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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Welford Road
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 15h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Worcester Warriors v Bristol 15h00 Sixways
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Stormers v Jaguares 15h15 Cape Town
Cardiff Blues v Munster 17h15 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cheetahs v Bulls 17h30 Bloemfontein
Leinster v Scarlets 19h35 RDS Arena
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 1 1 0 0 4
Reds 1 1 0 0 4
Brumbies 1 0 0 1 1
Force 1 0 0 1 1
Rebels 1 0 0 1 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 1 1 0 0 5
Blues 1 1 0 0 5
Chiefs 1 1 0 0 5
Crusaders 1 1 0 0 4
Highlanders 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 1 1 0 0 4
Cheetahs 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 1 0 0 1 0
Sunwolves 1 0 0 1 0
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Jaguares 1 1 0 0 4
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Kings 1 0 0 1 0