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Super Rugby | Suva
07:35 (GMT) | 01-07-2016
  • 81
That's a wrap from Fiji... don't go away as the Brumbies take on the Reds up next.
  • 80
McKenzie slots the penalty to deny the Crusaders the bonus-point. That brings us to full-time.
  • 79
Drummond goes himself from the scrum but gets isolated and concededs a penalty for holding-on. Amateur hour from the young scrumhalf as McKenzie steps-up to take away their hard-fought bonus-point.
  • 77
Chiefs pick and go for a number of phases until the ball spills out the side of the ruck. Taylor pounced on it and the away-side survive the heat and have a scrum.
  • 76
Crusaders need to hulk-up now and not concede a try as that will take their bonus point away from them.
  • 75
Chiefs handed a penalty and Cruden stabs it in the corner but the Crusaders have turned it over, however, Nadolo is charged down and the Chiefs have a 5m scrum.
  • 73
Mo'unga slots the easy 3-points.
  • 72
It is scrappy after the scrum but the Crusaders manage to hang on and are given the penalty for a breakdown infringement. Mo'unga finds touch and its getting late for the Crudsaders. They need to score twice. Chiefs pinged again for offsides and Read opts for the posts to try and secure a bonus-point.
  • 68
Saders form a maul but somehow Retallick smuggles the ball and makes a 40m dash. He finds Tamanivalu who offloads again but its a knock-on and the Crusaders have a scrum in midfield.
  • 66
After a kicking dual and some end to end play the Crusaders have come away with a penalty after James Lowe tackles Dagg early. Mo'unga gains some vital territory.
  • 64
Chiefs have a line-out in their red-zone but time is running out for the Crusaders.
  • 62
Crusaders push hard at the line through channel one and Mo'unga is forced into a cross-kick but it doesn't work out.
  • 60
Crusaders have an attacking scrum on the Chiefs 22m. They must score here to keep in the hunt and they receive a penalty for illegal binding by the Chiefs. Decision time for Read... and he opts for the corner. Line-out Crusaders.
  • 56
It's meat and drink for McKenzie as he raises the flags again to extend the Chiefs lead.
  • 55
Chiefs launching a huge attack on the Crusaders and the away side is really under pressure here... play is ended with a penalty in front of the poles and McKenzie points to the poles.
  • 53
Its a bit scrappy but the Crusaders come away with it... Todd makes his second mistake of the night and knocks-on to hand the Chiefs an attacking scrum.
  • 52
Crusaders pinged at scrum-time and McKenzie takes it quickly as he catches the Crusaders off-guard. Chiefs swing left and Tamanivalu stabs another grubber throught for Lowe to chase... its weighted well but Mo'unga is there to cover and the Saders have a line-out deep in their red-zone.
  • 47
After a lengthy kicking-dual the Saders decide to run it but Whitelock knocks-on and the Chiefs have a scrum on halfway.
  • 46
Owen Franks pinged for offsides and McKenzie has a dip at goal. He strikes it well but it sales right. Crusaders get out of jail twice.
  • 45
The crusaders earn their own put in and Read picks up at the base of the scrum and offloads to Ellis . The Chiefs are under the pump but they intercept and are away down the touchline through Sam McNichol and he offloads to McKenzie who finds Lienert-Brown for the Try. However TMO intervention rules that McNichol was out.
  • 42
A steady start to the second-half and the Chiefs have a scrum in midfield. Scrum resets are a regular occurrence on this damp pitch.
  • 41
The second-half is underway.

