The Chiefs have certainly got themselves into the habit of winning after another last minute victory, this time over the Hurricanes 26-24 in Hamilton. That makes it five in a row!
Damian McKenzie was the man who smacked the penalty from 45 metres in the last seconds, but the Chiefs scrummagers were the big heroes for the full 80.
Here’re the Chiefs’ ratings
1. Aidan Ross – 7.5
Strong scrummaging and spirited work around the park. He’s continuing his good form and a black number 1 jersey is possible if he can keep it up. Off at 53.
2. Samisoni Taukei’aho – 6
Very quiet game with ball in hand, the Canes seemed to successfully close him down. He was part of a dominant scrum but one wobble at the lineout. Off at 53.
3. Angus Ta’avao – 7.5
He’s such a valuable cog in this machine and he’s giving a load of loosehead props nightmares this season. He’s more than a rock though, good tackling and a slinky ball to give ALB his unsuccessful chance to score at 28 minutes. A minute later he called a scrum 5 metres out from a penalty ref Paul Williams said “I know you want a scrum but how about your skipper?” Off at 69.
4. Tupou Vaa’i – 7
Didn’t start so well for the lock as he was drawn to Jordie Barrett and missed Blackwell for his try in the first minute. However, he came back well to contribute around the field and won a couple of crucial turnovers.
5. Naitoa Ah Kuoi – 7
Awesome busy all round performance. He’s a go to lineout option and gobsmacking playmaking at 41 minutes with two magic balls in tight spaces. Off at 53.
6. Mitch Brown – 6.5
Has a great engine and allows his athletic locking partners to show their skills. 13 tackles and a disciplined outing, although had a gritty little tussle with Lomax.
7. Lachlan Boshier – 7
Showed the All Black selectors that he is a powerful option for them at 7, the game’s top tackler and over shadowed Kirifi, admittedly in a pack going forward. There aren’t many weaknesses, loved his skills with ball in hand with a scything run at 16 minutes.
8. Pita Gus Sowakula – 7
Muffed his first chance to score dropping the chip kick at 16 minutes. At 25 minutes he got going for a golden five minute period. After an impressive scrum he featured 3 times in attack, won a lineout ball and then an easy finish for his try at 30 minutes. The perfect replacement for Jacobson.
Another late penalty goal by Damian McKenzie has handed the Chiefs their fifth consecutive Super Rugby Aotearoa victory as they toppled the Hurricanes 26-24 in Hamilton. #CHIvHUR #SuperRugbyAotearoa https://t.co/HJVCyJVenj
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 23, 2021
9. Brad Weber – 6.5
He is always a danger with ball in hand and his coverage through phases is not far behind Aaron Smith. His defence was much better tonight than the last few outings. Off at 58.
10. Bryn Gatland – 6.5
Didn’t start on fire, kicked out on the full in the 3rd minute after Blackwell’s try, however as the game went on he showed good value for his side. Good dependable defence on the hard-running Canes midfield, and a nice momentum builder as he showed soccer skills at the back of a lineout at 46 minutes to get the Chiefs a good camping spot close to Canes line, then cut inside Ruben Love for a try. Off at 58.
11. Etene Nanai-Seturo – 7.5
It’s great to see a wing who is hungry for work…. well, this guy is ravenous! In the first half alone he had 8 carries for 65 metres, popping up left and right getting his hands on the ball, making telling tackles and being used for his left foot exits. Off at 69.
12. Alex Nankivell – 5.5
Amazing pick up and spin at 36 minutes and then missed out seconds later in the corner for a try. Good tackle count in the 1st half but seemed to fade, he missed a tackle at 51 minutes on Flanders that changed momentum and then offside at 64 minutes.
13. Anton Lienert-Brown – 7
Numbers weren’t great but he acts with such belief and you can see the players lift when he makes one of his big plays on either side of the ball.
14. Jonah Lowe – 6.5
The stats showed he ran 7 times for 75 metres. He knows how to stay in the field of play with the classic head down and step off his right foot.
15. Damian McKenzie –8
There was a lot of chatter with the move to fullback this week but his transition into the attacking line after a turnover at 16 minutes, the pass to Boshier into a gap and then a creative chip showed what he can do for the attack from the back. His error at 76 minutes where he punted too long to give the Canes an attacking scrum looked as though finally his golden touch had deserted him but minutes later he got the chance to win it and nailed it!
We've got DMac déjà vu. The little rascal has only gone and done it again ?
Catch the rest of the unmissable @SuperRugbyNZ season for just £10/$10/€10 ?
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 23, 2021
16. Nathan Harris – 5
On at 53 and didn’t reach the heights of last week. Lineout got the jitters and he hit a maul just as Aumua broke away to score his try.
17. Ollie Norris – 6
On at 53. Good, solid outing in the loose and tight.
18. Sione Mafileo – 6
On at 69 and continued scrum dominance including winning the last minute penalty.
19. Samipeni Finau – N/A
On at 53.
20. Kaylum Boshier – N/A
On at 69.
21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi – 6
On at 58. Seemed to be more measured and considered tonight, definite improvement.
22. Rameka Poihipi – 5.5
On at 69. Frenetic and tried to get himself involved.
23. Shaun Stevenson – N/A
On at 58.
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