Chiefs test play­ers

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

The Chiefs were given a sig­nif­i­cant workout on Satur­day night, as they took to the field for the first time in 2014 with a 31-20 loss to the Reds in Aus­tralia.

Play­ing in front of 7438 fans in Toowoomba, Wal­la­bies duo Will Ge­nia and Quade Cooper helped build a big half-time lead for the hosts, which the Chiefs couldn’t chase down.

Hawke’s Bay first five Ihaia West was im­pres­sive for the Chiefs, scor­ing a try and adding a con­ver­sion and penalty, while Sam Cane and Jar­rod Firth also crossed for tries.

The Reds chalked up four tries, scored by Lachie Turner, Mike Har­ris, Ben Da­ley and Chris Feauai-Sau­tia, while Cooper’s boot was run­ning hot, con­vert­ing all four tries and a penalty.

Chiefs’ as­sis­tant coach Wayne Smith said the match was an im­por­tant step as they build to­wards the Su­per Rugby sea­son.

‘‘It was how we ex­pected it to be and we took a while to get go­ing,’’ he said.

‘‘It was im­por­tant to give as many of the play­ers a run as pos­si­ble as it is a long com­pe­ti­tion so we need to en­sure our depth is strong.

‘‘It was also good to test the com­bi­na­tions and we will learn from what we did do well and what we didn’t do well.’’

Chiefs’ coach Dave Ren­nie had said be­fore the match that his team have strug­gled against the Reds in the past, and that con­tin­ued on Satur­day night.

For­mer Wal­la­bies and Waratahs’ wing Lachie Turner scored a try two min­utes into his Reds de­but.

Ihaia West replied 15 min­utes in, dart­ing through a gap af­ter a scrum to score, but Mike Har­ris crossed for the hosts min­utes later.

Ben Da­ley scored the Reds’ third try 10 min­utes from half-time, hand­ing the home side a 24-8 lead at the break.

The Chiefs came out of the sheds the stronger in the se­cond half, with Sam Cane cross­ing for their se­cond try in the 48th minute.

Chris Feauai-Sau­tia replied six min­utes later with an­other Red’s try, but sus­tained pres­sure paid for the Chiefs, who scored a third try in the 64th minute through Jar­rod Firth.

The Chiefs next pre­sea­son out­ing is this Fri­day at the Ro­torua In­ter­na­tional Sta­dium, where they host Benji Mar­shall and the Blues.

Fair­fax NZ

Chiefs co-cap­tain Aaron Cru­den dur­ing a train­ing ses­sion be­fore play­ing Reds on Satur­day night.

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