Half Time

  • 40
Mo'unga converts from the corner to narrow the difference! What a second half we are in for.
  • 39
The Chiefs win the line-out and Weber puts it high. Dagg collects and the Saders launch an attack. Haivili slices a kick but Nadolo gathers well and offloads to Fonotia who is AWAY and the Crusaders are on a huge counter... Fonotia finds Ellis who offloads to Read. Quick ball goes wide to Taylor who finds Taufua on the touchline, he passes inside to Macalai who dives over for the TRY!
  • 38
James Lowe pins the Crusaders back with a huge left boot. Mo'unga continues to kick and he puts one into touch. This will be the last play of the half.
  • 35
Crusaders packing down for a scrum but Fonotia spills it in contact. Too many ball errors from the Saders is letting them down. Chiefs now with the scrum.
  • 33
McKenzie adds the extras.
  • 32
Dagg puts one high for Macalai to chase... the ball bounces but Chiefs come away with the ball and McKenzie receives and accelerates punching straight through the defence off his right-foot and he skins the next defender, offloads to Weber and he darts over for a TRY.
  • 30
McKenzie raises the flags again and extends the Chiefs lead.
  • 28
Some positive back and forth play from both teams but Chiefs come away with a penalty in range and McKenzie is going to have a dip at poles.
  • 26
Andy Ellis overcooks a box kick which goes out on the full. The Chiefs have taken it quickly and are attacking in midfield. Crusaders are under the pump here but they manage to calm another Chiefs onslaught. Play is brought to a stop with a Chiefs scrum on halfway.
  • 23
McKenzie curls it over beautifully from the corner in some serious wind.
  • 22
Sanders picks up and makes a strong carry. Weber plays left quickly and James Lowe chases a grubber from Tamanivalu to score the opening try!
  • 20
Chiefs set an attacking scrum 30m out.
  • 18
Chiefs pinged by Nic Bryant for not releasing the ball carrier and Mo'unga this time takes the points.
  • 15
Chiefs scrum in midfield, and after a couple of resets, Weber gets the ball away to Donald, Crusaders defence up quickly but chiefs keep the ball as McKenzie punches hard. Donald switches play before McKenzie kicks one deep but it goes too far. Crusaders take a qucik 22m and are away through Macalai. He offloads to Todd who plays Mo'unga and the Crusaders are 2m out. Chiefs defence stands strong and the saders have a 5m scrum. Huge play from the Crusaders and massive defence from the Chiefs.
  • 10
Crusaders secure the line-out and exit well through Nadolo's massive left-boot.
  • 9
Chiefs somehow come away with the ball and Donald hacks one downfield and its a decent exit. After some high octane phases in midfield, the ball is nudged out by Donald into the Crusaders 22m for a line-out.
  • 7
Chiefs secure the scrum but a rookie error from Lienert-Brown as he knocks on in his own in-goal area. Crusaders now with an attacking 5m scrum.
  • 5
Chiefs pinged again and Mo'unga again kicks for the corner. Chiefs survive the onslaught and have a scrum on their own 5m line.
  • 4
Early opportunity for the Saders... they secure the line-out and form the maul. Referee Nick Bryant penalises the Chiefs again and Mo'unga hits the corner again.
  • 2
Crusaders with early possession as Haivili takes it forward with a strong run. Richie Mo'unga puts a cross-kick in but play is brought back for a penalty against the Chiefs for offsides. Mo'ungahits the corner for a line-out.
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Crusaders flyhalf Richie Mo'unga gets the game under way.
  • -10
The weather is not ideal in Suva - warm and humid, however, wet and rainy. This will certainly affect play but we all know that the New Zealand teams aren't scared to throw the pill around in wet weather.
  • -20
The Chiefs are coming off the back of a poor run before the international break suffering defeats to the Highalnders and Waratahs so they will definitely be hungry for points and it is almost a must win for them if they want to clinch top of the conference.
  • -30
Welcome to Rugby365's live commentary for this weekend's Super Rugby action, and we are in for a stellar clash first up - Chiefs vs Crusaders all the way from Suva, Fiji.
Mc chiefs logo 80x50
Mc crusaders logo 80x50
  • 1 Kane Hames
  • 2 Hika Elliot
  • 3 Hiroshi Yamashita
  • 4 Dominic Bird
  • 5 Brodie Retallick
  • 6 Taleni Seu
  • 7 Sam Cane
  • 8 Tom Sanders
  • 9 Brad Weber
  • 10 Stephen Donald
  • 11 James Lowe
  • 12 Anton Lienert-Brown.
  • 13 Seta Tamanivalu
  • 14 Toni Pulu
  • 15 Damian McKenzie
  • 16 Nathan Harris
  • 17 Siegfried Fisiihoi
  • 18 Atunaisa Moli
  • 19 Mitchell Brown
  • 20 Lachlan Boshier
  • 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow
  • 22 Aaron Cruden
  • 23 Sam McNicol
  • 1 Wyatt Crockett
  • 2 Codie Taylor
  • 3 Owen Franks
  • 4 Scott Barrett
  • 5 Sam Whitelock
  • 6 Jordan Taufua
  • 7 Matt Todd
  • 8 Kieran Read
  • 9 Andrew Ellis
  • 10 Richie Mo’unga
  • 11 Nemani Nadolo
  • 12 David Kaetau Havili
  • 13 Kieron Fonotia
  • 14 Jone Macilai-Tori
  • 15 Israel Dagg
  • 16 Ben Funnell
  • 17 Joe Moody
  • 18 Michael Alaalatoa
  • 19 Jimmy Tupou
  • 20 Jed Brown
  • 21 Mitchell Drummond
  • 22 Mitchell Hunt
  • 23 Sean Wainui
Mc article kieran read crusaders try 800


