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The Gallagher Chiefs have warmed up for the Investec Super Rugby playoffs with a well-deserved 28-24 win over the Hurricanes at FMG Stadium Waikato.

Needing to win by a margin of 23 points or more to leapfrog the Hurricanes on the points table, the Gallagher Chiefs jumped out to a 21-0 lead at halftime and hung on for the win, but three second half tries to the Hurricanes was enough to ensure they will host next weekend's playoff match between the two sides.

Despite missing their in-form playmaker Damian McKenzie, who sat out the match as part of his enforced All Blacks rest, the Gallagher Chiefs looked the stronger of the two sides early on, and their positive start was rewarded with the first points of the evening - lock Brodie Retallick marking his return to the side in style, forcing his way over to score from a ruck close to the line.

First five Marty McKenzie, playing in place of his brother Damian, added the conversion for an early 7-0 lead.

Following the Retallick try, the visitors slowly worked their way into the game and were beginning to look dangerous. But then out of nowhere Gallagher Chiefs halfback Brad Weber intercepted a Beauden Barrett pass and scampered away to score from 60 metres out.

McKenzie was again on target off the tee to make it 14-0 after 18 minutes.

The Hurricanes again responded well to conceding points but once again it was the Chiefs who pounced against the run of play. Second five Johnny Fa'auli placed a kicked behind the defensive line which was toed ahead by wing Shaun Stevenson who regathered and then produced a perfect chest pass inside for fullback Solomon Alaimalo to race clear and score a superb try.

As the match approached the half hour mark, McKenzie kicked his third conversion to open up a comfortable 21-0 lead, cutting the Hurricanes' all important points differential to just two.

For the remainder of the first half it was the Hurricanes who held onto possession but the Chiefs were able to keep them pinned inside their own half, with no further score added as the teams went into the break.

Jordie Barrett had a chance to get the Hurricanes on the board early in the second half but he pushed his long-range penalty attempt wide.

They didn't have to wait too much longer for their first points though as a kick return from halfway, led by wing Ben Lam, ended in a try to centre Wes Goosen. Jordie Barrett's conversion narrowed the gap to 14 and stretched the points differential back out to nine.

A scything run from centre Anton Lienert-Brown then thrust the Chiefs straight back onto attack, but some clutch goal line defence from the visitors denied the Chiefs forwards from getting across the line.

With just over 20 minutes remaining, the Hurricanes struck a crucial blow with lock Blade Thomson crossing for their second try which gave his side further breathing space and brought them right back into the match.

To make matters worse for the Chiefs they were then reduced to 14 men for the remainder of the match with second five Johnny Fa'auli shown a red card for a high no arms tackle in the 63rd minute.

This was followed just minutes later by a try to Hurricanes prop Ben May who burrowed over in a pile of bodies, narrowing the Chiefs' lead to just two points.

Shortly after the restart, Brad Weber made a great snipe down the left-hand sideline, coming up just metres short of the line, with loose forward Mitch Karpik on hand to force his way over for the try.

McKenzie nailed the conversion from out wide, leaving the Chiefs with 14 points to score in the final nine minutes to reel in the Hurricanes' points differential.

The Chiefs continued to throw caution to the wind in search of those points, which ended in the Hurricanes having the final say as replacement Julian Savea scooped up a loose pass to score right on fulltime.

Despite the late try, the Chiefs were still able to leave their home fans satisfied with a hard-fought four point victory in their final match of the season at FMG Stadium Waikato.

Gallagher Chiefs 28 (Brodie Retallick, Brad Weber, Solomon Alaimalo, Mitch Karpik tries; Marty McKenzie 4 cons) Hurricanes 24 (Wes Goosen, Blade Thomson, Ben May, Julian Savea tries; Jordie Barrett 2 cons) HT: 21-0.

The Gallagher Chiefs will now head to Wellington next weekend for their playoff match against the Hurricanes.

Our Chiefs U18 team has been named to take on the Crusaders U18 team at St Paul's Colleigate School tomorrow. It is going to be a massive game, so make sure you get on down and support our future talent! Kickoff is 2:45pm.

  1. Pou Sorenson (Rotorua Boys High School)
  2. Bernie Hati (Rotorua Boys High School)
  3. Connar Brunton (Hamilton Boys High School)
  4. Josh Lord (Hamilton Boys High School)
  5. Thomas Martin (Hamilton Boys High School)
  6. Simon Parker (St Peter’s School)
  7. Jake Russ (Hamilton Boys High School)
  8. Andrew Viane (St Peter’s School)
  9. Cortiz Lee Ratima (Hamilton Boys High School)
  10. Rivez Reihana (St Kent’s, Waikato)
  11. Peni Lasaqa (Bay of Plenty)
  12. Lukas Halls (Kings College, Taranaki)
  13. Gideon Wrampling (St Paul’s School)
  14. Valynce Te Whare Crosby (St Paul’s School)
  15. Selesitino Ravautaumada (Rotorua Boys High School)
  16. Corrigan Miller (New Plymouth Boys High School)
  17. Keelan Holten McMullen (Hamilton Boys High School)
  18. Zac Ririnui (Rotorua Boys High School)
  19. Alex McRobbie (St Kent’s, Counties)
  20. Shi Jie Yong (Tauranga Boys College)
  21. Thor Manase (Wesley College)
  22. Manu Paea (Rotorua Boys High School)
  23. Daniel Rona (New Plymouth Boys High School)
  24. Paula Mahe (St Peter’s School)
  25. Blair Murray (New Plymouth Boys High School) 

The Gallagher Chiefs are set to play their last round robin match of the Investec Super Rugby competition this Friday. Going by overall competition points, this is sure to go down to the wire and be full of excitement, with the Hurricanes and the Gallagher Chiefs in second and third place of the New Zealand conference respectively.

