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
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10