Wed, 29 Jun 2016 20:20

IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Jan de Koning looks at the Friday matches in Part One of Super Rugby's Round 15.

You could not have asked for a better game to restart Super Rugby after the June break.

It is the tournament's leading and most consistent team against a side rated as one of the most likely to topple them - the Crusaders against the Chiefs.

The game has been 'exported' to Fiji's national stadium in Suva - some say for financial reasons.

However, they can play this game on the moon and it will have the same allure - it is a top-of-the-table clash between two world class outfits.

The other Friday game will see Brumbies host the Reds in Canberra, the home team desperate to hold onto top spot in the Australian conference.

Friday, July 1:

There is no doubting the importance of the game. Just look at the selection of the two teams.

Six days after featuring for the All Blacks in the third and final Test against Wales, Kieran Read and five other internationals have to run out for a Super Rugby match.

Not only is there a short week, but in included a mid-week flight to Fiji.

Read will lead an All Black contingent that also includes Israel Dagg, Sam Whitelock, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor and Wyatt Crockett.

Luke Romano and Ryan Crotty are sidelined through injuries, otherwise they would have played as well.

The Chiefs have just two current All Blacks in their starting XV - flank Sam Cane (who will captain them in Suva) and lock Brodie Retallick. New Zealand's replacement scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow is also on the Chiefs bench, while flyhalf Aaron Cruden, who only recently returned from injury, will also play off the replacement bench.

Kieran Read, who is captain of both the All Blacks and Crusaders, said that while the six-day turnaround will be a challenge, the real issue is re-adjusting to the Crusaders gameplan.

"It is a tough thing to do, but it won't take too long," Read told the New Zealand media.

"Your mind starts to remember what it was like a month or so ago.

"We've played under this system the last few years."

The Crusaders also hope their two Fijian-born players - wings Nemani Nadolo and Jone Macilai - will win them some additional support in the crowd.

"We know it's a Chiefs 'home' game, but we are hoping that we will get to see a lot of red and black out there on the field come Friday," Read told the Fiji Broadcast Corporation.

"Because of Nemani and Jone, we may have a good base here in Fiji.

"We love the support that we do receive. But we will wait till Friday and hope for a lot of support."

Recent results:
2016: Chiefs won 27-21, Christchurch
2015: Chiefs won 26-9, Christchurch
2015: Chiefs won 40-16, Hamilton
2014: Crusaders won 18-17, Hamilton
2014: Chiefs won 18-10, Christchurch
2013: Chiefs won 20-19, Hamilton (semifinal)
2013: Crusaders won 43-15, Christchurch
2013: Chiefs won 28-19, Hamilton

Prediction: The Chiefs have won seven of their last nine games against the Crusaders, including each of their last three meetings. The Chiefs' current run of three victories against the Crusaders represents their longest ever winning streak against the Christchurch side in Super Rugby. Two of the last four clashes between these clubs have been won by the team trailing at half-time, including a Chiefs comeback when these teams last met in the opening round of the 2016 season. The Crusaders have won only two of their last five games away from home against New Zealand opposition with both of those victories coming against the Blues. The Crusaders have won 10 games so far this season, an 11th win would equal their most ever wins in a regular season of Super Rugby (seven times previously). This is tough to call. However, the Crusaders may edge in the end - by less than one score.


Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 James Lowe, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Taleni Seu, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 18 Atu Moli, 19 Mitchell Brown, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Sam McNicol.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Jone Macilai, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 David Havili, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Jed Brown, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Sean Wainui.

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Will Houston (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Like all matches this weekend, both teams have to restart their season after the month-long international break.

The Brumbies have welcomed back a few more international stars than the Reds.

The Brumbies will hope there recent form at home will help then stay ahead of the Waratahs in the Australian conference - a position that gifts them a top-four spot and homeground advantage in the quarterfinals.

They've outscored their opposition in those matches by a combined score line of 89-11 and conceded only three first half points.

Across the 2016 campaign the Brumbies have won four of their six games on home soil and one more such win would equal the amount they earned for the entire 2015 season.

The Brumbies know they will have to be clinical in their attempt to dismiss the Reds.

Wallaby loose forward Scott Fardy said it has been a "long four weeks" with the Wallabies - a bitterly disappointing 0-3 series whitewash at the hands of England.

"We are looking forward to getting a really good result against the Reds," Fardy said.

He felt that the players are "fresh and ready to go", as most of the Brumbies did not get a lot of game time against the WEnglish,\.

"To see [lock] Rory Arnold get an opportunity at Test level will only make him grow. You could see that at training this week."

The Reds face a fellow Australia team for the first time since a Round Five loss to the Waratahs and went into the international break on the back of a 35-25 win over the Sunwolves.

The Queensland side will welcome back four players from the Wallabies - James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Greg Holmes and Nick Frisby.

They will be hoping to carry their form from the Sunwolves game into this match, as they aim to snap a five-game losing streak against Australian opposition.

Though their last two all-Australian losses have come by only two points each, they've managed to score more than 13 points only once in that run since a 32-10 win over the Western Force in Round 16 last year.

"The guys are excited to be back in Super Rugby mode," Reds co-interim coach Nick Stiles said.

"We're coming off a win against the Sunwolves in our last home game and need to keep building for the remainder of the season.

"While we've had three wins and a draw at home, we are yet to win away.

"The motivation to go down to Canberra and beat the Brumbies away from home is first and foremost in our minds.

"This Friday's match also provides a strong opportunity for a few promising young players, who've trained with us all season and now get the chance to gain some valuable experience ahead of next year.

"Game time at Super Rugby level will be invaluable for their growth and development."

Recent results:
2015: Brumbies won 29-0, Brisbane
2015: Brumbies won 47-3, Canberra
2014: Brumbies won 23-20, Brisbane
2014: Reds won 27-17, Canberra
2013: Brumbies and Reds drew 19-all, Brisbane
2013: Brumbies won 24-6, Canberra

Prediction: The Brumbies have won their last three games against the Reds and have conceded only three points in their last two games combined against the Queensland side (scoring 76 themselves). The Brumbies have won their last three games in Super Rugby, the last time they won four on the trot was in Round 6, 2014. A win against the Sunwolves in Round 13 leaves the Queensland Reds on the cusp of consecutive wins for the first time since Round 17, 2014. The Brumbies have crossed for four tries after stealing a line-out this season, the most of any team and three more than the Reds. Hendrik Tui has stolen five line-outs, more than any other Australia-based player and the equal fifth most of any player in the competition. There is much more at stake for the Brumbies and they are likely to be more desperate. You could see them win by as much as 15 points.


Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Nigel Ah Wong, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Christian Lealiifano (co-captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Ben Hyne, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (co-captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Michael Wells, 21 Tomás Cubelli, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Lausii Taliauli.

