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Chiefs player ratings vs Crusaders | Super Rugby Pacific

By Jack O'Rourke
Josh Ioane. (Photo by John Davidson/Photosport)

For game one of the Super Rugby semi-finals, the Chiefs travelled to Orangetheory Stadium to take on the Crusaders in Christchurch. 


The Chiefs had a mighty task on their hands, aiming to beat the Crusaders at home in the finals for the very first time in the history of the competition. An early yellow card to Quinn Tupaea didn’t help. A man down, the Chiefs set up shop in the Crusaders 22 but couldn’t crack the defence despite Pablo Matera being sent off. 

It was the Crusaders who scored the first try through Cullen Grace. The Chiefs responded, with Angus Ta’avao finishing off a 15-phase attack. They went off the boil to close out the first half, however, allowing the Crusaders to cross again. 

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The Chiefs had opportunities to score in the second half but the Crusaders’ relentless defence frustrated them and they couldn’t convert their chances. The Crusaders, on the other hand, held tough, making over 250 tackles and relying on their first-half heroics to come away victors 20-7.  

Here’s how the Chiefs rated:

1. Aidan Ross – 5/10
Was solid at scrum time, and did the unheralded hard yards around the park. Subbed after halftime.

2. Samisoni Taukei’aho – 6.5
Punched holes in the Crusaders defence all night, carrying 24 times for 48 metres. The Chiefs lineout broke down a few times in the first half as the forward pack tried to contend with the wind. 


3. Angus Ta’avao – 6
Was relied on to hit the ball up all night and get the Chiefs moving. Dropped the ball the give the Crusaders an attacking opportunity in their own territory. Found space in tight to crash over for the Chiefs’ first try. 

4. Brodie Retallick – 5.5
Was an imposing presence on the match, and caused trouble for the Crusaders lineout. Fell off a tackle against Will Jordan to open the game, but immediately made up for it by getting a turnover. 

5. Tupou Vaa’i – 6
Combined well with Finau to get the Chiefs over the advantage line, carrying nine times for 30 metres. Made eight tackles.


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6. Samipeni Finau – 6
Brought pace and energy in all his runs. Was the Chiefs’ main target in the lineout, winning four throws. 

7. Luke Jacobson – 5
Was industrious around the park but wasn’t able to make as much impact as he would have liked. Shifted to blindside to accommodate Sam Cane late in the piece. 

8. Pita Gus Sowakula – 6.5
Was dangerous from the back of the scrum and carried 18 times for 36 metres. Got over the line but couldn’t ground the ball to open the Chiefs’ account. 

9. Brad Weber – 5.5
Skippering the team, he couldn’t get his backline firing. He endeavoured to get his forwards rolling but his passing at times was too slow to challenge the Crusaders defence.

10. Bryn Gatland – 4.5
Threw a few erratic passes to start the game and was kicking into the wind for the first half. Went off for an HIA in the first half and returned in the second. Built phases in attack but lacked the killer punch to get his side across the line. 

11. Etene Nanai-Seturo – 4
One of the best hot-steppers in the game, but he was kept quiet for most of the match.

12. Quinn Tupaea – 6
His straight running through the middle helped get the Chiefs on the front foot. Topped the team tackle count with 18. Was lucky to escape with a yellow card as he hit Matera as the Argentinian was falling to the ground. Had a chance to put Nankivell in for a try but put too much on the pass. 

13. Alex Nankivell – 5
In career-best form this season, but the Crusaders frustrated him with smothering defence and prevented him from breaking the line. Spilled a pass when the Chiefs were on the attack which lead to the Crusaders going 80-metres to score. 

14. Jonah Lowe – 4
Came off his wing looking for work around the narrow corridors around the ruck.


15. Josh Ioane – 5
Took over playmaking duties when Galand went off for an HIA. Was poor kicking out of hand. Threw an intercept to Leicester Fainga’anuku to spoil an attacking opportunity right on half time. Split the defence in the second half with a nice goosestep 


16. Bradley Slater – N/A
Got on the field with 10 minutes to go. 

17. Ollie Norris – 4.5
Replaced Ross in the second half. 

18. George Dyer – N/A
Came on in the 70th minute. 

19. Naitoa Ah Kuoi – N/A
Came on in the 70th minute. 

20. Sam Cane – 6
Came on in the second half to help right the ship for the Chiefs. Tried valiantly and his leadership was tested. 

21. Xavier Roe – N/A
Replaced Weber to close out the game but couldn’t spark the Chiefs backs. 

22. Rameka Poihipi – N/A
Didn’t get on the paddock.

23. Chase Tiatia – 4.5
Got into the action early in the second half. 


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