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Chiefs player ratings vs Crusaders | Super Rugby Pacific

By Tom Vinicombe
Shaun Stevenson. (Photo by Michael Bradley/Getty Images)

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The Chiefs went into their Saturday night home fixture with the Crusaders as narrow favourites, having bested the southerners in Christchurch just two weekends ago.

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While the Chiefs had more scoring opportunities than their opposition, they failed to capitalise when they entered the red zone and the Crusaders slowly built up a lead throughout the game, eventually finishing as 34-19 victors.

The home team struggled to hold possession, conceding countless breakdown turnovers, which halted any momentum they were able to generate with the ball in hand – and that’s what ultimately cost them the match.

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How did the individual Chiefs perform on the night?

1. Ollie Norris – 6.5/10
Maintained the high standards he set last weekend against Moana Pasifika and impressed in the open field. Solid as well at scrum time. Off in 60th minute.

2. Samisoni Taukei’aho – 5.5
Hit all his targets at lineout time but wasn’t as impactful with ball in hand as we’ve become accustomed to. Without Pita Gus Sowakula on the park, the Chiefs needed Taukei’aho at his wrecking-ball-best. Off in 60th minute.

3. Sione Mafileo – 4
Didn’t budge in the set-piece but offered little around the park. Safe, but the Chiefs will be looking to get something more out of whoever’s wearing the No 3 jersey. Off in 48th minute.

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4. Josh Lord – 7
Became a more prominent figure as the game wore on, featuring regularly as a ball-carrier in the second half. The Chiefs’ second-most industrious tackler, racking up 12. Off in 69th minute.

5. Brodie Retallick – 6
Had a busy match in his time on the park, getting stuck in on defence and shifting bodies at the breakdown. Left the field with what appeared to be a thumb injury in the 30th minute.

6. Tupou Vaa’i – 5.5
Continues to develop in the blindside flanker role and put one or two good hits on defence but still needs to be more authoritative and influential if it’s a long-term option. Forced one penalty at the breakdown but lost possession with a loose carry or two.

 

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7. Sam Cane – 6
The Chiefs were bossed at the breakdown this week with Tom Christie and Will Jordan running riot – and some of that falls on the shoulders of the Chiefs’ breakdown leader, Sam Cane. Carted up the ball a few times for good gains, managed one steal and was the Chiefs’ busiest defender but was ultimately outplayed by his opposite.

8. Samipeni Finau – 4.5
It was always going to be an impossible task replacing Pita Gus Sowakula and while Finau was happy to clock up tackles, his impact with ball in hand was negligible. Pinged early for collapsing a Crusaders maul. A poor defensive effort on Scott Barrett gave the Crusaders the momentum they needed for their first try. Off in 60th minute.

9. Brad Weber – 5
It wasn’t a vintage performance from Brad Weber, who wasn’t really able to get his running game going at any stage throughout. A poor first-up box kick put the Chiefs under pressure immediately following kick-off and he made another bad kick error towards the end of the third quarter, hoofing the ball out on the full. Off in 69th minute.

10. Bryn Gatland – 6
Continued to mix up his game, running with ball in hand on a few occasions to keep the Crusaders honest, but struggled to penetrate the defence or fight his way over the advantage line. Showed a nice pair of hands for the first Chiefs try. One especially poor clearance kick put the Chiefs under pressure but the Crusaders botched the subsequent lineout.

11. Etene Nanai-Seturo – 4
Showed nice dancing feet when in space, beating countless defenders, but tended to crab sideways, as opposed to generating any gains. Dropped one ball cold and was entirely ineffective on defence missing more tackles than he made. What happened to the schoolboy sensation?

12. Quinn Tupaea – 6.5
Asked to cart the ball up regularly from the set-piece and generated some useful momentum. Threw a lovely short ball to Nankivell for his second try. On the negative side, copped one penalty for entering the side of a breakdown and dropped a high ball.  Off in 60th minute.

13. Alex Nankivell – 8
The most incisive of the Chiefs’ backs. Scored the Chiefs’ first two tries of the game but was at fault for the Crusaders’ second, biting in on David Havili and not failing to execute the tackle. Made a great run off the back of a Chiefs scrum and was primed to set up a third try for the Chiefs but lost the ball as he went to deliver the final pass. Made amends later in the match with another great break that set up a late try for Cortez Ratima.

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14. Shaun Stevenson – 7
Looked dangerous on the right wing. Made a nice half-break down the outside to generate some good go-forward en route to the Chiefs’ first try and probably had the better of George Bridge on the offensive side of the game but was beaten under the high ball. Showed a nice touch to send Nankivell away on a big break. Pumped a kick dead after the Chiefs defused the first Crusaders attack, putting his side under pressure, but nothing came of it.

15. Kaleb Trask – 6.5
Attacked the line well, whether running the ball back on the counter or just slipping into the Chiefs attacking line. Might not realistically have the height or launch power to be a first-class fullback and was beaten a handful of times under the high ball. Struggled to get much distance on his clearances. Is he worth a run in the No 10 jersey?

Reserves:

16. Tyrone Thompson – 7
On in 60th minute. Added some good impetus off the pine and might have earned himself a permanent bench role with a strong performance in just his second match.

17. Aidan Ross – 5.5
On in 60th minute. Popped up once or twice with ball in hand and maintained the solid scrum.

18. Angus Ta’avao – 4.5
On in 48th minute. Suffered from similar issues as Mafileo.

19. Naitoa Ah Kuoi – 7
On in 30th minute. Became a key lineout option for the Chiefs as soon as he joined the match and was prominent on both sides of the ball. Disrupted the Crusaders ball at the breakdown. He has a lower profile than his three All Blacks locking teammates but is just as good in every facet of the game.

20. Kaylum Boshier – 5
On in 60th minute. Looked to get himself involved. Loss the ball with one carry.

21. Mitch Jacobson – N/A
On in 69th minute. Trucked up the ball a few times in his Chiefs debut.

22. Cortez Ratima – 6.5
On in 69th minute. Added great impact off the bench, scoring a  late try for the Chiefs. Cost his team from the next kick-off, however, with a poor box kick that resulted in a penalty and, ultimately, the Crusaders’ final try.

23. Josh Ioane – 5
On in 60th minute. Made one good carry but otherwise had little influence in a relatively unfamiliar midfield role.

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