Reds: 15 Jack Tuttle, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Curtis Browning, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Lukhan Tui, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Sef Fa'agase, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Leroy Houston, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Duncan Paia'aua, 23 Campbell Magnay.

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Compiled by Jan de Koning

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article damian mckenzie chiefs v crusaders 800

Chiefs edge Suva thriller to go top

Fri, 01 Jul 2016 09:17

MATCH REPORT: The Chiefs moved past the Crusaders to the top of the Super Rugby standings with a hard-fought 23-13 win in Suva on Friday.

The game, played in testing conditions with monsoon-like rain before the match and a strong wind adding to the difficulty factor, produced numerous exciting passages of play.

In the end the Chiefs won the crucial exchanges and used their chances better when playing with the wind in the first half - taking 17-10 lead into the half-time break, after leading 17-3 just past the half-hour mark.

The Chiefs scored two tries to one in front of an ecstatic crowd at the first Super Rugby match ever played in Fiji, with Damien McKenzie adding two conversions and three penalties.

The fullback's final kick in the 80th minute prevented the Crusaders gaining a consolation bonus point, meaning the Chiefs now lead the ladder by one point on 46.

It could prove a key advantage in the battle to win the ultra-competitive New Zealand conference and gain a crucial home play-offs berth.

Even though the Crusaders are the second-best performing team in the competition, they now drop to fifth behind the four conference leaders.

The Suva showdown was billed as a home game for the Chiefs, who said it acknowledged the contribution Fijian players have made to New Zealand rugby.

The Crusaders team included two Fijian wings, Nemani Nadolo and Jone Macilai-Tori, while the Chiefs fielded Fiji-born All Black centre Seta Tamanivalu.

The sell-out 20,000 crowd went wild every time one of their local heroes touched the ball.

With the competition resuming after a month-long break for international fixtures, the Crusaders looked rusty despite throwing their returning All Blacks into the fray.

They committed 10 handling errors and conceded 18 turnovers in rainy, humid conditions.

A fired-up Nadolo helped them build some early pressure but they failed to break the Chiefs' line and had to settle for a Richie Mo'unga penalty.

The Chiefs countered through Tamanivalu, whose perfectly weighted kick put James Lowe into space for the opening try in the 21st minute.

Brad Weber added another 10 minutes later after Damian McKenzie set him up with a scintillating run past four opposition defenders.

Macilai-Tori closed the gap to 17-10 right on half time, capping after a slick attacking move that saw the ball go through 12 pairs of Crusaders' hands.

The match became bogged down in the second half as the heat took its toll, with only three penalties scored, including McKenzie's calmly taken effort at the death.

Man of the match: Israel Dagg continued the impressive form he displayed while on duty with the All Blacks and Richie Mo'unga also had some neat touches, while Kieran Read- as you have come to expect - put his body on the line.  Brodie Retallick, apart from his usual high workrate, produced the moment of the match when he ripped the ball from a Crusaders maul and was already 30 metres up-field before the bulk of the players (who were still trying to maul it over the Chiefs line) realised what had transpired. Brad Weber was a bundle of energy and scored a great try. However, our award goes to Chiefs fullback Damian McKenzie, who was again a huge influence in the game and produced the crucial play that resulted in Weber's try.

The scorers:

For the Crusaders:
Con: Mo'unga
Pens: Mo'Unga 2

For the Chiefs:
Lowe, Weber
Cons: McKenzie 2
Pens: McKenzie 3


Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 James Lowe, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Taleni Seu, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 18 Atu Moli, 19 Mitchell Brown, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Sam McNicol.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Jone Macilai, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 David Havili, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Jed Brown, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Sean Wainui.

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Will Houston (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

James Lowe (22min) and Brad Weber (32min)
Jone Macilai-Tori (39min)
Damian McKenzie (23min) and Damian McKenzie (33min)
Richie Mo’unga (40min)
Damian McKenzie (30min), Damian McKenzie (56min), and Damian McKenzie (80min)
Richie Mo’unga (18min) and Richie Mo’unga (73min)
VENUE Suva ( Suva , Fiji )
REFEREE Nic Bryant