Wednesday, August 01, 2012
The Chiefs face the Sharks in the Super Rugby Final this coming Saturday after their much deserved 20-17 victory over the champion Crusaders on the weekend. They were last in the final in 2009, but suffered a heavy loss to the Bulls on that occasion.
The Chiefs are aiming to join the exclusive club of the Crusaders and the Blues as they look to become the third New Zealand side to win a Super Rugby title.
"Making the final certainly was our goal, and I don't think everyone agreed back in November, but belief grows with performance, and knocking over the Crusaders and Blues early in the piece probably helped that," said a pleased coach Dave Rennie.
They faced a South African side in their only previous final, in 2009, but on that day they were thumped 61-17 by the Bulls, the heaviest loss by any team in a Super Rugby final. Brumbies coach Jake White believes that the travelling Sharks have a major uphill battle.
"I think that it's going to be a hell of a tough ask for the Sharks to go back and forth and back and forth (between South Africa and Australasia) and get away with wins consecutively," said White.
"It would be an amazing achievement for a team that finished sixth to actually end up winning it, and beating teams that came first and second.
"They would end up beating the Reds, who won that conference, the Stormers, who won their conference, and then the Chiefs, who won their conference.
"It would be a massive effort for the Sharks. It would be phenomenal if they could. But I think, obviously, the Chiefs must be favourites," he added.
Below are highlights of the Chiefs vs Crusaders semi final if you missed it