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Chiefs player ratings vs Rebels | Super Rugby Pacific

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

The Chiefs are now unbeaten through four rounds of this year’s Super Rugby Pacific campaign after putting on a show against the Melbourne Rebels in Hamilton.

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Led by fullback Shaun Stevenson, who continues to dominate games seemingly at will, the Chiefs ran away with a dominant 44-25 win at FMG Stadium.

Stevenson continued his outstanding start to the season with another two tries, while wingers Emoni Narawa and Etene Nanai-Seturo also made their mark. Here’s how the Chiefs rated.

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  1. Shaun Stevenson – 9/10

At the moment, it seems like there’re three certainties in life: death, taxes and Shaun Stevenson scoring tries for the Chiefs. The form player of Super Rugby Pacific added to his season tally, to bring his total to seven ties across four rounds.

Stevenson also had a try assist, sending winger Etene Nanai-Seturo over for a try in the second half. The fullback ran for 40 metre from nine carries, and made a noticeable impact in defence.

 

  1. Emoni Narawa – 8.5

To put it simply, winger Emoni Narawa was brilliant throughout the first half for the Chiefs. Narawa was good in the second 40 as well, but he made his mark before the break.

Narawa created something from nothing midway through the first half, before setting up midfielder Rameka Poihipi for the opening Chiefs try. The winger ran about 50 metres, beat three defenders, and got the offload off to send his teammate over for the score.

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Then, about 13 minutes later, Narawa tip-toed with the sideline en route to a try of his own. The winger could be seen pointing at Poihipi, asking him to kick the ball ahead. Poihipi did just that, and Narawa made the most of it – gathering the ball, and then dancing with the touchline before crossing in the right corner.

While his first half was especially impressive, Narawa’s stat line speaks for itself. He finished with 119 running metre from 12 carries, and beat seven defenders.

 

  1. Alex Nankivell – 8

Centre Alex Nankivell has been an unsung hero for the Chiefs so far this season, and I won’t stand for it. It’s time Nankivell gets the praise he so rightly deserves after another impressive performance at FMG Stadium.

Nankivell was in the middle of everything – in the leadup to practically every Chiefs try, the outside centre played a part. The 26-year-old also had a try assist after setting up the high-flying Shaun Stevenson for a score with a clever kick.

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  1. Rameka Poihipi – 7.5

Rameka Poihipi has gone from strength to strength since starting for the Chiefs in Super Round. The inside centre had another strong showing in Round Four, which included a try and a try assist.

Poihipi was in the right place at the right time early in the contest, as he finished the aforementioned 50 metre run from winger Emoni Narawa. Shortly after, the midfielder repaid the favour with a try assist – sending Narawa over a for a well-earned try with a clever chip kick.

 

  1. Etene Nanai-Seturo – 8

Former All Blacks Sevens star Etene Nanai-Seturo was kept quiet during the opening 40, but came alive in the second half. More than anything else, wingers will always be scrutinised or praised depending on their ability to score tries.

Well, Nanai-Seturo did what any good winger does on Saturday, and waited for the right moment to strike against the Rebels. The Chiefs spread the ball wide and the winger ultimately reaped the rewards, as he scored in the left corner.

Nanai-Seturo also had a try assist, and ran for more than 100 metres from 12 carries.

 

  1. Bryn Gatland – 7

This might be a bit of a controversial rating – or maybe you agree with it – but Gatland was good without being great on Saturday. While the playmaker steered the team around the park with purpose and intent, the world-class players outside him contributed to tries and highlight plays a bit more.

Gatland had a moment to forget just before the 30 minute mark after the Chiefs were awarded a penalty inside their own half. Looking to kick the ball deep inside the Rebels’ 22, the flyhalf kicked the ball dead – a potentially costly mistake with the game in the balance at that stage.

 

  1. Cortez Ratima – 7.5

Halfback Cortez Ratima was quite good at the Rebels. Starting with the fundamentals for his position, Ratima was quick, accurate and smart with his passing game – and was also reliable off the boot when called upon.

But something that really stood out this week was his running game, Ratima showed that he can cause some headaches when he decides to pin the ears back, which is what ultimately laid the platform for Tyrone Thompson’s try.

 

  1. Aidan Ross – 5.5

All Black Aidan Ross was a bit quiet on Sunday afternoon. Ross failed to make a noticeable impact on the match, having run the ball twice. On the defensive side of the contest, the prop only made one tackle.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Ross. The one-cap All Black certainly held his won at the set-piece, having won a penalty for his side at the scrum in the 28th minute.

 

  1. Tyrone Thompson – 6.5

Thompson had some big shoes to fill this week after being named in the starting side ahead of All Black Samisoni Taukei’aho – and he certainly did the Chiefs jersey justice. The No. 2 was practically perfect at the set-piece, having hit seven of his targets at the lineout.

The Chiefs No. 2 crossed for one of the Chiefs’ many tries on Saturday as well, having scored inside the opening two minutes of the second half. Thompson had a crack at the try-line from about a metre out, and in hindsight was never going to be stopped from there.

 

  1. John Ryan – 5

Former Ireland prop John Ryan failed to make his mark against the Rebels. Ryan was solid at the set-piece, but otherwise went missing during his time out in the middle. The 34-year-old only ran the ball twice and made three tackles.

 

  1. Naitoa Ah Kuoi – 7

Much like teammate Tyrone Thompson, lock Naitoa Ah Kuoi was following in the footsteps of a New Zealand rugby giant in Round Four. Without Brodie Retallick, the Chiefs looked to a new-look second row combination for this week’s clash.

Ah Kuoi didn’t look out of place in the starting side, having made the third-most tackles out of any Chiefs player with eight. The second-rower was also busy in attack, and at the set-piece.

 

  1. Manaaki Selby-Rickit – 6

Manaaki Selby-Rickit wasn’t at his best on Saturday. While the team went on to record a big win over the Rebels, the lock went missing for a lot of the contest. Selby-Rickit only ran the ball once, and had five carries to his name.

 

  1. Samipeni Finau – 6.5

23-year-old Samipeni Finau was one of the go-to players at the set-piece for the Chiefs, but was otherwise kept quiet for large periods of the match. The flanker ran the ball three times and beat one defender, and finished with an 83 per cent tackle completion rate.

 

  1. Luke Jacobson (c) – 7

Running out with the ‘C’ next to his name this week, flanker Luke Jacobson led by example on the defensive side of the game. Having shifted into openside flanker, Jacobson made the equal-most tackles out of any player.

As for his impact on attack, the All Black was also hungry to get involved. Jacobson was made to work hard for every one of his 21 running metres, across his eight carries. With no Sam Cane this week, Jacobson certainly made his mark around the breakdown as well.

 

  1. Pita Gus Sowakula – 7

All Black Pita Gus Sowakula could’ve had a 7.5 rating this week had he made a few more tackles on defence. The No. 8 worked tirelessly in attack, having an incredible 15 times for 45 metres.

But Gus Sowakula was kept quiet on the defensive side of the ball. The backrower only made four tackles, although he didn’t miss any as well. Overall, it was a promising performance from the Chiefs star.

 

Replacements:

  1. Samisoni Taukei’aho – 7
  2. Ollie Norris – 5
  3. George Dyer – 5
  4. Laghlan McWhannell – N/A
  5. Kaylum Boshier – 5.5
  6. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi – 6
  7. Josh Ioane – N/A
  8. Damian McKenzie – 6 – A surprise inclusion off the bench. McKenzie came on quite late in the contest.
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