Donald double helps Chiefs rout Reds

The Chiefs have accounted for the Queensland Reds by 29 points in their Super Rugby encounter on Saturday.The run of Australian losses to New Zealand Super Rugby teams has extended to 22, after the Chiefs recorded a 46-17 win.

A three-try burst after half-time, including two tries in eight minutes to 2011 Rugby World Cup cult hero Stephen Donald, propelled the hosts to victory after what had been a well-contested first half in New Plymouth.

Donald was superb starting at fly-half in place of Aaron Cruden, steering the Chiefs around the park, allowing the likes of Damien McKenzie and James Lowe to run amok deep inside Reds territory.

With the match played largely in the Queensland half, even with a near-even share of possession, the Reds battled to make any great inroads into the Chiefs defence.

Scott Higginbotham enjoyed another robust game that will only strengthen his case for a Wallabies recall in June, but try as he and fellow back-rowers George Smith and Hendrik Tui might, they just couldn’t create any semblance of breakdown pressure.

Lowe’s try in the 72nd minute sealed the bonus point for the Chiefs, while McKenzie kicked five conversions from six attempts in the comprehensive win.

Earlier, the Reds opened the scoring with a try to Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore from a lineout drive, though the Chiefs hit straight back through prop Kane Hames.

Reds winger Eto Nabuli then crossed out wide after an attempted Chiefs intercept fell into his arms.

Smith received a yellow card in the 26 th minute for a high tackle, the Reds’ 10th card in as many games this season.

With Smith still off the field, Chiefs centre Charlie Ngatai scored in his first Super Rugby match in nearly 12 months after overcoming concussion symptoms.

The Chiefs head in to their bye in a strong position in the New Zealand conference, while the Reds will face the Rebels in Melbourne next Saturday.