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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19