Chiefs player ratings vs Blues | Super Rugby Pacific
The Chiefs succumbed to a late Blues fightback in their Super Rugby Pacific round three clash at Eden Park in Auckland, with an unsuccessful injury time penalty attempt condemning them to a 24-22 defeat.
Here’s how they rated:
1. Aidan Ross – 6
Muscled up well at scrum time. Defended well without missing a tackle. Decent all-round effort. Off in the 57th minute.
2. Samisoni Taukei’aho – 6
Good variation at the lineout. Made a bustling run down the left flank prior to Etene Nanai-Seturo’s try. Threw all 12 of his lineouts successfully. Off in the 69th minute.
3. Sione Mafileo – 6
Showed some handy distribution skills and anchored the scrum well. Superb pass off the deck early in the second half to keep his side’s attack going. Off in the 59th minute.
4. Josh Lord – 7.5
Rangy opening run, where he showed good strength to hold off Caleb Clarke. Nice lineout trickery to send Pita Gus Sowakula on a charging run down the blindside. Looked to get involved throughout on attack. On hand to latch onto a Chase Tiatia offload and burst into enemy territory. Took the most lineouts of any Chiefs player. Probably the two-test All Black’s best outing at this level. Off in the 64th minute.
5. Brodie Retallick – 6.5
Fine strip on Luke Romano to kickstart Brad Weber’s early try. Big effort defensively with 11 tackles to his name without any missed.
6. Tupou Vaa’i – 6
Was busy throughout without really standing out too much. Eight tackles without missing and two lineout takes in what was his first outing at blindside flanker. Off in the 57th minute.
7. Sam Cane (co-c) – 7.5
Strong work at the breakdown to earn his side a breakdown penalty midway through the first half. Did so again not long before half-time. Defensive work ethic can’t be questioned, as reflected by his match-leading 14 tackles and both of those turnovers.
8. Pita Gus Sowakula – 8
Strong carry down the blindside from a well-worked lineout move that initially instigated Etene Nanai-Seturo’s try. Wonderful hands and ball-carrying prowess to send Brad Weber over for his second try off the back of a scrum. Ball-carrying presence made him a constant threat for the Blues. Ran the most metres of any player in his side and finished second in the tackle count.. Looks like a genuine All Blacks contender.
9. Brad Weber (co-c) – 7.5
Stunning kick-and-chase from well inside his own half to scamper away and score in his 100th match for the Chiefs. Was left winded after being clobbered by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Kurt Eklund near the half-hour mark. Good support play during Sowakula’s run off the back of a scrum to score his second. At his nippy best. Quality effort in his centenary outing.
10. Josh Ioane – 4
Not his best display. Missed two of three kicks at goal and then shanked a kick for touch, which allowed the Blues to march upfield in the lead-up to Caleb Clarke’s try. Dropped the ball cold near the end of the first half, and then failed to clear the ball from inside his own in-goal area, allowing Hoskins Sotutu to score. Steered the backline well enough for a couple of tries, though.
11. Etene Nanai-Seturo – 7
Early offside penalty. Brilliant footwork to beat the Blues’ defence and stroll over for his first half try. Gave another glimpse of his footwork and evasiveness early in the second half with a blistering counter-attack. Looks a class act with ball in hand.
12. Quinn Tupaea – 6
Quick thinking to pinch the ball off the Blues as they inched close to the tryline early in the first hald. Diversified his running lines constantly in a bid to splinter the midfield partnership of Tuivasa-Sheck and Rieko Ioane. Guilty of a few missed tackles deep inside his own half, and a bit shaky under the high ball.
13. Alex Nankivell – 5
Largely quiet on either side of the ball. Featured in one threatening piece of play that put the Blues under pressure deep in their own half, but not much else to write home about. Off in 59th minute.
14. Shaun Stevenson – 6.5
It’s a tough ask to mark Caleb Clarke, but he did so without doing himself an injustice. Fronted up physically and didn’t take a step backwards. Showed how big his punt can be with a few raking boots.
15. Chase Tiatia – 5
Showed good range in his kicking game, but blew a try-scoring chance late in the first half with a forward pass. Lovely offload to set Lord away for a linebreak early in the second half, but offset that good work by having a clearing kick charged down by Sotutu, who went on to score. That proved to be his last act of the game. Off in the 47th minute.
16. Bradley Slater – N/A
On in the 69th minute.
17. Ollie Norris – 5
On in the 57th minute. Gave away a scrum penalty just as his side had the Blues under the pump deep inside Blues territory. Conceded another infringement to finish the match as the most-penalised Chief.
18. Angus Ta’avao – 6
On in the 59th minute. Made his tackles and got through his work as expected.
19. Naitoa Ah Kuoi – 6
On in the 64th minute. See Ta’avao.
20. Kaylum Boshier – 6
On in the 57th minute. Managed a lineout steal.
21. Xavier Roe – 6
On in the 64th minute. Offered some zip upon his induction into the match and fronted up defensively.
22. Bryn Gatland – 5
On in the 47th minute. First involvement was an intercept pass thrown into the hands of Marl Telea. Had the chance to win the game with the game’s last kick but put the ball to the left of the uprights.
23. Anton Lienert-Brown
On in the 59th minute. A solid yet unspectacular return to action after an injury layoff.
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