Winning swansong as five exit Chiefs

Mon, 29 Jul 2013 09:58
Large craig clarke chiefs Large lelia masaga chiefs Large craig clarke   dave rennie

The defending champion Chiefs will be looking to produce the perfect parting gift to five players.

The defending champion Chiefs will be looking to produce the perfect parting gift to five players.

However, they will be keen to stay focussed on the job at hand - beating the Brumbies in the Super Rugby Final in Hamilton on Saturday, rather than getting caught up in the hype of the occasion.

Five senior Chiefs will leave for offshore contracts, following Saturday's grand finale against the two-time champion Brumbies.

Co-captain Craig Clarke (to Ireland), prop Toby Smith (Melbourne Rebels) and wing Lelia Masaga (Japan) all made key contributions in the 20-19 semifinal win over the Crusaders at the weekend.

They are set to be part of the side who return to Waikato Stadium to chase a second successive title.

Injured centre Richard Kahui (Japan) and another All Black, scrumhalf Brendon Leonard (Italy), have already played their last game after lengthy stints at Waikato and the Chiefs.

Coach Dave Rennie is anxious that the players' contribution be acknowledged, but said ideally it will wait until after the game.

"There will be some sentimental stuff in and around the boys leaving. But the focus will be on performance, it has to be," Rennie said.

Clarke topped the match tackle count against the Crusaders with 16, followed closely by Smith's 13 as the hosts' tight five went toe-to-toe with an All Blacks-laden pack.

Masaga's key contribution was their opening try soon after half-time, handing the Chiefs the lead for the first time.

Before scoring, he blasted through the tackle of Crusaders flank George Whitelock, the man with whom he shares the same lone Test appearance, against Italy in 2009.

"He's a bit chubby so I thought I'd get over him with my pace," Masaga smiled.

"The opportunity came to me and, funnily enough, I saw the red sea part."

The player known as "Flash" was determined to make the most of some space after listening to a rev-up from the Chiefs' coaches at half-time.

Their message was to simply run harder with ball.

Source: NZ Newswire

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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