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The Gallagher Chiefs are ready for their first trans-Tasman clash of the season when they take on the Reds in Brisbane this weekend, who will be putting it all on the line in Queensland Rugby Union’s 1000th rugby match.

Head Coach Colin Cooper is aware of this weeks’ challenge.

“Playing the Reds in Brisbane will be a tough assignment, and we’ve worked really hard with the leaders on having the right mindset. The Reds have a number of threats, with their loose forwards, midfielders and outside backs all big carriers of the ball. We need to put everything on the line for this game, with a bit of a break coming in the form of a bye next week“.

Cooper has made four changes to his forward pack, starting the impressive Karl Tu’inukuafe and Liam Polwart, and bringing back Tyler Ardron and Pita Gus Sowakula who both put in outstanding shifts in the home NZ derby against the Blues.The backline is unchanged. 

On the bench, Samisoni Taukei’aho gets his first opportunity of the season, and Sam Prattley - who has been brought in this week as an interim injury replacement - is in line to make his Gallagher Chiefs debut, bringing over 30 Super Rugby caps of experience to the side. Brad Weber makes a return into the 23, now recovered from his wrist injury.

Cooper is not discouraged about last weeks’ loss to conference leaders the Hurricanes.

“Coming off a loss makes us more determined. We were disappointed with the conversion rate of the line breaks, but the good thing about that game is that there were opportunities, but we just didn’t finish them”

The game will be played at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane and kicks off at 9:45pm NZT.

The Gallagher Chiefs team to take on the Reds is:

1. Karl Tu’inukuafe (6)

2. Liam Polwart (13)

3. Angus Ta’avao (7)

4. Brodie Retallick (91)

5. Tyler Ardron (4)

6. Lachlan Boshier (26)

7. Sam Cane (102) co-captain

8. Pita Gus Sowakula (2)

9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (7)

10. Damian McKenzie (57)

11. Solomon Alaimalo (16)

12. Johnny Fa'auli (13)

13. Anton Lienert-Brown (47)

14. Sean Wainui (7)

15. Charlie Ngatai (46) co-captain

16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (2)

17. Sam Prattley *

18. Jeff Thwaites (4)

19. Luke Jacobson (4)

20. Liam Messam (169)

21. Brad Weber (47) 

22. Marty McKenzie (12)

23. Alex Nankivell (7)

Players unavailable for selection: 

Aidan Ross, Atu Moli, Dominic Bird, Fin Hoeata, Kane Hames, Mitch Brown, Mitch Graham, Nepo Laulala, Regan Verney, Sam McNicol, Shaun Stevenson, Taleni Seu, Tim Nanai-Williams, Toni Pulu

The University of Waikato (UoW) Chiefs Taua Development team arrived in Hong Kong yesterday for an exciting tour, under the high performance partnership formed between the Chiefs Rugby Club and the Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU). The UoW Chiefs Taua Development team returns to Hong Kong for a fourth consecutive year following successful previous tours.

The tour includes the UoW Chiefs Taua Development team having training sessions with the Hong Kong national squad and playing a match against a Hong Kong national XV on Saturday 21 April at the Hong Kong Football Club, before returning on Monday 23 April. The UoW Chiefs Taua Development players will also participate in community engagement coaching events during their stay, together with the HKRU for young players from their Youth and Mini Rugby programmes.

Chiefs High Performance Manager Chris Tindall said: “It is exciting to again return to Hong Kong with a UoW Chiefs Taua Development team to further our rugby development and performance together with the Hong Kong Rugby Union. The tour to Hong Kong is a special opportunity for our players’ learning and development, to experience international touring and full time preparation on and off the field, and to train with and play against the Hong Kong national squad. Added to that, Hong Kong is a great city to experience. This tour provides a real opportunity for the players to impress on and off the field for Chiefs selection, as players have done from the tours over the last three years.”

