 point differential against Transvaal in 1997.
• Sitiveni Sivivatu is just the second Chiefs player to score two tries in a match against the Sharks — Roger Randle managed it twice in 1999 and 2000.”
From “Rugby News”, Issue 7 2005 p. 34.