Chiefs still in line for home semi

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By STEVEN SA­MUELS

Once again the Chiefs were play­ing on Fri­day night, this time against the Hur­ri­canes at the Cake-Tin. The Chiefs have had many in­jury prob­lems this year, es­pe­cially in the mid­field with Richard Kahui and Tim Nanai-Wil­liams out for vary­ing parts of the year.

In their place came rook­ies Bundee Akhi and Tiko­roi­tuma who both played ad­e­quately.

The game was a very tight, stop-start af­fair, with the score ad­vanc­ing by penal­ties.

Aaron Cru­den con­verted four penal­ties to Beu­den Bar­rett’s three to give the Chiefs a half­time lead of 12-9.

The sec­ond half con­tin­ued in the same vein, with nei­ther team want­ing to risk throw­ing the ball around, be­cause of the wet con­di­tions.

Even­tu­ally, Kerr-Bar­low charged a Per­e­nara clear­ing down, to re­cover the ball, and off-load to La­timer to score the cru­cial try.

It seems to me that Per­e­nara’s clear­ance kick­ing needs to be greatly im­proved, as a charge down fre­quently ap­pears likely.

The win keeps us en­sconced at the top of the ta­ble and seem­ingly on track for a home semi­fi­nal.

The big game on Satur­day night was the Cru­saders v Blues in Christchurch.

Both teams have been tick­ing along quite nicely in the com­pe­ti­tion and their match-up was a mouth­wa­ter­ing prospect con­sid­er­ing the his­tory be­tween the two teams.

The Blues started off in at­tack mode, run­ning ev­ery­thing back at the Cru­saders from all over the place.

They seemed to be mak­ing plenty of ground as well. How­ever, the Cru­saders’ for­ward pack started to out-mus­cle their op­po­nents – no doubt helped by the re­turn of Kieren Read.

Cru­saders were first on the score­board when Tom Tay­lor kicked a penalty and shortly af­ter Ryan Crotty charged down a clear­ing kick and ran in close to the posts.

Chris Noakes kicked the Blues’ only points in the game when he slot­ted a penalty af­ter half an hour. Owen Franks rum­bled his way over a rolling maul to score a try to bring the score to 20-3.

The fi­nal nail in the cof­fin was when Tom Tay­lor landed a late penalty to bring the fi­nal score 23-3.

There re­ally is not much to say about the War­riors this week.

They played the worst ever game in the club’s his­tory, go­ing down 62-6 to Pen­rith, who are close to the bot­tom – so where does that put the War­riors?

One of the worst things is the num­ber of for­mer War­riors play­ers who are do­ing the dam­age against them.

This is one of the most dis­grace­ful per­for­mances of any team. The only thing for the War­riors to do now, is to take a good, hard, long look at them­selves, and some­how gen­er­ate some pride and show to the coun­try that they de­serve to wear the jersey of one of our national teams.

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