Chiefs 'dug deep' after blitzkrieg

Sat, 27 Jul 2013 13:21
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A dramatic 17-point burst in the second-half carried the defending champion Chiefs into a second consecutive Super Rugby Final.

A dramatic 17-point burst in the second-half carried the defending champion Chiefs into a second consecutive Super Rugby Final.

The men from Hamilton enjoyed a golden 10-minute spell - which lifted them from 3-9 down to a 20-9 lead - before they grimly held out a late Crusaders charge for a 20-19 win on Saturday.

Chiefs captain Craig Clarke spoke of his team's "grit" and "defence" when assessing the victory.

"It epitomises how big we can be with our defence, but made it hard for ourselves with our set piece," Clarke said.

However, the message at half-time was to "simplify things" and win the ball at the front of the line-outs through All Black Brodie Retallick.

"We did that a little bit and managed to hold some possession.

"However, I must mention them [the Crusaders], the way they came back into the game [after the Chiefs went 20-9 ahead].

"We were up by 11 [points] and that is a credit to how good they are. However, we dug pretty deep," he said of holding out in the face of the Crusaders' late charge.

He said the Chiefs' scoring blitz came from a change of tactics.

"We spread the ball more than we have done in previous weeks and they couldn't settle into their strong defensive system."

Man of the match Aaron Cruden admitted that they were seeking some 'revenge' after a heavy 15-43 loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch a fortnight ago.

"Our pride was damaged pretty heavily a couple of weeks ago by a quality Crusaders side," Cruden said.

"We really wanted to rectify that," he said, adding that desire and passion in front of our home crowd got them home this time round.

"We live to fight another day and we are just grateful."

Cruden admitted there will be a few sore bodies after a brutal encounter, but said that if you can't get up for a Final in front of your home fans you can't get up for anything.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28