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A new exciting cup will be up for grabs in Chiefs Country for the upcoming Mitre 10 and Farah Palmer Cup seasons with the Mitre 10 Cup getting underway this weekend.

The four Chiefs provincial unions (Bay of Plenty, Counties Manukau, Taranaki and Waikato) now have more than competition points to play for when they face off against each other in their respective national provincial competition, with the Chiefs Country Cup now on the line to be won.

The first opportunity to win the cup will be this weekend when Bay of Plenty take on Taranaki at Rotorua International Stadium. The winner of this match will hold the cup, and it will then be challenged by the next Chiefs provincial union team, regardless whether the holder is playing home or away.

The Farah Palmer Cup fixture between Waikato and Counties Manukau on September 1 will also decide the inaugural holders of the cup in the Women’s competition who will then seek to defend it throughout the season.

Bay of Plenty Rugby Union are excited to be the first Provincial Union to host the first challenge for the Chiefs Country Cup against Taranaki this weekend.

Mike Rogers, Bay of Plenty Rugby Union CEO said it is a great initiative to be launched by the Chiefs to connect our four Provincial Unions.

“The cup ensures that the rivalries will be at an all-time high between the four provincial unions with even more on the line to play for and provides a great connection between the Chiefs Rugby Club and the four unions and fans.”

The special cup, designed by Dave Burke represents the Chiefs provincial unions playing in the Mitre 10 Cup through the four respective Kaitaiki’s on the design. The design is symbolic of the shape of a heart, representing that the unions are the heartbeat of the Investec Super Rugby team.

The cup’s design also features a Maunga which symbolises all the mountains in the Chiefs region, as well as the waterway and sacred waters that connect the four regions.

We are pleased to announce that props Aidan Ross and Angus Ta’avao have re-signed with the Gallagher Chiefs.

It is a great boost to the front row with Ross and Ta’avao signing on until 2021 and 2020 respectively.

Aidan Ross is very familiar with the Chiefs environment, having progressed through the University of Waikato Chiefs Development programme before entering the 2018 Investec Super Rugby season with a full contract. The Bay of Plenty prop impressed, playing seven games, before his season was abruptly ended with an ankle injury. The young prop made his debut for the Gallagher Chiefs in 2017 as a squad replacement player against the Western Force, and has gone from strength to strength since.

The front rower was ecstatic to re-sign with the club.

"I’m absolutely stoked to re commit to the Gallagher Chiefs - I couldn’t imagine playing my footy anywhere else and I’m pumped to crack into next season.”

Ross represents Bay of Plenty in the Mitre 10 Cup and has played for the New Zealand U20 team and was also in the squad for the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians game against the British & Irish Lions in 2017.

Angus Ta’avao came in to the team as a squad replacement player and was hugely significant throughout the season, playing 17 games and clocking up over 1100 minutes. Ta’avao’s contribution both on and off the field didn’t go unnoticed, picking up the Chiefs Personality Award at the 2018 Gallagher Chiefs Season Celebration.

The 28-year old is vastly experienced, having played for the Blues and Waratahs throughout his career, as well as being a prominent figure for Taranaki in the Mitre 10 Cup.

Ta’avao thoroughly enjoyed his first season with the team and is excited for the seasons to come.

"It’s an exciting time for my family and I as we thoroughly enjoyed our first season with the Chiefs family and it is great to sign on.”

Now in the off-season, the Gallagher Chiefs players will return to their provincial unions for Mitre 10 Cup duties, as well as our All Blacks players who will enter camp ahead of the Investec Rugby Championship. The Mitre 10 Cup kicks off on the 16 August and the All Blacks will play their opening game of the Rugby Championship against the Wallabies on Saturday 18 August in Sydney. 

