Super Rugby

Player ratings: Chiefs canter home

Sat, 04 Aug 2012 11:38
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[Messam] broke the line on a couple of occasions, made in excess of 80 metres with ball in hand and made over 13 tackles
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The Chiefs turned the screws and never let up to canter to their first Super Rugby title in dominant fashion in Hamilton on Saturday.

The hosts were simply too good for a Sharks side who found the final a bridge too far and were crowned deserved Super Rugby champions after being the form side for the majority of the season.  

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Chiefs players.

15 Robbie Robinson:
A standout performer at the back. Safe as houses under the high ball, he punished aimless Sharks kicks with a mix of booming touch-finders and elusive counter-attacking.
8/10

14 Tim Nanai-Williams:
Full of running, took the try when it was on offer and won a textbook turnover from an isolated Tendai Mtawarira. Also slotted in at first receiver on several occasions from where he displayed good distribution skills.
7.5/10

13 Andrew Horrell:

Solid if not spectacular, Horrell did the hard yards in midfield.
6.5/10

12 Sonny Bill Williams:
A satisfactory swansong for Sonny Bill Williams. Made a brilliant break and offload that led to Nanai-Williams’ try and crossed the advantage line consistently. Was on hand to score one last try and celebrate as only he can.
7.5/10

11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma:
Showed his power with ball in hand by making precious metres despite having little room to work with.
7/10

10 Aaron Cruden:
Grew in stature after a shaky opening ten minutes and proved what an all-round ball player he is. His decision-making and variation was excellent and his chip kicks, one of which sparked the opening try, exposed a clear weakness in the Sharks' game.
8.5/10

9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow:
Made some hampering handling errors from the base due to the wet conditions and had an early box kick go out on the full.
7/10

8 Kane Thompson:
Showed what an explosive ball carrier he is with a try from the back of the scrum and made a crucial turnover inside his own 22.
7/10

7 Tanerau Latimer:
Good work rate, was all over the field and played well in tandem with Liam Messam.
7/10

6 Liam Messam:
His leadership and experience calmed those around him, he broke the line on a couple of occasions, made in excess of 80 metres with ball in hand and made over 13 tackles.
8.5/10

5 Brodie Retallick:
Didn’t shy away from the tough stuff and outplayed his opposite number.
6.5/10

4 Craig Clarke:
The Chiefs captain led by example, put his body on the line and stole a lineout ball against the throw to further inspire his troops.
7/10

3 Ben Tameifuna:
Not quite as energetic as fellow front rower Sona Taumalolo but fronted up well against Tendai Mtawarira to provide a solid platform for the backline. Fortunate to get away with a shoulder charge on Ryan Kankowski.
7/10  

2 Mahonri Schwalger:
The sole underperforming Chiefs player, the Samoan international was shaken up by Kankowski and company at lineout time, resulting in a number of short and skew throw-ins.
5/10

1 Sona Taumalolo:
An all-action showing by the mobile Tongan in his final appearance for the Chiefs. Couldn’t cap the occasion with try number ten for the season so he stabbed through a well-weighted grubber in open play. 
7/10

Replacements:

16 Hika Elliot:
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Ben Afeaki:
Not enough time to be rated.

18 Michael Fitzgerald:
Not enough time to be rated.

19 Sam Cane: (on for Kane Thompson, 58th minute)
Ensured no impetus was lost with a workmanlike cameo.
7/10

20 Brendon Leonard:
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Jackson Willison:
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Lelia Masaga: (on for Robbie Robinson, 58th minute)
Pounced on a wayward ball and swerved past Pat Lambie with ease to score and put the Sharks to bed. Cue celebratory dance. 
7/10

 

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