Chiefs hope to have Afeaki back

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 07:54
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Chiefs coach Dave Rennie hopes prop Ben Afeaki can return to the fray this coming week.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie hopes prop Ben Afeaki can return to the fray this coming week, following the loss of fellow front row forward Michael Kainga.

It appears Kainga's stint with the defending champion Chiefs is going to be cut short.

The Bay of Plenty prop had to be replaced just 13 minutes into his first start for the franchise, injuring his shoulder early in the 37-29 win over the Sharks in Hamilton at the weekend.

Rennie said Kainga couldn't even lift at line-out time, but they should have some cover if he is ruled out.

"There's a good chance that Ben Afeaki will be back next week," the Chiefs coach said.

"He ran today [Sunday] in a lot less discomfort, so we're hopeful there."

Meanwhile Chiefs captain Craig Clarke said he wasn't getting carried away by the win.

A powerful opening burst laid the foundations for the Chiefs' victory, as they raced into a 24-0 lead inside the first quarter.

The victory saw the Chiefs arrest a two-match losing streak and overtake the Blues at the head of the New Zealand conference, while the injury-ravaged Sharks slumped to their third consecutive loss.

Both sides took a four-try bonus point from the match, which was as much a reflection of fragile defensive systems as it was a testimony to their attacking intent.

But the Sharks were denied an additional bonus point when Aaron Cruden kicked a penalty on full-time to extend the winning margin past the seven-point margin.

"It certainly wasn't perfect," Clarke said.

He added that the Chiefs showed accuracy early on, "but maybe it was all a bit too easy", and he was disappointed they let the opposition back into the contest.

But Clarke gave credit to the injury-hit Sharks for the way they came back.

"At the start of our game we were accurate and did some good things but maybe we slipped because it was a bit too easy," the captain added.

"It was disappointing from our point of view to let them come back but credit to them for showing fight for a team that was disjointed by injury.

"Our initial impact of the drive was pretty good, but we were just getting our angles wrong and they're pretty good at going on what angle you give them."

The Chiefs coach, Rennie, was obviously delighted with the win.

"We haven't done it for a couple of weeks, so mission accomplished in regards to the five points," the Chiefs mentor said.

"The points came a bit easy in the first 20. We gave up a few penalties, made a couple of errors, and they were able to put us in the corner and turn it into points. Winning ugly feels better than losing ugly like we did last week."

Rennie said the side had "to find a better way of dealing with it" ahead of their next match against the Stormers in Pukekohe.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14