Victorious Chiefs counting the cost

Sat, 22 Feb 2014 06:39
Large ben afeaki bleeding

The defending champion Chiefs are counting the cost of their 18-10 win over the Crusaders in their Super Rugby showdown.

The defending champion Chiefs are counting the cost of their 18-10 win over the Crusaders in their Super Rugby showdown in Christchurch on Friday.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie admitted his team's depth is being tested in the early stages of the season, but felt he will have sufficient cover as the men from Hamilton look for a hat-trick of titles.

Forwards Ben Afeaki, Brodie Retallick, Kane Thompson, Tevita Koloamatangi and All Black Mils Muliaina were all forced off the field in the brutal clash in Christchurch.

Those names join an already lengthy injury list - with loose forwards Sam Cane, Tanerau Latimer, and Liam Squire also sidelined, along with backs, Gareth Anscombe, Bundee Aki and Robbie Robinson.

On top of that scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow was a late scratching from the 23-man matchday squad.

So depleted were the Chiefs' playing stocks, reserve hooker Nathan Harris was forced to make his Super Rugby debut at blindside flank.

"We finished the game with a hooker on the short side and Crossy [Nick Crosswell] playing openside normally a lock, No.6 or No.8," Rennie said afterwards.

"We've got pretty good depth but she was a bit of a casualty ward out there."

Despite their current predicament, there is light at the end of the tunnel for the back-to-back champions, with Latimer expected to be available for next weeks clash against the Highlanders in Hamilton.

The Crusaders came away from the match with their own concerns, after goal-kicker Tyler Blyendaal missed five penalty shots at goal, and his second-half replacement Tom Taylor was off-target with two attempts of his own.

Ill-discipline rather than injuries saw the red and blacks twice reduced to 14-men, with lock Dominic Bird and No. 6 George Whitelock both receiving yellow cards for professional fouls.

The home side's attack also lacked potency, and fell apart completely while searching for the match-winning try in the 79th minute, when Nafi Tuitavake's pass was intercepted by Chiefs replacement James Lowe, who raced 80 metres to secure the win.

"That was probably an insight into the match really, almost but we didn't quite get over the line," Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said.

Aaron Cruden's sideline conversion then left the Crusaders without any competition points but the gutsy victory came at a crippling cost.

Source: ONE Sport

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Sat, 29 July 2017
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
Fri, 04 August 2017
Sharks v Griquas 17h00 Durban
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 27 | 13
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
SUPER RUGBY
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28