The Gallagher Chiefs' 2018 season has ended at the hands of the Hurricanes, going down 32-31 in their quarter final at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

After a gutsy 28-24 win over the Hurricanes in Hamilton last weekend, the Gallagher Chiefs were unable to back that up as the home side eventually wore them down in the second half. The Chiefs showed great spirit, making a late push with two tries in the final few minutes, but it was not enough.

The Hurricanes got off to a flying start when, just 40 seconds into the match, wing Julian Savea intercepted a wide floating pass from first five Damian McKenzie and raced away from 50 metres out to score under the posts.

Just minutes later with the Gallagher Chiefs hard on attack, Savea plucked another intercept but this time he was run down 15 metres short of the line.

The Gallagher Chiefs then settled nicely after the frantic start and, after an initial break from second give Charlie Ngatai, space was created down the left wing with halfback Brad Weber on hand to get the last pass from Shaun Stevenson and finish off.

McKenzie converted the Weber try from under the posts to tie the scores after a hectic opening eight minutes.

Beauden Barrett nudged the Hurricanes back in front soon after with a penalty kick, while at the other end the Chiefs were showing their intent - turning down three potential shots at goal to keep the pressure on the Hurricanes defence.

After a long period inside the Hurricanes 22, the Chiefs eventually opted to take the points with McKenzie slotting a simple penalty from right in front to level the scores in the 22nd minute.

Play then swung to the other end of the field with the Chiefs now asked to defend their line, and they were up to the task initially before halfback TJ Perenara squeezed his way over off the back of a five metre scrum.

Barrett's conversion opened up a seven-point lead as the match headed past the half hour mark.

There were some bright moments for the Chiefs late in the half, but no further points were added as the home side went to the break with a 17-10 lead.

The Hurricanes started the second half strongly, looking to extend their lead and take full control of the match, but the Chiefs dug deep on defence to deny them.

Out of nowhere, a clearing kick from Ngatai bounced into the hands of loose forward Lachlan Boshier who charged ahead inside the Hurricanes 22. Quick ball from the ruck then found its way to Anton Lienert-Brown with the centre dotting down handy to the posts, McKenzie adding the extras to tie the scores.

The deadlock didn't last long however as Barrett slotted a 40 metre penalty to retake the lead in the 55th minute.

As the match moved into the final quarter the Hurricanes slowly began building pressure and eventually found their way over the line with Perenara once again darting off the back of a scrum to score.

Substitutions from both sides injected some fresh legs and, with the Hurricanes up by eight and 17 minutes remaining, an exciting finish was on the cards.

Unfortunately for the Chiefs, they were unable to get their hands on the ball as the Hurricanes controlled possession well, and they were rewarded with a fourth try, scored in the left-hand corner by wing Ben Lam.

Trying to chase the game in the final 10 minutes, now needing to score three times, the Chiefs very nearly got the instant reply they needed after a break from Lienert-Brown got them within metres of the line, but the ball was lost.

With time running out, the Chiefs were rewarded for their efforts with two late consolation tries in the final few minutes. Fullback Solomon Alaimalo made a break with McKenzie finishing off under the posts, which was followed by a try right on fulltime to Lachlan Boshier, leaving the Chiefs just one-point short.

Gallagher Chiefs 31 (Brad Weber, Anton Lienert-Brown, Damian McKenzie, Lachlan Boshier tries; Damian McKenzie 3 cons, pen, Charlie Ngatai con) Hurricanes 32 (TJ Perenara 2, Julian Savea, Ben Lam tries; Beauden Barrett 2 cons, 2 pens, Jordie Barrett con) HT: 10-17.

Tomorrow evening, we undertake our biggest test of the season so far, a Quarter Final clash against the Hurricanes in the capital city. 

The winner of this game will propel themselves into the semi final to be played the following weekend. The location of this semi final will be dependent on the winner of the second Quarter Final to be played between the Crusaders and Sharks.

