NZ teams complete warm-ups, now for the real deal

Getty Images

Lynn McConnell     16 Feb 2018     Getty Images

The Chiefs beat the Brumbies at Kawana on the Sunshine Coast 39-26, largely due to their outstanding first half in which they scored four tries in 15 minutes.


The Brumbies had scored first but the Chiefs responded by putting their speed and offloading ability to use and halfback Brad Weber crossed for the first of his three tries.

He scored his first after a Solomon Alaimalo break and then had his second try in the 19th minute. He was followed by Luke Jacobson and then Taleni Seu broke and executed a flick pass which found Weber in support and crossing for his hat-trick.

While the Brumbies defence tightened in the second half, it didn't prevent Liam Messam scoring first to take the Chiefs out to a 33-7 lead. But the home team replied with 17 unanswered points, including a storming 60m run for a try by No.8 Isi Naisarani.

However, the Chiefs had the final say with Johnny Fa'auli scoring at the end.
The Highlanders made the most of good conditions in Waimumu and also had the benefit of a hat-trick of tries to Matt Faddes. The Highlanders led 28-19 at the break before the second half became much more of a defensive display.

New coach Aaron Mauger was pleased with the way the Highlanders were able to produce strong defence to minimise the Crusaders' opportunities while Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said the game had been ideal for the quality of physicality it produced.

Rieko Ioane provided an early season demonstration of his prowess with a 70m break which saw him turn the Hurricanes defence inside out but it wasn't enough to deny the southerners a 26-14 win at Warkworth.

The Blues led 14-12 at halftime, but an early intercept try to Jonah Lowe, and a crop of loose forward injuries hampered the Blues and an impressive Hurricanes side made the most of it. Jimmy Tupou, Jerome Kaino and Dalton Papali'i all left the field injured for the Blues while there was concern for Hurricanes prop Chris Eves who was stretchered from the ground but coach Chris Boyd said he suffered a stinger and the stretcher was only used as a precaution.
With outside Matt Proctor back to add to the quality of the backline, the Hurricanes looked in good shape for their South African start to Super Rugby, and it was a good start for former Blues first five-eighths Ihaia West, in his new team.

Brumbies 26 (Joe Powell, Andrew Muirhead, Isi Naisarani, Kyle Godwin tries; Christian Leali'ifano con, Wharenui Hawera 2 con) Chiefs 39 (Brad Weber 3, Luke Jacobson, Liam Messam, Johnny Fa'auli tries; Damian McKenzie 4 con). HT: 26-7

Highlanders 42 (Matt Faddes 3, Hemopo, Tei Walden tries; penalty try; Lima Sopoaga 3 con; Fletcher Smith 2 con) Crusaders 26 (Bryn Hall, Wyatt Crockett, Brayden Ennor tries; penalty try; Richie Mo'unga con). HT 28-19

Blues 14 (Matt Duffie, Rieko Ioane tries; Bryn Gatland 2 con) Hurricanes 26 (TJ Perenara, Matt Proctor, Jonah Lowe, Murray Douglas tries; Ihaia West con; Jackson Garden-Bachop 2 con). HT: 14-12