Clarke: Bench did the job for us

Sat, 03 Aug 2013 13:06
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Departing Chiefs captain Craig Clarke paid tribute to the bench players, following their 27-22 triumph over the Brumbies on Saturday.

Departing Chiefs captain Craig Clarke paid tribute to the bench players, following their 27-22 triumph over the Brumbies on Saturday.

The Chiefs came from behind, having trailed 12-22 with less than 20 minutes to go, to claim their second successive Super Rugby crown.

Before a packed crowd of 25,000 at Waikato Stadium, the Chiefs outscored the Brumbies two tries to one.

It also brought to and end the Chiefs careers of five players.
 
Co-captain Clarke (off to Ireland), prop Toby Smith (Melbourne Rebels) and wing Lelia Masaga (Japan) featured in Saturday's victory.
 
Injured centre Richard Kahui (Japan) and another All Black, scrumhalf Brendon Leonard (Italy), had already played their last game after lengthy stints at Waikato and the Chiefs.
 
Clarke described the Brumbies as an "awesome" team that showed a "huge amount of heart".

"They really put us under pressure," Clarke said in his post-match analysis, before paying tribute to his own team for their effort to come back in the final quarter.

"They are a special group," the captain said, adding: "We got fantastic impact off the bench.

"That was the key for us.

"We got a lot of guys on the bench, where there are not much difference between them and the starters.

"They did a great job for us and in the end that was probably the difference."

Describing this year's Final as "more nerve-wracking" than the first championship win last year, he added that they knew they had another in them.

"We knew the Brumbies are a quality side and they showed that at Loftus last week," where the Australian franchise came from behind to beat the Bulls in the semifinal.

"We needed to be able to dictate the tempo of that last period and we did it pretty well.

"It is a tough and long tournament and you have to be consistent. That [being consistent] gave us the opportunity to play [the Final] at home and that helped us."

Asked about his departure, along with four other players, Clarke described it as a "strange feeling".

"I have been doing the same thing for the past five years, doing the Naki thing [playing for Taranaki] and doing the Chiefs thing," the skipper said.

"I sort of fitted into a good rhythm there, but it is going to be a completely different experience. I have definitely enjoyed what we are doing here.

"I have been through some lows and some highs over the last couple of years, I really appreciate the success that we are having.

"However, that is how it is in rugby, people go off and do different things.

"We'll just go off to a new challenge."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14