Rennie chuffed with Chiefs' steely resolve

AARON GOILE
Last updated 05:00 11/02/2013
Dave Rennie
BRUCE MERCER/Fairfax NZ
Dave Rennie

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

James Lentjes takes Highlanders opportunity with good showing against Stormers Six of the best from the Hurricanes in this Super Rugby campaign Lure of England jersey key in Matt Symons' decision to quit Chiefs for London Irish Mistakes ruin Crusaders' chances against Bulls in Pretoria Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett gets rocket from referee Angus Gardner Chiefs will look to change things up to stay near top of Super Rugby table Blues coach Sir John Kirwan refuses to wave the white flag after another loss Sharks fullback SP Marais's magic seals scrappy 15-9 win over Western Force Bulls hold on for deserved 31-19 win over Crusaders at Loftus Versfeld Stadium Blues remain winless as Waratahs come-from-behind for win in Sydney

While most of the weekend's Super Rugby pre-season fixtures were try-fests, Chiefs coach Dave Rennie was delighted to watch his team put under pressure and defend for long periods.

The Chiefs managed to post another win in their second pre-season match of the year with a 20-8 result over the Reds on the Sunshine Coast on Friday night, but it was the way they fought their way back which pleased the coach the most.

"In the end attitude's everything, and the boys showed plenty of that in the second half," said Rennie after the visitors went to the break 8-0 behind.

With a strong breeze on hand, all the points in the match came when the teams had the wind at their back, with the Chiefs able to capitalise on a big territorial advantage in the second stanza, following some struggles at set piece early on.

"We just struggled to get any continuity going," Rennie said. "We had a couple of opportunities that we should have scored from.

"They [the Reds] scrummed pretty well.

"We're still sorting out combinations and so on. That's just one area. In the end our handling wasn't good enough, we made too many errors where we gave the ball back to them quickly."

A driving maul began a strong movement downfield for midfielder Bundee Aki to dot down under the posts, before Aaron Cruden slotted a penalty to give his side the lead.

The Chiefs had two second half tries disallowed, however, they did manage to capitalise twice more, with halfback Augustine Pulu and winger Asaeli Tikoirotuma also crossing the chalk.

Rennie was delighted with his team's defence, as they conceded just one try, after only letting in two in their first-up hit-out against the Highlanders.

"It was good for us, to be honest, because we got ourselves under a fair bit of pressure and we just fought our way out of it and the boys showed a lot of character," he said.

"We've still got a lot of work to do and there's a lot of areas that we need to be better in but we're probably a little bit more advanced than we were this time last year."

Rennie gave his All Blacks starts and said although he imagined "their lungs would've been hurting at various times", they would be better for the run.

The only worry to come out of the game was a knock to lock Brodie Retallick's knee, and he will be assessed in the coming days.

Craig Clarke and Ben Afeaki should be all right to return from niggles for the final pre-season match against the Hurricanes in Mangatainoka on Saturday.

Ad Feedback

- Waikato Times

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which 2015 NZ Super Rugby team looks best?

Blues

Chiefs

Crusaders

Highlanders

Hurricanes

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content