Gallagher Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper says the team are ready to put on a show for the home crowd.

"We’re going out there to put on a great performance, it could be our last game at home. We want to make sure that wherever there is an opportunity, that we grab it. We look forward to playing our own game, and are also aware of what the Hurricanes bring.

They showed against the Blues how good they are off the set piece - and we’ve done some work around our set piece defence - but with ball in hand, our focus is on what we can do.”

In the forwards, Sam Prattley gets his first start after effective performances off the bench for most of the season. Brodie Retallick comes back into the number four jersey after six weeks on the injured list, Lachlan Boshier getting a start after returning last week. Rounding out the impactful loose trio are Mitch Karpik and Jesse Parete.

In the backline, Marty McKenzie comes into the number ten jersey, with Colin Cooper confident in his ability to drive the game.

"Marty will be the game driver at number ten, and we are confident that he can control the game really well.” 

Colin reiterated the importance of playing this game in Chiefs Country.

"Our home crowd means a lot to us, and we aim to give them a great performance.”

The game kicks off at 7.35pm at FMG Stadium Waikato this Friday the 13th, with the “Squad Up” theme encouraging all fans to dress up in their best uniforms. The best dressed fans will win some awesome prizes, and the fun zones will be buzzing with school holidays in full swing.

The Gallagher Chiefs team to face the Hurricanes is:

1. Sam Prattley (8)

2. Liam Polwart (18)

3. Angus Ta’avao (15)

4. Brodie Retallick (96)

5. Tyler Ardron (10)

6. Lachlan Boshier (28)

7. Mitchell Karpik (11)

8. Jesse Parete (7)

9. Brad Weber (55)

10. Marty McKenzie (17)

11. Shaun Stevenson (31)

12. Charlie Ngatai (54)

13. Anton Lienert-Brown (53)

14. Toni Pulu (32)

15. Solomon Alaimalo (24)

16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (8)

17. Karl Tu’inukuafe (14)

18. Jeff Thwaites (11)

19. Michael Allardice (32)

20. Liam Messam (177)

21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (15)

22. Tiaan Falcon (2)

23. Johnny Faauli (17)

On Monday evening, the Chiefs whanau joined together to celebrate the 2018 season and recognize the immense contribution of those who are moving on as well as celebrate the outstanding performances of the season.

The annual awards were shared between seven players, reflecting the fantastic contributions across the whole team.

The 2018 award winners are:

University of Waikato Development Taua Player Award: Ayden Johnstone

Generation Homes Under 20’s Player Award: Laghlan McWhannell

Rookie of the year: Luke Jacobson

Fans Player of the Year: Damian McKenzie

Coaches Player of the Year: Brodie Retallick

Players Player of the Year: Solomon Alaimalo

Chiefs Mana Kotiate: Mitchell Karpik

Chiefs Personality Award: Angus Ta'avao

For only the third time in Chiefs history in a fitting tribute, Liam Messam was awarded the Chiefs Tohunga lifetime award to recognise his incredible career with the club both on and off the field across his 12 seasons with the team.

This Friday, the Gallagher Chiefs will play their last home game of the regular season against the Hurricanes  at FMG Stadium Waikato.  The game kicks off at 7:35. Tickets are available online here. 

Come on down for an open training TODAY at the Ruakura Research Centre training fields from 12-1pm and get a selfie with the players at the end. Just a note there will be no toilet or shade facilities at the field. See you soon!   


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Sam Cane
Full Name: Sam Cane
Team: Chiefs
Position:Loose forward
Super Rugby Games:95
Super Rugby Points:60 (12t)
Super Rugby Debut:2011 v Lions in Johannesburg
Province:Bay of Plenty
Provincial Games:19
Provincial Points:25 (5t)
Provincial Debut:2010 v Auckland in Mt Maunganui
Test Caps:50
Test Points:60 (12t)
Test Debut:2012 v Ireland in Christchurch
Facebook ID:456670991114990
Twitter Username:SamCane7
Youtube:Sam Cane

"A player with immense talent and leadership qualities, Sam has been a vital member of the squad for the past seven seasons. Sam has been co-captain of the team with Aaron for the past two seasons."- The Chiefs

Sam enters his seventh season with the Chiefs and is a key part of the team’s leadership co-captaining the side for the third successive season.  On the back of a stellar Super Rugby season in 2016 he collected  the Chiefs Players’ Player of the Year and showed many mature performances in his role as co-captain.   

The talented loose forward has won two Investec Super Rugby titles, the 2015 Rugby World Cup, a U20 Junior World Championship gold medal and is a former New Zealand Rugby Age Group Player of the Year.

If you weren’t a rugby player, what would you be doing?
Guitarist in a rock band

Who was your favourite player as a kid?
Jeff Wilson

What event would you go to the Olympics for … No sevens allowed!
Beach Volleyball

Favourite sportsperson outside rugby?
Roger Federer

Forwards- What position would you put yourself in the backline and why?
Backs- What position would you put yourself in the forward pack and why?

Second Five

What’s your go to meal in the kitchen?
Creamy Chicken Fettucine

What’s your mum’s best meal for her boy?
Roast Lamb

Who is the best singer in the team?
Nathan Harris

Favourite movie quote?
Life is a game of inches, so is football –Al Pacino-Any given Sunday

What would you spend your last $10 on?
Two handles of beer for me and a mate

2018 Investec Super Rugby Table

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