Chiefs finally get their NZ Conference trophy

EVAN PEGDEN
Last updated 15:30 23/07/2013
Fairfax NZ

With the big Crusaders game looming large the Chiefs were presented with their first trophy of the 2013 Super Rugby season.

Chiefs conference trophy
CHRIS HILLOCK/Fairfax NZ
ONE DOWN: Captains Liam Messam and Craig Clarke with the New Zealand Conference champions trophy.

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It happened 10 days later than it should have but the Chiefs finally received a trophy for winning Super Rugby's New Zealand Conference in Hamilton today.

New Zealand Rugby Union general manager of professional rugby, Neil Sorenson, made the presentation at the Chiefs' Ruakura headquarters and apologised for not doing it sooner.

The 2012 Super Rugby champion Chiefs secured the conference honours, which they have never won previously, when the Crusaders failed to gain a bonus point from their win over the Hurricanes in their final regular season match on July 12.

The Chiefs played their last game of the round-robin at Eden Park, Auckland, the following day, finishing with a 26-16 victory over the Blues.

The trophy was handed to Chiefs co-captains Craig Clarke and Liam Messam in front of their team-mates at the end of this morning's training session as they prepare for Saturday's Super Rugby semifinal against the Crusaders at Waikato Stadium.

''This is probably a trophy you should have been given a couple of weeks ago in Auckland,'' Sorenson said in presenting the silverware.

''And that was a mistake on our behalf, so I apologise for that...I know getting something like this four days before a massive game is not something high on your priority list, but that's just the way it goes,'' he said.

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- Waikato Times

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