Masaga in doubt for Final

Thu, 01 Aug 2013 07:48
Large lelia masaga chiefs Large craig clarke   dave rennie Large lelia masaga  chiefs steps Large dave rennie talks to chiefs Large dave rennie chiefs2

The defending Super Rugby champions, the Chiefs, were sweating on the fitness of star wing Lelia Masaga in the countdown to Saturday's Final against the Brumbies.

The defending Super Rugby champions, the Chiefs, were on Thursday sweating on the fitness of star wing Lelia Masaga in the countdown to Saturday's Final against the Brumbies.

Masaga, one of the top attacking players in the competition this year, was troubled by an ankle injury, forcing the Chiefs to prepare an alternative combination with fullback Robbie Robinson on standby for the wing berth.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie, who named an unchanged team from last week's semifinal win over the Crusaders, is confident Masaga will start, but is leaving the decision as late as possible.

The one-Test All Black is an integral part of the Hamilton-based franchise, who are aiming for a second successive Super Rugby crown and the chance to declare they have launched the competition's latest champion dynasty.

The Brumbies are looking to re-ignite their own heady days, which ended nine years ago when they won the second of their two titles.

Rennie, who will see his team run out at a sold-out Waikato Stadium, is excited that the Chiefs are hosting their second consecutive Final.

"There has been an enormous amount of hard work to get us into this position and we are excited to be playing in front of the people who mean the most to us," said Rennie.

Rennie knows that it will be a highly emotionally charged occasion with Craig Clarke, Lelia Masaga, Toby Smith, Richard Kahui and Brendon Leonard all heading off shore at the end of the season.

"They have all been a big part of the Chiefs family and we want to send these outstanding Chiefs men out on a high with back to back titles," said Rennie.    

Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga/Robbie Robinson, 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/Patrick Osborne.

Date: Saturday, August 3
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT; 17.35 AEST)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
Lions v Bulls 51 | 14
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 18 | 16
Sunwolves v Sharks 17 | 38
Force v Highlanders 6 | 55
Hurricanes v Cheetahs 61 | 7
Fri, 19 May 2017
Leinster v Scarlets 15 | 27
Stormers v Blues 30 | 22
Chiefs v Crusaders 24 | 31
Sat, 13 May 2017
Jaguares v Force 6 | 16
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19