Chiefs 32 – Reds 20.
The Reds seemed to come into this game thinking they could out-run the Chiefs and at half time the approach seemed to have blown up on them, as they went into the sheds 3 tries to nil down. But the game got a real shot in the arse when the reds came out and ran in 3 tries of their own to give the hosts a scare at 25-20. Luaki’s intercept try finally putting the game to bed.
While the Chiefs tries predominantly came from exceptional gas out wide – their 2 try scoring winger Masaga being exceptional – the Reds took the different route, making the ball do the work on the inside channels. Morgs Pieman Turinui deservedly picked up 2 tries himself, proving like last weekend that he has a nose a gap and the line for his ample girth to truck through.
Stephen Moore also had a great game in the loose, and Ioane’s return gave the back-line badly needed spark. However the inside back combo of Cooper and Barnes isn’t working. While Cooper has been anointed with the title of precocious talent, it’s hard to see what he’s bringing to the party apart from a heinous haircut.
Plenty for Mooney to work with, the back-line needs some re-structuring if their going to go anywhere next year.
Tries: Donald, Masaga 2, Lauaki
Cons: Donald 3
Pens: Donald 2
Tries: Turinui 2, Ioane
Drop Goal: Barnes
Yellow Card: Schifcofske (Reds) – deliberate foul, 35.
Chiefs: 15 Mils Muliaina (c), 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Dwayne Sweeney, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Jamie Nutbrown, 8 Sione Lauaki, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Kevin O’Neill, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Ben Castle, 2 Tom Willis, 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Aled de Malmanche, 17 Simon Lemalu, 18 Jay Williams, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 David Bason, 21 Callum Bruce, 22 Sosene Anesi.
Reds: 15 Clinton Schifcofske, 14 Brando Va’aulu, 13 Morgan Turinui, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Peter Hynes, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 David Croft, 6 John Roe, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Van Humphries, 3 Rodney Blake, 2 Stephen Moore, 2 Ben Coutts.
Replacements: 16 Sean Hardman, 17 Dayna Edwards, 18 Ed O’Donoghue, 19 Poutasi Luafutu, 20 Will Genia, 21 Charlie Fetoai, 22 Digby Ioane.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Touch judges: Deon vs Blommestein (South Africa), Paul Honiss (New Zealand)
Television match official: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)
Assessor: Alan Riley (New Zealand).