Previous UoW Chiefs Taua Development players who have progressed from the Hong Kong tours to play for the Gallagher Chiefs are: Shaun Stevenson, Atu Moli, Liam Polwart, Mitchell Brown, Sefo Kautai, Aidan Ross, Samisoni Taukei’aho and Luteru Laulala.

“Part of our tour focus is to further assist the Hong Kong national squad and coaches in their preparation for the Asia Rugby Championship and Rugby World Cup qualification matches this year. It’s an exciting performance goal for Hong Kong Rugby, and they have been building positively towards it.” added Tindall.

The UoW Chiefs Taua Development touring squad of 27 players was selected from available players in co-ordination with the Chiefs region Provincial Unions of Counties Manukau, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, and Taranaki. It includes a mix of developing and experienced players led by 2017 Gallagher Chiefs players, James Tucker - who has just returned from playing a season in Italy - and Seb Siataga.

Five players return to Hong Kong from the touring squad last year: Prop, Ayden Johnstone and Joshua Iosefo-Scott; Loose Forward, Ajay Lafaele-Mua; Halfback, Luke Campbell; Midfielder, Matthew Lansdown. The squad also includes five 2017 New Zealand Schools representative players: Prop, Ollie Norris and George Dyer; Lock, Tupou Vai’i; Midfielder, Quinn Tupaea; Wing, Kini Naholo.

The touring squad also includes three players from the Kobelco Steelers club in Japan who have been training with the Gallagher Chiefs under the High Performance partnership between the Chiefs Rugby Club and the Kobelco Steelers: Prop, Takayuki Watanabe; Hooker, Kasuke Nishibayashi; First Five-Eighth, Akihiro Shimizo. 

The UoW Chiefs Taua Development squad will be coached by Paul Hodder as Head Coach, with past Chiefs Rugby Club player Nathan White and current Gallagher Chiefs player Tim Nanai–Williams as Assistant Coaches.

 

The UoW Chiefs Taua Development touring squad to Hong Kong is:

Props

Ayden Johnstone (Waikato)

Ollie Norris (Waikato)

Joshua Iosefo-Scott (Waikato)

Takayuki Watanabe (Kobelco Steelers)

George Dyer (Waikato)

Hookers

Donald Maka (Taranaki)

Seb Siataga (Bay of Plenty)

Kasuke Nishibayashi (Kobelco Steelers)

Locks

James Tucker (Waikato) (c)

Sam Caird (Waikato)

Tupou Vai’i (Taranaki)

Loose Forwards

Stan van der Hoven (Bay of Plenty)

Fotu Lokotui (Counties Manukau)

Joe Johnson (Bay of Plenty)

Ajay Lafaele-Mua (Bay of Plenty)

Halfbacks

Luke Campbell (Bay of Plenty)

Isaac Te Aute (Bay of Plenty)

First Five-Eighth

Daniel Waite (Taranaki)

Akihiro Shimizo (Kobelco Steelers)

Midfield

Matthew Lansdown (Waikato)

Quinn Tupaea (Waikato)

Nigel Ah Wong (Counties Manukau)

Sam Furniss (Counties Manukau)

Outside Backs

Isaac Te Tamaki (Waikato)

Mosese Dawai (Waikato)

Kini Naholo (Taranaki)

Bailey Simonsson (Bay of Plenty)

 

The UoW Chiefs Taua Development Squad players not available for the tour are:  

Jeff Thwaites (Bay of Plenty), Baden Wardlaw (Bay of Plenty), Jesse Parete (Taranaki), Bailyn Sullivan (Waikato), Declan O’Donnell (Taranaki), Luteru Laulala (Counties Manukau), Reuben O’Neill (Taranaki), Jared Profit (Taranaki), Jacob Skeen (Waikato), Matt Vai’i (Counties Manukau), Mitchell Jacobson (Waikato), Jahrome Brown (Waikato), Terrence Hepetema (Bay of Plenty), Sheldon Tovio (Waikato), Tyler Campbell (Waikato), Tevita Mafileo (Bay of Plenty), Suetena Asomua (Counties Manukau), Bradley Slater (Taranaki), Laghlan McWhannell (Waikato), Tom Florence (Taranaki), Xavier Roe (Waikato), Ciarahn Matoe (Taranaki), Kaleb Trask (Bay of Plenty).

