BRISBANE 10S: Chiefs dedicate win to Lauaki
BRISBANE 10S: Chiefs dedicate win to LauakiSHARE
It was an emotional victory for the Chiefs, following news earlier in the day that former All Black Sione Lauaki has died at the age of 35.
Fuelled on by the emotion of the tragic passing of the former Chief, Lauaki, the Chiefs, led by Lauaki's good friend Liam Messam, bounced back from a first up loss on Day One to win their next five games on their way to the title.
The Crusaders dominated play early, as they have done in each of their previous five matches in this tournament.
The seven-time Super Rugby champions looking very comfortable in this abbreviated format of the game.
Their dominance and pressure was rewarded when they formed a driving maul off a line-out 10 metres out from the line, the first driving maul of the whole weekend, and it proved successful as Andrew Makalio scored.
The Chiefs weren't ready to be play second fiddle though.
Buoyed on by their large and vocal support base at Suncorp Stadium, the Chiefs turned opportunity into results when Luke Jacobson toed through a lose ball by the Crusaders and won the race to dot down for five points.
Tim Nanai-Williamson converted to put the Chiefs in front (7-5) at half-time.
It was the impetus for a chiefs' charge in the second half and despite losing Brad Webber (knee) and Mitch Graham (lower leg) to injury, they managed to cross again in the second half through Taleni Seu.
The seven-point advantage proved to be enough for the Chiefs as they defended with courage and commitment to hand the Crusaders their first loss of the weekend.
Fittingly, it was Liam Messam who put the game to bed, carrying the ball in touch as the final whistle blew.
The injuries took some of the gloss off a superb tournament.
Weber and Graham are both expected to miss the early part of the Super Rugby.
For the Chiefs:
Tries: Jacobson, Seu
For the Crusaders:
Yellow card: Jed Brown (Crusaders, 13)
CHIEFS: Liam Messam, Hikawera Elliott, Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, Liam Polwart, Atu Moli, Sam Caird, Findlamor Hoeata, Brad Weber, Joseva Ravouvou, Findlay Christie, Tim Nanai-Williams, Sheldon Tovio, Sevu Reece, Jonathan Taumateine, Shaun Stevenson, Solomon Alaimalo, Alex Nankivell, Dwayne Sweeney, Sosefo Kautai, Taleni Seu, Mitchell Brown, Luteru Laulala, Latu Vaeno, Luke Jacobson, Lachlan Boshier, Mitchell Graham
CRUSADERS: Tim Perry, Mike Alaalatoa, Oliver Jager, Quinten Strange, Chiris Gawler, Mitchell Dunshea, Peter Samu, Jed Brown, Leon Fukofuka, Marty McKenzie, Bryn Hall, Tim Bateman, David Havilli, Jack Goodhue, George Bridge, Andrew Makalio, Seta Tamanivalu, Ben Funnell, Whetu Douglas, Mitchell Hunt, Digby Ioane, Sione Fifita, Manasa Mataele, Sean Wainui, Jordan Taufua