Super Rugby Pacific: Chiefs put campaign back on track with highscoring win over Fijian Drua at Hamilton

Flanker Kaylum Boshier has scored a try double, as his Chiefs put their Super Rugby Pacific campaign back on track with a 46-29 win over Fijian Drua at Hamilton.

After their shock loss to Queensland Reds across the Tasman last week, the home side were determined to halt their slide against dangerous opponents, who were riding high, after their stunning victory over the champions Crusaders at Lautoka.

The Drua stunned their rivals early with an opportunist try to centre Iosefo Masi, after Damian McKenzie could not take a high kick in midfield.

Etene Nani-Seturo scores a try against Fijian Drua.
Etene Nani-Seturo scores a try against Fijian Drua. Photo credit: Getty Images

Using the set-piece to their advantage - a scrum penalty, then an attacking lineout - the Chiefs responded quickly, with winger Daniel Rona busting through centrefield and finding flanker Kaylum Boshier with the final pass for a try.

A break from second-five Rameka Poihipi resulted in a try to halfback Cortez Ratima to give the home side some breathing room.

The Fijians weren't easily broken though, with Masi crossing for his second under the crossbar. McKenzie restored the Chiefs lead with a penalty.

Poihipi went close, when he ran off an attacking lineout, but from a tap penalty, McKenzie found Rona with a long pass to score in the right corner.

After All Blacks midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown surged into the 22, quick hands put flanker Samipeni Finau over in the right corner, but he forced on the touch-in-goal line, so no try.

Leadin 24-17 at halftime, the Chiefs wasted no time imposing themselves in the second half, using an attacking scrum to create space for winger Etene Nanai-Seturo to cross in the left corner.

The Drua threatened to strike back, when they put together 14 phases on the tryline, but their patience came to nothing, when the ball was released to the backs and winger Iliesa Junior Ratuva dropped it cold.

Unperturbed, they put together 16 more phases, but again up empty, when Chiefs hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho won a breakdown penalty on his goal-line.

Playing under advantage, fullback Shuan Stevenson produced a crosskick that bounced awkwardly for the Drua defence and into the hands of lock Manaaki Selby-Rickit, who spilt the ball, as he tried to force for the try.

From the penalty, the Chiefs worked the ball left, where Quinn Tupaea put Boshier across for his second of the night. The final pass looked marginal, but was allowed to stand.

As All Blacks lock Josh Lord made his season debut, international teammate Anton Lienert-Brown, plagued by injury last season, stayed down after a busting run and was carted off the field, with concussion.

To the relief of the home crowd, he later returned to the bench and a warm reception.

Chiefs celebrate a try to Kaylum Boshier against the Drua.
Chiefs celebrate a try to Kaylum Boshier against the Drua. Photo credit: Photosport

The Drua's perseverance finally paid off, when Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta plunged over from a tap penalty, but Stevenson countered with a kick and gather to score.

McKenzie seemed to have a try out wide, but overshot the corner.

After the final siren, Chiefs captain Luke Jacobson was yellow-carded and from the penalty, Kemu Valetini dived over in the corner to further reduce the final margin.

"We knew Fiji were going to be tough," said Jacobson. "Once they get the ball in hand, they're pretty hard to stop - they gave us a real good run for our money.

"It looks nice when it comes off, but there were probably a stages there where we got a bit loose with ball in hand. We're a bit better when we get a bit tighter and our carry-clean game together, we can play off that, but it's awesome when some of those plays come off."

The Chiefs stay at home next Saturday to host the Highlanders.

Chiefs 46 (Boshier 2, Ratima, Rona, Nanai-Seturo, Stevenson tries; McKenzie 5 conversions & 2 penalties) Fijian Drua 29 (Masi 2, Cirikidaveta, Valetini tries; Armstrong-Ravula 3 conversions & penalty)