Rennie's master plan sinks Stormers

Sun, 24 Jul 2016 10:43
Large chiefs players celebrate 800

REACTION: Chiefs coach Dave Rennie smiled like a Cheshire cat after his master plan came to fruition as his side romped to a 60-21 victory over the Stormers in their quarterfinal encounter at Newlands on Saturday.

Rennie played his cards close to his chest in the lead up to the encounter and rightly so, as the plan saw them nullify the Stormers' setpiece strengths. That, combined with a high tempo game, saw the Chiefs force the home side into submission.

"We were wary before the game that we needed to play quick because you have monsters over here [sic]. A lot of the things we wanted to put on the park we did. We certainly wanted to play at a tempo that would challenge them.

"We were pretty clinical when we got our opportunities. I don't want to be negative about how they [Stormers] defended, but we just played at a tempo, kept the ball alive, did the obvious things really well and put them under a lot of pressure. I think the key was just hanging onto the ball and building pressure. We did that pretty well in the first half and in the last 15 minutes.

"I thought our support play was exceptional and it has been a strength [of ours] throughout the year. We created a lot of opportunities against the Highlanders and were unable to complete it but the support play and decision making was on point [against the Stormers]," Rennie said.

The Chiefs' coach added that he was relieved to get over the quarterfinal hurdle after being knocked out at this stage in the recent past.

"We have been knocked out at this stage for the last couple of years, so it's nice to still be in the race. You need guys to provide energy and get us home, invariably you use all 23 guys and we will need to dig a little deeper into our squad [for the semifinal], so we are happy with the impact they gave off the bench," he added.

The Chiefs now head back to New Zealand shores for a semifinal encounter against the Hurricanes in Wellington - a side they have already beaten at that venue.

"We played in Wellington earlier in the year and won 28-27 but they [Hurricanes] are a better side now than what they were [at that stage]. It's going to be another big challenge but we back ourselves to perform well.

"We've never worried about travelling, so we were happy to come out here and, as you can see, our boys are full of beans [sic]. Maybe we will be travelling somewhere else, maybe Dunedin or Johannesburg [if victory against the Hurricanes is achieved]," he stated.

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