Hertford Highlander

Kiwi Super 15 Pre-Season Preview – The Chiefs

Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :All Blacks, Original Content, Super Rugby on 24 Jan 2011 at 05:33
Tagged with : , ,

The 2010 Chiefs season was one of the strangest in the history of the competition. The losing 2009 Finalists, started with an impressive three wins on the road against the Sharks, Lions (their 72-65 win will go down as a landmark game under the then new rule interpretations) and then beating the Force on the way home in Perth. Most punters, included myself thought the Chiefs looked like they had picked up where they left off at the end of the 2009 season.

However this couldn’t be further from the truth with the next eleven rounds returning only one win.

This year’s side again looks a little underpowered up front. Which may again be their achilles heel, meaning that they may struggle against the traditional powerhouse sides in the competition.

They do however bring a great group of attacking backs to the competition that will definitely set the competition alight at times during the season.

Captained again from fullback by the most capped All Black of all time – Mils Muliaina, they will not lack ambition and are certain to be well marshalled from the back.

At full strength the Chiefs will have a complete All Black backline boasting the likes of, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Stephen Donald, Lelia Masaga, Richard Kahui, Brendon Leonard and Mike Delany.

There will also be the return to Super Rugby from All Black legend Tana Umaga.

In the forwards most responsibility will fall on the shoulders of 2010 All Black loose forward Liam Messam. He will be charged with directing the pack around the park.

Others in the loose include Colin Bourke (who was injured playing for the Barbarians), who will play alongside other former test open side’s Tanerau Latimer and Scott Waldrom, while look for the Counties Manukau powerhouse Fritz Lee to make an impression in his first season of Super rugby.

The tight five again looks a little brittle, however with the arrival of Isaac Ross he will be looking to dispel that rumour and make a big impression after moving north from the Crusaders, while Hika Elliot will want to continue his progress seen while in Europe.

The Chiefs 2011 squad is an interesting mixture of vast experience and up and coming talent – who knows how the longer 2011 format will unfold for the Chiefs franchise, all I’m saying is that I will not be making any grand predictions after the first three rounds of this season.

Chiefs Wider Training Group

Simon Lemalu
Taiasina Tuifua
August Pulu
Ahsee Tuala.
Stephen Setephano
Matt Vant Leven
Trent Renata
Sam Cane
Phil Burleigh.

Chiefs Full Squad

Fullbacks: Mils Muliaina, Tim Nanai-Williams

Wingers: Lelia Masaga, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Dwayne Sweeney

Midfield: Richard Kahui, Save Tokula, Jackson Willison, Tana Umaga

First five-eighths: Stephen Donald, Mike Delany

Halfbacks: Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Brendon Leonard, Taniela Moa

Loose forwards: Colin Bourke, Tanerau Latimer, Fritz Lee, Liam Messam, Scott Waldrom

Locks: Craig Clarke, Romana Graham, Culum Retallick, Isaac Ross, Hayden Triggs

Props: Ben Afeaki, Ben May, Toby Smith, Sona Taumalolo, Nathan White

Hookers: Aled de Malmanche, Hikawera Elliot, Daniel Perrin.

Chiefs Super Record

2004 Chiefs losing semi finalist
2009 Chiefs lost to the Bulls 17-61 in the Final – 2009 Runner Up


  • I think their record against the NZ teams will be their downfall.

    They look a strong side, but they lack depth everywhere..

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.01.11 09:07:35 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard FergusonCoach
  • Hey HH. The Chiefs lost about 64 – 19 to the Bulls in that final. I can’t remember the exact score but it was way more than 24-19

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.01.11 09:28:24 by Pokkel Reply
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    Assistant coach
  • @Pokkel (Comment 2) :

    Cheers Pokkel…

    Bulls won 61-17 …goodness knows where I got that from ? :oops:

    Will correct now ! ;-)

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.01.11 09:54:28 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 2) : they would rather take half time scores into consideration..haha..

