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Injury-stricken Chiefs know ‘the job ain’t done’ after famous semi-final win

By Finn Morton
Wallace Sititi of the Chiefs celebrates after the Super Rugby Pacific Semi Final match between Hurricanes and Chiefs at Sky Stadium, on June 15, 2024, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Luke Jacobson let out a brief smile as the captain began to talk about the Chiefs’ upcoming date with destiny in the Super Rugby Pacific Grand Final. With the memories of last year’s heartbreak still relatively fresh, the Chiefs have a chance to go one better.

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Following the Blues’ clinical win over the Brumbies in the first semi-final on Friday evening, rugby fans in the southern hemisphere turned their focus to a blockbuster in Wellington. The Hurricanes hosted the Chiefs in a famous clash between two titans.

Backrower Wallace Sititi was especially impressive as the Chiefs got off to a red-hot start, and while the Wellingtonians fought valiantly to claw their way back, the visitors stood tall. It soon became clear that this would be the Chiefs’ night at Sky Stadium.

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As the clock continued to click ever closer to the 80-minute mark, the Chiefs kept the ball in tight. Replacement halfback Xavier Roe was the man who kicked the ball into touch, and that’s when some well-earned celebrations began after the 30-19 win.

As Sititi said post-game, “The job ain’t done yet.” The playing group know that, and after losing last year’s decider to serial champions the Crusaders, the Chiefs will be desperate to make amends of sorts when they take on the Blues at Auckland’s Eden Park.

“Just really proud of the boys. We had a really good plan over the week and we just came out and we trusted it,” captain Luke Jacobson said post-game.

“We’re accurate, maybe not fully accurate at times but we’re able to make up for some of those.

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“Just really proud of the lads that we came out and executed on what we wanted to.

“Hurricanes got some really big ball carries so we knew we had to get up, first man in and get in low, and then try and get four feet on too,” he added.

Match Summary

0
Penalty Goals
3
3
Tries
3
2
Conversions
3
0
Drop Goals
0
126
Carries
121
4
Line Breaks
6
22
Turnovers Lost
8
3
Turnovers Won
10

“Just worked out a**** off and I think that did it for us.”

While Sititi was highlighted as the Player of the Match after running for more than 145 metres from 17 carries, and stepping up on the defensive side of the ball as well, it’s not all good news for the Chiefs.

All Black Samisoni Taukei’aho was replaced early in the first half with an injury, and replacement hooker Bradley Slater also suffered a blow in the semi-final. Slater was limping quite badly at one point before eventually leaving the field.

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Halfback Cortez Ratima also appeared to pick up a leg injury in the second half. While the prognosis and seriousness of these injuries are not known at the time of writing, it could potentially lead to some selection headaches for head coach Clayton McMillan.

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“I don’t know how our team sheet is going to look next week but that doesn’t matter. We’ve got another week and we’ll deal with that,” Jacobson explained.

“We’ve got plenty of people back home ready to go. We’ve got a full squad, there’s only 23 of us here but we’ve got more back at home.

“Really excited to get stuck into it, go up to Eden Park and into the Blues.”

Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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Comments

7 Comments
P
Paul 32 days ago

Once again IF the Chiefs can play for 80 minutes no team
can stay with them

A
Andrew 32 days ago

Tyrone Thompson is no mug as a hooker.replacement.

T
T-Bone 32 days ago

Two teams with heartbreak on their minds

All at the hands of those nasty Saders

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