 

The 2018 University of Waikato Chiefs Development Squad Management Team for the Hong Kong tour is:

Head Coach Paul Hodder
Assistant Coach Nathan White
Assistant Coach Tim Nanai-Williams
Manager Gareth Duncan
Trainer Brad Mayo
Physio Teresa Te Tamaki
Analyst Jared Christie
Player Development Manager Kent Currie
High Performance Manager Chris Tindall

The Gallagher Chiefs have been unable to make it three straight New Zealand derby wins, going down to the Hurricanes 25-13 in a tough and physical contest at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

After a tight first 40 minutes, two quick Hurricanes tries to start the second half swung the game in their favour and launched them towards a three tries to one victory. The Chiefs second loss of the season sees them remain in third spot in the New Zealand conference standings, with the Hurricanes' sixth win moving them to the top.

The Hurricanes enjoyed the better of an entertaining start to the match, with a favourable penalty count seeing them go close to scoring on a couple of occasions.

They eventually cracked the Chiefs defence with second five Ngani Laumape offloading to a rampaging Ben Lam, and the big winger burst through several tackles with a combination of power and speed from 40 metres out to score a brilliant opening try.

From the restart, the Chiefs won a penalty and were able to get on the scoreboard from the boot of first five Damian McKenzie to settle them down after the fast start from the home side.

Fullback Jordie Barrett responded for the Hurricanes with his own three-pointer soon after, making it 10-3 after a frenetic opening 15 minutes.

The middle of the first half was dominated by a lot of stoppages, including a bad ankle injury to Chiefs prop Aidan Ross that delayed the game for around 10 minutes.

Both sides continued to be adventurous on attack but with the stop start nature of the match, neither was able to apply much pressure when in possession.

The Chiefs looked the stronger of the sides in the final 10 minutes of the half, and deservedly narrowed the gap to four points with McKenzie's second penalty right on the stroke of halftime, after he had missed a shot from in front a few minutes earlier.

It was a perfect start to the second half for the Hurricanes as they struck twice in the opening five minutes, with All Blacks first five Beauden Barrett playing a key role in both tries, to suddenly open up a 16-point lead.

A superb pick up from a loose Chiefs pass by Barrett saw him break clear, kick ahead and dot down for the first, and he then set up the second with a cross kick for Laumape.

The Hurricanes were now full of confidence and looked likely to add further points, but the Chiefs were able to weather the storm and slowly worked their way back downfield.

Desperately needing to be the next team to score, a patient build up ended in loose forward Lachlan Boshier finding himself in space on the left wing and he crossed the line for the Chiefs first try of the match.

McKenzie's sideline conversion brought the Chiefs to within nine points, getting them back into the contest as the match headed into the final quarter.

Shortly after the restart, a long-range break from outside backs Solomon Alaimalo and Charlie Ngatai swung the Chiefs back into the Hurricanes 22 once more. This time they were unable to convert but the signs were positive that they were beginning to threaten the Hurricanes defence more frequently.

However, errors began to creep in to the Chiefs play as they chased the game, still needing to score twice to get back in front, and the Hurricanes showed their class as their defence began to tighten up late in the match.

The Chiefs dominated a scrappy and frustrating final 10 minutes, but were just unable to apply the finishing touches, and the home side maintained their composure to close the game out with a Jordie Barrett penalty right on fulltime.

Gallagher Chiefs 13 (Lachlan Boshier try; Damian McKenzie con, 2 pens) Hurricanes 25 (Ben Lam, Beauden Barrett, Ngani Laumape tries; Jordie Barrett 2 cons, 2 pens) HT: 6-10.

The Gallagher Chiefs now head over the Tasman for a clash with the Reds at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday 21 April, kick off 9.45pm NZ time.

