Cruden's kicking conundrum

Tue, 19 Mar 2013 10:43
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Chiefs flyhalf Aaron Cruden remains in doubt as to whether he will take up the place-kicking duties when the Chiefs play the Highlanders this weekend.

Chiefs flyhalf Aaron Cruden remains in doubt as to whether he will take up the place-kicking duties when the Chiefs play the Highlanders this weekend.

The All Black flyhalf picked up a groin niggle during the Chiefs first week of pre-season training and has not fully recovered enough to take over the goal-kicking responsibility from the in-form Gareth Anscombe.

Cruden told the New Zealand Herald: "I probably wasn't used to the amount of training we were doing and ... the boys were already a long way into their pre-season training. I came back and started kicking then and that's when I started feeling it flare up."

Cruden's decision to not take on the duties has not been an issue for the Chiefs team but it seems it is going to cause a few selection headaches in other positions.

With Robbie Robinson set for a return, there is the option to rest Cruden and give Anscombe a crack at flyhalf.

The former Blues flyhalf has been outstanding at fullback this season and is brimming with confidence, so a shift to a more prominent role in the side might be a smart decision.

Anscombe has been spot-on from the tee so far this season which has meant that Cruden has not been needed by the Chiefs to kick at goal.

"I'd love to have the kicking duties back, but at the moment just with the groin the way it is, it seems to flare up whenever I do an extended kicking session," Cruden mentioned.

Cruden explained the frustration that accompanies a niggle like this: "It's starting to get there. It's probably not the way I wanted to start the season, picking up a few niggles, but I'm just working really hard with the physios here and making sure the body's right."

The Chiefs arrive home after a fairly successful trip to South Africa that saw them beat the Southern Kings but lose to the Stormers. These results have helped the defending champions consolidate their top position in the New Zealand Conference and second position on the overall log.

The Hamilton side will welcome back scrumhalf Brendon Leonard as well as centre Richard Kahui for their clash against the Highlanders at the Waikato Stadium.

"Those guys coming back into the fold has brought really good energy and it's great being back at our Ruakura base here.

"Since we've been away those guys have been put through their paces and it's good to see them hopefully be available for selection," Cruden added.

Looking forward to the game against the Highlanders, Cruden is well aware that the winless Highlanders are due a good performance.

"We know they are due for a good game and hopefully it's not this weekend against us."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10