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'Pretty serious' injury blow hits Chiefs and All Blacks ahead of Super final

By Ned Lester
Samisoni Taukei'aho with the ball in hand for the All Blacks. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

In a stirring semi-final win, the Chiefs faced plenty of adversity in the form of injuries and yellow cards, and while it didn’t stop the team from claiming a rare playoff win away from home, it is a cause for concern moving forward.

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Both of the Chiefs’ All Blacks loose forwards Samipeni Finau and Luke Jacobson spent time on the sideline for separate incidents, while four other Chiefs left the field injured, including both hookers; Samisoni Taukei’aho and Bradley Slater.

Those two injuries resulted in ‘golden-oldies’ scrums and midfielder Rameka Poihipi taking the lineout throws. Poihipi also acted as the eighth loose forward on the side of the scrum.

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Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan after the game said the All Blacks hooker’s injury is a huge blow.

“It looks like it’s going to be pretty serious, which is unfortunate, not just for us, but for him and probably his All Blacks prospects for the immediate future,” said McMillan.

Slater’s injury adds salt to that wound as his status for the final remains unconfirmed. Tyrone Thompson, an All Blacks XV hooker, is next in line and could be called upon to start the final after seeing limited minutes this season.

“Brad Slater came on, got a knee injury and needed an HIA,” McMillan added. “He was in the wars, but he managed to soldier on, until he got made to go off, and we finished with a halfback or a second-five throwing the ball in, so there was a fair bit of collateral damage out of this game.”

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The other injury concerns are for All Black-in-waiting Cortez Ratima, who finished another strong shift hobbling from scrum to scrum, and Naitoa Ah Kuoi, who left the field 20 minutes after appearing off the bench.

The extent of the injury woes will be confirmed this week and will dictate the strength of the matchday squad named for the final.

Luke Jacobson was confident whoever takes the field in the final will be fit and firing, expressing nothing but confidence in the reinforcements on hand.

“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.

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“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.”

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2 Comments
D
David 31 days ago

While Ryan is the AB forward selector Samisoni was not going to be starting so the injury doesnt effect the ABs. Old man wannabe winger Taylor is first choice and we may see Crusader Bell promoted too.
Samisoni, maybe, should have joined the Chiefs player exodus to Chequebook Ireland where their talent is rewarded, not ignored.

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