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.01.11 09:55:34 by shaniboi Reply

    shaniboiVodacom Cup player
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 3) :

    it’s that eternal Kiwi optimism. :)

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.01.11 09:57:27 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 3) : ;-)

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.01.11 10:17:30 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 3) : Can I ask for your opinion once more in 3 of the tough positional matchups:
    Aled de Malmanche vs Hikawera Elliot
    Stephen Donald vs Mike Delany
    Tanerau Latimer vs Scott Waldrom

    Also Tim Nanai-Williams so good but with a high quality well established back 3 is he reduced to a run-on reserve for most of the campaign.

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.01.11 10:19:41 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    beetCurrie Cup player
  • @beet (Comment 7) :

    Beet sorry I didn’t get back to you straight away, now for some feedback re your questions.

    Hooker: I would have said de Malmanche but the word is his throwing lets him down when the pressure is on he is the modern day Anton Oliver…..I think he is a fantastic player.

    Elliott – I have never been a big fan but the AB selectors think he is a good man under pressure. Has had a few problems off the park and he has put a bit more weight on and really impressed me on the end of year tour

    So it’s a really close call……Elliott by a whisker

    Donald v Delany. – Donald for me easy !

    However won’t make the AB’s for the RWC no matter what he does in the Super Comp.

    ( I had a chat yesterday with Colin Slade from the Highlanders and personally I think he is a shoe in for the RWC as back up to Carter….if he can get the Highlanders across the line in a couple of games this year…no easy task ! :oops:

    …and finally Latimer for me big Scott Waldrom has a lot of ground to make up however was once considered the back up to McCaw

  • Comment 8, posted at 25.01.11 00:47:04 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 8) : Tough question. Which wings wouls you take to the wc?

  • Comment 9, posted at 25.01.11 01:11:14 by Ben Reply
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    BenAssistant coach
  • @Ben (Comment 9) :

    Ben -like all sides it depends how many actual wingers they will take.

    I think they will take 14 backs:

    Half backs (3) Cowan, Weepu, Mathewson

    First Fives (2) Carter, Slade

    Centres (4) Nonu, Smith, Williams, Toeava

    Wings (3) Gear, Sitivatu, Jane

    Fullback (2)Muliania, Dagg

    I feel these are the front runners going into the Super competition.

    My feeling on the wings is that our number 1 winger is Hosea Gear, so he’s a certainty closely followed by Sivavatu. Then it is close they will want two more wingers in the squad but I don’t think they will want to pick two specialists. I get the impression Joe Rokocoko has played his last test and is gone. I also think they like Toeava as the utility back up squad member who will fill a vacant wing when required, which leaves one spot which could be a specialist if they pick Dagg at fullback or they may pick Jane as the back up fullback freeing up a wing.

    So at this stage for me Jane and Dagg, however they are very similar, and whose to say the following will not press there claims this Super Season.

    … Ranger, McAlister, Freuan, Guildford, Savea, Mesaga, Kahui, Stanley, Rokocoko

    Will be interesting to see if Jane lines up at Fullback for the Hurricanes which may put him in a straight shoot out with Dagg for one spot.

    ….and secondly if SBW and Freuan can fire for the Crusaders forcing there way in as the back up to Nonu and Smith.

    …..I don’t know if that makes any sense. …but that is my thinking at this stage …I still think there are about 6 spots still up for grabs in the AB RWC Squad.

  • Comment 10, posted at 25.01.11 03:38:06 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 10) : Yeah it makes sense. Iv’e always liked Masaga he has pace and is very strong on his feat. Will be watching him very carefully this season. Agree with you about Rockocoko he’s days are numbered there are too many names that pop up before his when thinking of all black wingers, although I would not be suprised seeing him in the wc squad to add that little extra experience.

  • Comment 11, posted at 25.01.11 04:44:45 by Ben Reply
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    BenAssistant coach
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 8) : Thanks. I’ve never understood what the NZ public seen in Delany. He’s always looked pretty average to me.
    This time last year Cruden was just about the most eagerly awaited player, now the hype around him seems to have dissipated. Surely he’ll get better and challenge for that AB RWC spot as well?
    Also looks like NZ are going to have to do some serious rebuilding after the RWC. From your list of backs, I’ll say that Slade, Jane and Dagg are the only certainties to stick around in NZ until 2015.

  • Comment 12, posted at 25.01.11 10:15:03 by beet Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    beetCurrie Cup player

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