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Port Elizabeth – Chiefs wing Lelia Masaga scored a hat-trick of tries to earn his team a bonus-point win as they overcame another spirited effort by the Southern Kings to win their Super Rugby match 35-24 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth last night.
The Chiefs led 18-13 at halftime and although the Kings were not outclassed and had more opportunities with the ball than in previous games, the New Zealanders were in control for much of the encounter.
Besides Masaga's three tries, forward Sam Kane also crossed for the Chiefs and the accurate boot of pivot Gareth Anscombe added the remaining points with three conversions and three penalties.
Pacy wing Sergeal Petersen scored his third try for the Kings just before halftime and powerful loose forward Jacques Engelbrecht dotted down after a driving maul in the second half, while flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis slotted four penalties and a conversion.
Slick handling and passing by the Chiefs players exposed the Kings defence twice in the first half and Masaga needed no second bidding to shoot over for two tries.
It helped the Chiefs build a handy 18-6 cushion and they were on the attack heading towards halftime when a dropped pass saw Petersen swoop on the ball just metres from his line to run almost the length of the field for a thrilling try under the posts.
It gave the home fans some hope, but Chiefs again pulled ahead through Cane, followed by Masaga's third try in the 53rd minute to make it 32-13.
Hopwever, the Kingsrefused to lie down and hit back through Engelbrecht's strong effort, before the Chiefs had the final say when Anscombe slotted his third penalty with just minutes remaining to seal the deal for the visitors. – Sapa