Winning swansong as five exit Chiefs

Mon, 29 Jul 2013 09:58
Large craig clarke chiefs Large lelia masaga chiefs Large craig clarke   dave rennie

The defending champion Chiefs will be looking to produce the perfect parting gift to five players.

The defending champion Chiefs will be looking to produce the perfect parting gift to five players.

However, they will be keen to stay focussed on the job at hand - beating the Brumbies in the Super Rugby Final in Hamilton on Saturday, rather than getting caught up in the hype of the occasion.

Five senior Chiefs will leave for offshore contracts, following Saturday's grand finale against the two-time champion Brumbies.

Co-captain Craig Clarke (to Ireland), prop Toby Smith (Melbourne Rebels) and wing Lelia Masaga (Japan) all made key contributions in the 20-19 semifinal win over the Crusaders at the weekend.

They are set to be part of the side who return to Waikato Stadium to chase a second successive title.

Injured centre Richard Kahui (Japan) and another All Black, scrumhalf Brendon Leonard (Italy), have already played their last game after lengthy stints at Waikato and the Chiefs.

Coach Dave Rennie is anxious that the players' contribution be acknowledged, but said ideally it will wait until after the game.

"There will be some sentimental stuff in and around the boys leaving. But the focus will be on performance, it has to be," Rennie said.

Clarke topped the match tackle count against the Crusaders with 16, followed closely by Smith's 13 as the hosts' tight five went toe-to-toe with an All Blacks-laden pack.

Masaga's key contribution was their opening try soon after half-time, handing the Chiefs the lead for the first time.

Before scoring, he blasted through the tackle of Crusaders flank George Whitelock, the man with whom he shares the same lone Test appearance, against Italy in 2009.

"He's a bit chubby so I thought I'd get over him with my pace," Masaga smiled.

"The opportunity came to me and, funnily enough, I saw the red sea part."

The player known as "Flash" was determined to make the most of some space after listening to a rev-up from the Chiefs' coaches at half-time.

Their message was to simply run harder with ball.

Source: NZ Newswire

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 17h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9