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Chiefs pay dear price for win

Sat, 23 Mar 2013 07:00
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He is expected to be out for six weeks
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The Chiefs paid a dear price for their 19-7 win over the Highlanders on Friday, a victory that saw them move six points clear at the top of the New Zealand Super Rugby conference.

In a statement on Saturday the Chiefs confirmed that All Black scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow fractured his jaw and will be having surgery early next week.

Kerr-Barlow played through the pain after replacement No.9 August Pulu was forced on to the wing.

"He is expected to be out for six weeks," the brief statement concluded.

Kerr-Barlow made his All Black debut against Scotland on the Northern Hemisphere end-of-year tour.

He was one of the stand-out players from last season's Super Rugby showing the opposition that he is tenacious and aggressive.

The Chiefs' other scrumhalf, Brendon Leonard, has recovered from a cheekbone injury and although he didn't play for the franchise's development side on Saturday, he should be available for the match against the Blues next Saturday at Waikato Stadium.

Another Chief on the comeback, Richard Kahui, had a successful return to the field in his first match in 10 months on Friday.

Shoulder surgery had sidelined the 17-Test All Black for the best part of a year, but there was a huge cheer when he was on early in the second half in Hamilton.

Returning from their brief trip to South Africa the Chiefs were made to work hard for the win over the Highlanders.

In a physically absorbing tussle the victory sees the defending champions consolidated their place on top of the New Zealand conference standings.

Up next for the Chiefs is a Easter Weekend clash with big city neighbours the Blues in Mount Maunganui next Saturday.

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