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Chiefs player ratings vs Hurricanes | Super Rugby Pacific

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Michael Bradley/Getty Images)

Playing in torrential conditions at Hamilton’s FMG Stadium, the Chiefs have returned to winning ways with a hard-fought 23-12 victory over the high-flying Hurricanes.

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Lock Tupou Vaa’i stole the show with an impressive double, and led the way for the Chiefs alongside Samisoni Taukei’aho and Brodie Retallick.

Playmaker Damian McKenzie also managed to impress considering the difficult conditions. Here’s how the Chiefs rated.

  1. Shaun Stevenson – 8/10

When rugby fans either turn off their TVs or travel home from FMG Stadium tonight, I’m sure they’ll be questioning whether or not they just witnessed really happened. Because, going off this season’s form at least, Shaun Stevenson did not score a try – but was still a class above in tough conditions.

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The fullback ended up running for the most metres out of any Chiefs player (82) by the time he was replaced, and also kicked quite well. All jokes aside, it was a bit of a different performance from Shaun Stevenson tonight, but he continues to state his case for a potential All Blacks callup later this year.

  1. Emoni Narawa – 6.5

It was just one of those nights for the Chiefs’ wingers. Playing in the wet, the conditions didn’t exactly suit running rugby. While Emoni Narawa managed to run the ball an impressive 10 times, he averaged only about four metres per carry.

  1. Alex Nankivell – 7.5

Centre Alex Nankivell was a man on a mission on both attack and defence. Starting with his defensive effort, Nankivell completed 80 per cent of his 10 tackle attempts – a solid considering both the conditions and the threat that the Canes pose. Nankivell was also solid in attack.

  1. Anton Lienert-Brown – 5.5

Veteran centre Anton Lienert-Brown struggled to make an impact against the Hurricanes. With just two tackles and four runs to his name, Lienert-Brown couldn’t develop any consistency during his time out in the middle. The All Black had a moment to forget just before the break too, having kicked the ball out of play with 10 seconds to run on the clock.

  1. Etene Nanai-Seturo – 6.5

For any forward, playing in the wet is probably a bit of fun – but the wider you go out on a rugby field, the less than statement is shared among teammates. Playing in horrendous conditions in Hamilton, the ball just didn’t really come Etene Nanai-Seturo’s way too often. While the winger made a number of decent carries considering the conditions, Nanai-Seturo also made a few errors – but really, who can blame him? It was just one of those nights.

  1. Damian McKenzie – 8

Let’s start with the bad, although it’s somewhat expected considering the conditions. Off the kicking tee, it didn’t all go to plan for McKenzie, who missed a couple of conversion attempts early on. But as the match went on, McKenzie found his groove.

Especially in the final 30 minutes of the match, McKenzie set up a number of teammates for short yet effective half-breaks with clever passes. The playmaker kicked quite well too – coming incredibly close to a 50/22 late in the second half.

  1. Brad Weber – 7.5

With blood dripping from his nose, Chiefs co-captain Brad Weber was met with a loud cheer from the home crowd as he ran off the field at FMG Stadium. Having played almost an hour of rugby in torrential conditions in Hamilton, the star halfback had certainly earned a rest.

As a playmaker, it’s always going to be tough when the conditions are that bad – seriously, if you told me this game was played in the eye of a cyclone for about 20 minutes, I wouldn’t have questioned you. But still, Weber made it work.

The halfback looked cool, calm and collected, and help steer the Chiefs around the park with both patience and skill. Weber added 70 passes to his season tally, and also impressed in defence with 12 tackles from 13 attempts.

  1. Aidan Ross – 7

During his 52 minutes out in the middle, prop Aidan Ross put in a solid shift against the high-flying Hurricanes. Ross contributed to a dominant Chiefs scrum, and was also a work horse around the ground. Ross finished with the most runs out of any prop on the night with five, and also made an impressive 10 tackles on the defensive side of the ball.

  1. Samisoni Taukei’aho – 8.5

World-class – that’s the summary.

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Back in the run-on side this week, All Blacks and Chiefs hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho didn’t skip a beat. In fact, you can’t really ask for much more in tough conditions. Taukei’aho ran the ball a game-high 16 time, beat six defenders, and stole the show in defence with an incredible 17 tackles.

Again, Samisoni Taukei’aho is world-class.

  1. George Dyer – 6

In tough conditions, prop George Dyer was solid against the Hurricanes – the front rower did what he needed to, although to failed to really excel. The Chiefs’ scrum was reliable, if not dominant at times, and Dyer deserves some praise for that. But around the grounds, Dyer didn’t get involved as much as his teammates or opponents.

  1. Brodie Retallick – 8

Right up until the final whistle, All Blacks centurion Brodie Retallick was relentless. Whether it was in attack or defence, the veteran lock was well and truly in the thick of the action – and more than held his own by doing so. In fact, Retallick was certainly one of the Chiefs’ best on Saturday.

Retallick was a menace at the set-piece, as his number was regularly called upon as the go-to man for Samisoni Taukei’aho at the lineout. The All Black also wreaked havoc on the Hurricanes’ throw too, which included a steal in the 31st minute.

  1. Tupou Vaa’i – 8

The future of the All Blacks’ second row is in good hands. Lock Tupou Vaa’i was sensational alongside veteran Brodie Retallick, although he wasn’t called upon a lot at the set-piece. Instead, Vaa’i made his mark in the most important area of the game – on the scoreboard. The lock scored a double, and came with a metre or two of a third late in the contest.

  1. Pita Gus Sowakula – 8

Pita Gus Sowakula, take a bow after that performance. The blindside flanker appeared to have an abundance of energy against the Canes, as he worked tirelessly to get his hands on the ball in the pursuit of victory. By the end of the contest, the loose forward had carried the ball a game-high 17 times – running for 52 metres, beating four defenders and throwing one offload.

  1. Sam Cane – 8

Leading by example, co-captain Sam Cane made a staggering 19 stops on the defensive side of the ball – that’s elite. For anyone doubting whether or not Cane should start for the All Blacks at this year’s World Cup, just show them the stats.

Cane was also buys around the park, having carried the ball multiple times with both purpose and intent. In tough conditions in Hamilton, Cane certainly did a job for the ladder-leaders.

  1. Luke Jacobson – 7

All Black Luke Jacobson never really fails to do the Chiefs jersey justice, and Saturday night’s New Zealand derby was no different. In trying conditions at FMG Stadium, the No. 8 managed to make a decent impact – although, Jacobson did go missing during periods of the match.

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By the time he was replaced, Jacobson had made 10 tackles and run the ball six times. While these are more than impressive numbers on their own, the backrower has set a fairly high standard of himself during his career so far.

Replacements:

  1. Tyrone Thompson – 6
  2. Ollie Norris – 6.5
  3. John Ryan – 6.5
  4. Naitoa Ah Kuoi – 6
  5. Simon Parker – 5.5
  6. Cortez Ratima – 7.5
  7. Josh Ioane – N/A – Came on too late to give a fair rating.
  8. Rameka Poihipi – 6
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Comments

2 Comments
m
mark 398 days ago

You mention Cane with a staggering 19 stops. You need to add that he also missed 3 tackles and Kirifi had a more than staggering 25 tackles and 2 missed tackles. From a running perspective kirifi had 9 passes 7 runs and 1 defender beaten. Cane was 3 passes, 7 runs and 1 defender beaten. The rugby audience out there no what is going on.

A
Andrew 402 days ago

McMillan was fair fuming at the lapses that cost what should have been an easy bonus point win. It was almost funny watching him.

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