Chiefs put down big marker
Fri, 14 Feb 2014 11:38
Cane injuries a concern
The two-time defending champion Chiefs put down a big marker ahead of the 2014 Super Rugby season when they demolished the Blues.
In their only New Zealand pre-season match the Chiefs beat the Blues 43-19 in front of an impressive crowd at the Rotorua International Stadium.
The Chiefs shot out to a 21-0 lead after a more clinical start than the previous week against the Reds.
Tries to hooker Rhys Marshal, as well as local lads Sam Cane and Liam Messam gave the Chiefs the edge in the highly entertaining match.
Blues player Charles Piutau doted down for two tries in a row to make the score 24-12 heading in the half-time break.
Nick Crosswell from the Chiefs was the next to cross the line with the accurate boot of Aaron Cruden adding the extra points.
Heading towards the end of the match James Lowe cashed over for another Chiefs try, which was followed by another from Robbie Fruean two minutes later.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie was reasonably happy with his side's performance and particularly of the young players in the squad - including 18-year-old Anton Lienert-Brown and James Lowe.
The Chiefs officially start their Super Rugby campaign next Friday against the Crusaders in Christchurch, while the Blues will have plenty of work to do before they travel to Dunedin a day later to take on the Highlanders.
For the Chiefs the biggest concern will be the knee and ankle injuries suffered by star All Black Sam Cane.
For the Chiefs:
Tries: R Marshall, Messam, Cane, Crosswell, Lowe, Fruean
Cons: Cruden 5
For the Blues:
Tries: Piutau 2, Willison
Cons: Noakes, B Marshall
Chiefs squad: Ben Afeaki, Bundee Aki, Gareth Anscombe, Sam Cane, Nick Crosswell, Aaron Cruden, Hikawera Elliot, Ross Filipo, Mike Fitzgerald, Robbie Fruean, Josh Hohneck, Andrew Horrell, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Tanerau Latimer, James Lowe, Jamie Mackintosh, Pauliasi Manu, Rhys Marshall, Tom Marshall, Liam Messam, Mils Muliaina, Tim Nanai-Williams, Charlie Ngatai, Augustine Pulu , Brodie Retallick, Robbie Robinson, Mahonri Schwalger, Liam Squire, Matthew Symons, Ben Tameifuna, Kane Thompson, Asaeli Tikoirotuma.
Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 George Moala, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Lolagi Visinia, 10 Benji Marshall, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements - from: Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Tom McCartney, Angus Ta'avao, William Lloyd, Patrick Tuipulotu, Kane Barrett, Jordan Manihera, Brendon O'Connor, Bryn Hall, Chris Noakes, Simon Hickey, Jackson Willison, Tevita Li, Albert Nikoro.
Referee: Glen Jackson/Nick Briant
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