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
Sat, 22 July 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 07h35 Christchurch
Lions v Sharks 12h30 Johannesburg
Stormers v Chiefs 15h00 Cape Town
Griquas v Blue Bulls 17h30 Kimberley
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 12h30 Nelspruit
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 21 July 2017
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
Highlanders v Reds 40 | 17
Sat, 08 July 2017
Stormers v Sunwolves 52 | 15
Bulls v Kings 30 | 31
Waratahs v Jaguares 27 | 40
New Zealand v B&I Lions 15 | 15
Fri, 07 July 2017
Force v Rebels 31 | 22
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28