The Chiefs beat the Highlanders tonight in a game where they dominated possession but none of the set pieces. The game took place at Bay Park Stadium in Mt Mauganui. At half time the Highlanders were ahead of the Chiefs 15-10. However, the Chiefs went on to win 27 to 21.
Tries: Stephen Donald, Sione Lauaki, Sona Taumalolo. Conversions: Stephen Donald, 3. Penalties: Stephen Donald 2.
Tries: Hayden Triggs, Fetu’u Vainikolo. Conversions: Israel Dagg, 1. Penalties: Israel Dagg, 2. Dropped Goal, Robbie Robinson, 1.
Top Five Rugby Fix-ations from the Game:
The Chiefs’ backline. The Chiefs will be looking to continue their new first five, second five experiment with Stephen Donald and Mike Delany. Delany seemed to have a bit more time when he played at first five than Donald has had. Also, Donald showed the value of having such an established kicker at No. 12. It will be hard luck on Callum Bruce, who has been the rock of the Chiefs midfield for the last two years. Once Sitiveni Sivivatu returns, the new midfield will become part of a fully All Black backline.
After weeks of appearing simply too small for this level of game, Luke Braid finally showed he has the goods. While not a genuine fetcher, he may thrive under the new breakdown rules. Just like his brother, Daniel Braid, Luke plays a very good linking game and seems to be in the right place at the right time.
Either the Highlanders’ scrum and lineout are very strong, or the Chiefs’ ones are terrible. Probably a bit of both.
Sione Lauaki just can’t get into the game at the moment. He is making poor decisions and costly mistakes. He’s a train-wreck, but not the good one that he used to be.
Richard Kahui and Brendon Leonard look to be coming into some form. Kahui is making some big hits as usual, but needs to show he knows defence is about keeping his line intact, not smashing people one-on-one.