Chiefs blow out rust at bay with local run about

BEN STRANG
Last updated 19:54 17/06/2014
Tim Nanai-Williams
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TOUCHES OF CLASS: Tim Nanai-Williams.

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The Chiefs have blown out some of the cobwebs in preparation for the restart of Super Rugby next week, but have some way to go.

Dave Rennie's side scored 11 tries in their 80 minute hit out, three against the Bay of Plenty Wasps in the opening 40 minutes, and eight against Waikato Harlequins in the second 40.

Finishing had been a problem for the Chiefs in the final weeks of Super Rugby before the June test break, but Rennie was pleased with the improvement seen at Bedford Park in Matamata tonight.

Tim Nanai-Williams and Tom Marshall showed flashes of brilliance in crossing for two tries each, as the Chiefs found their feet as the match went on.

"It's a chance to have a decent hit out,'' Rennie said of the match.

"There's a lot of competition for places, so we certainly treated it seriously, and it was nice to come out to Matamata and play in front of the people out here.

"We've still got things to work on, but we came here with five or six things we wanted to work on, and we certainly did that 'til the death.

"Over the last couple of weeks our finishing has been poor, so I was certainly pleased with that, but next week is a big lift in intensity, so we'll need to bring that attitude for next week."

A crowd of about 1000 watched the Chiefs play, but struggled to get into what was primarily a training run for the Super Rugby outfit.

Rennie was instructing the referee to set up lineouts and scrums in different parts of the field, working over his set piece ahead of next Friday's match against the Highlanders in Dunedin.

There will be plenty to work on for Rennie and the Chiefs before returning to Super Rugby, with the Harlequins forwards in particular causing troubles in the set piece and at the breakdown.

The Chiefs backs did start to click as they neared the end of their 80 minute shift, dotting down for several late tries.

Rennie said the team will now head back to the training field, looking to polish their performance ahead of the Highlanders match.

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- Waikato Times

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