Rennie: Clarke a 'bloody good' man

Sat, 03 Aug 2013 14:20
Large messam   clarke trophy Large smith strawbridge coventry Large craig clarke   liam messam Large chiefs victory haka Large chiefs v brumbies4 Large chiefs v brumbies3 Large chiefs v brumbies2 Large chiefs v brumbies

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie heaped praise on departing captain Craig Clarke , after he led them to a second successive Super Rugby title.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie heaped praise on departing captain Craig Clarke , after he led them to a second successive Super Rugby title.

The Chiefs came from behind to beat the Brumbies 27-22 in the Final in Hamilton on Saturday, to reinforce their standing as a Southern Hemisphere powerhouse.

It was the Chiefs' second Super Rugby crown in as many years, with a 15-point closing burst after trailing 12-22 with 17 minutes to go.

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.

"I'll miss him heaps," the coach, Rennie, said in his post-match analysis.

"It is not just his ability on the field, obviously also his leadership and he is a bloody good man.

"It is a pity he is leaving, obviously, he is certainly good enough to wear a black [All Black] jersey.

"We are disappointed to see him go, but at the same time we are happy for him.

"It is time for a new challenge - he can travel and maybe have a baby with a UK passport, that may come in handy at some stage."

The Chiefs coach, Rennie, also praised his side's courage for the way they fought back when the Brumbies had command.

"It was a messy first half," he said.

"They were able to get in and slow a lot of our ball and steal ball and we got sucked into trying to push too many passes.

"So there was real character shown in that second half. We got great impact off the bench," he said.

Rennie said the Brumbies were pretty smart and used a clever tactical ploy of not committing to the rucks.

"They swing around [the edges of rucks] and what looked offside was fair enough [legal play]," the Chiefs coach said.

"It took us a while to work out a strategy to sort that out," he said, adding: "We did better in the second half.

"The key was, we needed to hang on to a bit of the pill for a while, apply a bit of pressure.

"In the first half we kept moving the ball to where they had numbers. There was quite a bit of space just in behind the wings, well in front of the fullback."

He admitted the Christian Lealiifano try just before the half-time break was almost inevitable, given the tactics employed by the Brumbies.

"The [Lealiifano] intercept, we were talking about it in the coaches box and we felt it was always going to come.

"We put ourselves under a lot of pressure there.

"Once we started sending bigger numbers to the rucks, we were able to get rid of their guys that were sneaking around the side.

"[It allowed us] to play with a bit of tempo and that made a difference in the last 20 [minutes]."

He also spoke about the character of the team and the back-to-back titles.

"They [the players] worked pretty hard and there's a lot of personal drive within this group.

"There's a lot of personal meaning within the community - they're a special group, they are certainly highly motivated."

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 0 5 30
Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
Rebels 10 5 0 5 23
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 11 2 0 9 11
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Highlanders 11 8 0 3 37
Hurricanes 11 7 0 4 36
Blues 11 6 1 4 29
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Bulls 11 7 1 3 32
Stormers 11 6 1 4 32
Cheetahs 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 11 8 0 3 37
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4