The Gallagher Chiefs face the Hurricanes this weekend in Wellington, the only New Zealand conference team the Gallagher Chiefs have yet to play so far this season. Both teams come into it with one opening round loss each, and five consecutive wins each.

Head Coach Colin Cooper says that the team is in a good space for this upcoming challenge.

“There is real clarity, consistency of game plan and of selection, and competition going on in the group. When you combine all of that with winning, it gives you confidence.

Looking at our first game, we didn’t respond well to the pressure that the Crusaders put on us, whereas last week in the Blues game, we didn’t panic, our leaders took control and we just dug out a win against a dangerous Blues team. That was a big change for us to see as coaches.”

Cooper has made just two changes to the starting fifteen this week, with Taleni Seu back at number 8, and Co-Captain Charlie Ngatai resuming action at fullback, with Solomon Alaimalo moving to the wing in place of the injured Toni Pulu. Alex Nankivell is on the bench again this week after a return from having his appendix removed.

Cooper is aware of what the Hurricanes can bring.

“Strategically, we understand that they are very expansive, with a good kicking and running game. We need to have the confidence to play our game when we have the ball. It’s important to do the work in the week and then when it comes to the game to be calm and controlled about it.”

The Gallagher Chiefs team to take on the Hurricanes is:

1. Aidan Ross (12)

2. Nathan Harris (37)

3. Angus Ta’avao-Matau (6)

4. Brodie Retallick (90)

5. Tyler Ardron (4) / Michael Allardice (24) 

6. Lachlan Boshier (25)

7. Sam Cane (co-captain) (101)

8. Taleni Seu (33)

9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (6) 

10. Damian McKenzie (56) / Marty McKenzie (11)

11. Solomon Alaimalo (15)

12. Johnny Faauli (12)

13. Anton Lienert-Brown (46) 

14. Sean Wainui (6)

15. Charlie Ngatai (co-captain) (45)

 

16. Liam Polwart (12)

17. Karl Tu’inukuafe (5)

18. Jeff Thwaites (3)

19. Luke Jacobson (3)

20. Liam Messam (168)

21. Jonathan Taumateine (7) 

22. Marty McKenzie (11) / Tiaan Falcon (2)

23. Alex Nankivell (6)

A dramatic penalty try with just six minutes remaining has seen the Gallagher Chiefs scrape past the Blues 21-19 at FMG Stadium Waikato for their fifth straight win of the 2018 Investec Super Rugby season.

In their second local derby against the Blues this season, the Gallagher Chiefs dominated possession and territory but found themselves trailing late in the match until their dominant scrum, with a one-man advantage, was eventually awarded what turned out to be a match winning penalty try in the 74th minute.

Early on saw a positive start for the visitors, right from the opening kick-off, as they won a ruck penalty with first five Stephen Perofeta stepping up and making no mistake from in front for an early lead.

This was followed by some controlled possession from the Blues, as they clearly looked determined to make amends for some poor recent performances, and the period of play ended in another penalty for Perofeta from 40 metres out to give his side a 6-0 lead after the opening five minutes.

Like they have done all season, the Gallagher Chiefs responded well to conceding points, and they charged downfield to put pressure on the Blues defence for the first time in the match. A penalty was eventually conceded by the Blues and first five Damian McKenzie got the home side on the scoreboard with his first kick of the night.

More good territory for the Chiefs saw them launch a set piece play from midfield, with fullback Solomon Alaimalo testing the defence before McKenzie showed quick hands with a pass over the top that put Sean Wainui into space, and the in-form winger had a clear run to the line.

The Wainui try saw momentum shift in the Chiefs favour and they dominated the middle stages of the first half, adding a further three points from the boot of McKenzie.

As they struggled to get their hands on the ball the Blues defence was forced to soak up a lot of pressure, before a timely break from Perofeta saw them get down the right end of the field which ended in another penalty kick, and the gap was closed to 11-9 with 12 minutes remaining in the first half.

A brilliant take from the restart by Chiefs lock Tyler Ardron then saw the Chiefs move back inside the Blues 22 and the five-point lead was quickly restored with another McKenzie penalty.

