Chiefs shake up team for semifinal

Thu, 25 Jul 2013 07:09
Large andrew horrell chiefs Large charlie ngatai chiefs Large gareth anscombe chiefs scor

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie made seven changes to his team for the Super Rugby semifinal showdown with the Crusaders at the Waikato Stadium this Saturday.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie made seven changes to his team for the Super Rugby semifinal showdown with the Crusaders at the Waikato Stadium this Saturday.

Andrew Horrell and Charlie Ngatai are the starting midfield pair and are joined by Asaeli Tikoirotuma on the wing and Gareth Anscombe at fullback.

Rhys Marshall comes onto the bench, replacing Mahonri Schwalger - who is kept out this week with a knee injury.

Marshall is joined among the replacements by prop Ben Afeaki, Bundee Aki and Robbie Robinson.

Rennie said the right to host this game is the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people and that his side is excited by the challenge of keeping their title defence alive against a team who has won the competition seven times before.

"We had an enormous amount of injuries in the first half of the campaign," Rennie said.

"So to win our conference and finish top seed speaks volumes for the culture and depth of our squad.

"But at this stage of the season, seedings and previous results count for little. Success for us comes down to a willingness to scrap hard for each other for 80 minutes.

"The reward will be a home Final and a shot at another title," Rennie added.

* There will be a moment's silence at the beginning of the match to remember New Zealand player Willie Halaifonua from the Takapuna club who passed away this week.   

With the weather forecast expected to be fine ticket sales are ahead of the semifinal clash from last year, with tickets still available in all areas.

There have been nearly 19,000 tickets sold for the match.

Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Matt Vant Leven, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (captain), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Bundee Aki, 22 Robbie Robinson.

Date: Saturday, July 27
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 (17.35 NSW/ACT; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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Fri, 01 July 2016
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Suva
Brumbies v Reds 09h40 Canberra
EP Kings v Griquas 16h00 Port Elizabeth
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Sat, 02 July 2016
Sunwolves v Waratahs 05h15 Tokyo
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Rebels v Stormers 09h40 Melbourne
Free State Cheetahs v Falcons 10h05 Bloemfontein
Golden Lions v Griffons 12h05 Johannesburg
Western Province v Eagles 13h00 Newlands
Namibia v Border 13h00 Windhoek
Cheetahs v Force 13h00 Bloemfontein
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Lions v Sharks 17h10 Johannesburg
Jaguares v Bulls 21h40 Buenos Aires
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 8 0 4 34
Waratahs 12 7 0 5 34
Rebels 12 6 0 6 27
Reds 12 3 1 8 16
Force 12 2 0 10 12
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 9 0 3 42
Hurricanes 12 8 0 4 40
Highlanders 12 8 0 4 38
Blues 12 6 1 5 30
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Stormers 12 7 1 4 36
Bulls 12 7 1 4 32
Cheetahs 12 3 0 9 17
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Lions 12 9 0 3 42
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 12 2 0 10 14
Kings 12 2 0 10 9