Here are the potential scenarios if the Gallagher Chiefs beat the Hurricanes this Friday:

If the Gallagher Chiefs beat the Hurricanes and the Sharks beat the Crusaders, the Gallagher Chiefs WILL host the Sharks in the semi final next weekend at FMG Stadium Waikato. (Time and date to be confirmed)

If the Gallagher Chiefs beat the Hurricanes and the Crusaders beat the Sharks, the Gallagher Chiefs will travel to Christchurch next weekend to play the Crusaders in the semi final. (Time and date to be confirmed)

On the other side of the Quarter Final draw, the Waratahs face off against southern rivals, the Highlanders in Sydney and the Lions host the Jaguares in Johannesburg. If the Highlanders can win in Sydney, they will either face the Lions in Johannesburg for the semi final or face the Jaguares at home in Dunedin. A Waratahs win will see them travel to Johannesburg for the semi final if the Lions win their respective Quarter Final, or host the Jaguares in Sydney. 

Keep an eye on our channels as we will update you first on the next stage of the playoffs as results unravel this weekend. 


The Gallagher Chiefs are ready to fire again this Friday when they take the field against the Hurricanes in the capital for the Investec Super Rugby Quarter Final.

The two teams faced off against each other in a tense and thrilling New Zealand derby last weekend, where the Gallagher Chiefs proved too strong, winning 28-24, thanks to a dominant first half which saw them run rampant against the Hurricanes defence, leading 21-0 at the break.

Head Coach Colin Cooper emphasised the importance of this game now the team have entered the playoffs and how the team will be giving their all.

“It’s do or die at this point in the season, the winner takes all and we’ve talked about the importance of giving the best you can and your all for the jersey.”

The team is boosted with returns to key players. In the forwards, Karl Tu’inukuafe and Nathan Harris are back in the front row, and notably Sam Cane will start at openside flanker.

In the backs, Damian McKenzie comes back in to First Five-Eighth, with Charlie Ngatai starting at 12 and Sean Wainui slotting back in to right wing.

Cooper is pleased with the consistency throughout the team selected for Friday’s clash

“We’ve put out a consistent team. Damian coming back brings a lot of X Factor into our game. We’re excited to see the combinations Damian, Charlie and Anton will bring as well as the leadership Sam Cane displays every time he takes the field.”

Cooper is aware of the threat the Hurricanes will bring at home and knows the team will have to be aware of their threats all over the park.

“The Hurricanes are going to bring a lot of intelligent skills to the contest. I expect them to use a lot of variety and they have a very good backline so there’ll be lots of threats around the park.”

The Quarter Final kicks off this Friday 20 July at 7:35pm in Westpac Stadium, Wellington. The winner of this Quarter Final will play the winner of the Crusaders v Sharks Quarter Final which will be played the following day on Saturday. If the Crusaders win their Quarter Final, the winner of Friday’s clash will travel to Christchurch for the semi-final, however if the Sharks win, Friday’s winner will host the Durban based team next weekend at home.

The Gallagher Chiefs team to face the Hurricanes in the quarter final is:

1. Karl Tu’inukuafe (15)

2. Nathan Harris (43)

3. Angus Ta’avao (16)

4. Brodie Retallick (97)

5. Michael Allardice (33)

6. Lachlan Boshier (29)

7. Sam Cane (105)

8. Liam Messam (178)

9. Brad Weber (56)

10. Damian McKenzie (64)

11. Shaun Stevenson (32)

12. Charlie Ngatai (54)

13. Anton Lienert-Brown (54)

14. Sean Wainui (14)

15. Solomon Alaimalo (25)

16. Liam Polwart (19)

17. Sam Prattley (9)

18. Jeff Thwaites (11)

19. Jesse Parete (8)

20. Mitch Karpik (12)

21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (16)

22. Marty McKenzie (18)

23. Alex Nankivell (9)


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Player Profile

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Sam Cane
Full Name: Sam Cane
Team: Chiefs
Position:Loose forward
Super Rugby Games:106
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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