That was to be one of the last acts for McKenzie as he left the field soon after with what looked like a hip injury, replaced by his brother Marty.

With the Chiefs looking to be taking control, the Blues were finally able to get some good field position and against the run of play hooker James Parsons crashed his way over the line.

Perofeta's conversion put the visitors back in front and, with some new found confidence, they worked their way back into Chiefs territory in the final stages of the half and had time for a fourth Perofeta penalty to go into the break with a surprise 19-14 lead.

After a stop start beginning to the second half, a strong break from a kick return by Chiefs Number 8 Pita Gus Sowakula sparked his side into action. However, despite three consecutive penalties and lineout drives close to the line for the Chiefs, some desperate Blues defence saw them hang on and clear the danger.

It wasn't long before the Chiefs were on the attack again, but yet again they were denied by a combination of ball handling and a dedicated scrambling defence, as the match ticked past the three-quarter mark with no points added for either side in the second half.

With some timely substitutions bringing fresh legs into the forward pack, the Chiefs continued to ask questions and the relentless pressure eventually led to a yellow card for Blues lock Josh Goodhue for repeated infringements close to the line.

Following the sin binning was a dramatic period of play as three consecutive dominant scrums by the Chiefs ended in a penalty try for the first points of the second half, with the seven points seeing them go ahead by two with six minutes left.

After enjoying nearly 90% of territory in the second half, the Chiefs were able to continue that dominance and edged back downfield to close the game out with 24 controlled phases before Marty McKenzie cleared to touch to seal the victory.

Gallagher Chiefs 21 (Sean Wainui try, penalty try; Damian McKenzie 3 pens) Blues 19 (James Parsons try; Stephen Perofeta con, 4 pens) HT: 14-19.

Next up for the Gallagher Chiefs is a trip to Wellington to take on the Hurricanes on Friday 13 April in what promises to be another huge New Zealand conference clash.

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Sam Cane
Full Name: Sam Cane
Team: Chiefs
Position:Loose forward
Height:189cm
Weight:103kg
DOB:13.01.92
Super Rugby Games:95
Super Rugby Points:60 (12t)
Super Rugby Debut:2011 v Lions in Johannesburg
Province:Bay of Plenty
Provincial Games:19
Provincial Points:25 (5t)
Provincial Debut:2010 v Auckland in Mt Maunganui
Test Caps:50
Test Points:60 (12t)
Test Debut:2012 v Ireland in Christchurch
instagram:#samcane
Facebook ID:456670991114990
Twitter Username:SamCane7
Youtube:Sam Cane

"A player with immense talent and leadership qualities, Sam has been a vital member of the squad for the past seven seasons. Sam has been co-captain of the team with Aaron for the past two seasons."- The Chiefs

Sam enters his seventh season with the Chiefs and is a key part of the team’s leadership co-captaining the side for the third successive season.  On the back of a stellar Super Rugby season in 2016 he collected  the Chiefs Players’ Player of the Year and showed many mature performances in his role as co-captain.   

The talented loose forward has won two Investec Super Rugby titles, the 2015 Rugby World Cup, a U20 Junior World Championship gold medal and is a former New Zealand Rugby Age Group Player of the Year.

If you weren’t a rugby player, what would you be doing?
Guitarist in a rock band

Who was your favourite player as a kid?
Jeff Wilson

What event would you go to the Olympics for … No sevens allowed!
Beach Volleyball

Favourite sportsperson outside rugby?
Roger Federer

Forwards- What position would you put yourself in the backline and why?
Backs- What position would you put yourself in the forward pack and why?

Second Five

What’s your go to meal in the kitchen?
Creamy Chicken Fettucine

What’s your mum’s best meal for her boy?
Roast Lamb

Who is the best singer in the team?
Nathan Harris

Favourite movie quote?
Life is a game of inches, so is football –Al Pacino-Any given Sunday

What would you spend your last $10 on?
Two handles of beer for me and a mate

2018 Investec Super Rugby Table

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