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The Gallagher Chiefs have overcome a fast start from the Waratahs to record a crucial 39-27 win at FMG Stadium Waikato to keep themselves right in the Super Rugby playoff hunt.

After falling behind 14-0 early in the first half, the Gallagher Chiefs kept their composure to fight back with 19 unanswered points, and then survived a wild second half to secure a bonus point win with the final play of the match.

The visitors started the match in fine style, dominating field position in the opening minutes, before a well worked set piece move from the Waratahs backline saw wing Cam Clark put into plenty of space to score the first points of the match.

There was a nice response from the Chiefs as they swiftly went on the attack, keeping the ball in hand to pressure the Waratahs defence, but a ruck penalty relieved the pressure.

On the back of that penalty, another set piece play from the Waratahs split the Chiefs defence wide open as centre Curtis Rona was put into a gap by his midfield partner Kurtley Beale, and he raced away to score right next to the posts.

First five Bernard Foley converted both early tries for a 14-0 lead after just 13 minutes of play.

Once more the response from the Chiefs was positive, and a patient build up of 10 phases ended in first five Damian McKenzie finding Brodie Retallick with a pass close to the line, and the big lock ran through untouched to score under the posts.

The Chiefs looked a lot stronger following the Retallick try and were able to pin the Waratahs deep in their own half for the next 10 minutes. Quick thinking from veteran Liam Messam saw him pick up a loose ball at the back of a Waratahs ruck, before offloading to hooker Nathan Harris who was in support to score the try.

McKenzie's conversion hit the upright to leave the Waratahs in front 14-12 after half an hour.

With some momentum now on their side, the Chiefs launched another scintillating attack from a lineout on halfway, with no less than seven offloads eventually ending in McKenzie tumbling his way over the line to give the Chiefs their first lead of the evening.

There was more good ball movement from the Chiefs late in the half but no more points were added and the home side went into the break with a five-point lead.

Early in the second half a piece of brilliance from Waratahs fullback Israel Folau, claiming a high ball, ended in a try in the left-hand corner, but it was ruled out because of a forward pass. Under penalty advantage however, Foley was able to close the gap up to 19-17 with a kick from right in front.

As they had done in the first half, the Chiefs responded superbly to conceding points. An initial break from Sean Wainui down the left wing started the attack, with the ball then moved quickly to Toni Pulu's wing on the right and, after backtracking to gather a loose pass, Pulu beat two defenders with a smooth swerve and fend to score the Chiefs fourth try.

The match continued to swing back and forth as the Waratahs quickly got themselves right back in the game. From 20 metres out Kurtley Beale found a half gap and took full advantage, sprinting to the corner to slide over for the try with Foley's conversion from out wide levelling the scores.

It didn't take long for the Chiefs to regain the lead as just minutes later halfback Brad Weber spotted some space in behind the Waratahs defence and his well-placed kick from 45 metres out allowed Pulu to easily get past the forwards defending out wide to score his second try.

With 15 minutes remaining the Waratahs went close to scoring their fourth try, denied by some desperate Chiefs defence, but were able to come away with another Foley penalty, bringing them back to within two points to set up a tense finish.

Some great ball control under pressure then allowed the Chiefs to wind the clock down to just six minutes remaining, ending with a McKenzie penalty which gave some breathing space.

Another superb piece of skill to take the kick off in the air from Folau saw the Waratahs charge onto attack once more, but a crucial turnover was made by Retallick, allowing the Chiefs to clear back up over halfway.

With time up on the clock, the Chiefs just had to kick to touch to seal the win but Damian McKenzie had other ideas, spotting a gap and slipping a tackle to break away and score a bonus point try with the final play of the match.

Gallagher Chiefs 39 (Toni Pulu 2, Damian McKenzie 2, Brodie Retallick, Nathan Harris tries; McKenzie 3 cons, pen) Waratahs 27 (Cam Clark, Curtis Rona, Kurtley Beale tries; Bernard Foley 3 cons, 2 pens) HT: 19-14.

The Gallagher Chiefs are back at home again next weekend to take on the Crusaders (Saturday 2 June, kick off 7.35pm), their final match before the June international break.

The University of Waikato Chiefs Cup and Trophy competitions have drawn to a close for another year after highly contested finals between determined Chiefs country high school talent.

Wesley College have finished victors of the Chiefs Cup, after a resolute 22-14 win over holders Rotorua Boys High School in the final.

Pukekohe High School took out the Chiefs Trophy, after beating Rose Hill College 20-14 in their final.

A massive thank you to all of our Chiefs region schools who took part in the competition. There were some thrilling matches played throughout Chiefs Country. 


Today for manaakitanga, we got into groups and ventured out into our community to spread kindness and carry on the great work from Pink Shirt Day Aotearoa last Friday.

We visited the passionate Tegan Way, a brave six-year old girl from Forest Lake Primary School who has been making a stand against bullying, helping to drive Pink Shirt Day at her school after writing a letter to her principal to organise it.

It was great to be able to visit Tegan and her class, and offer her and her classmates all tickets to our game against the Waratahs tomorrow evening! We were also able to deliver some specially packaged pink lamingtons to the teachers and staff.

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We also spent the morning visiting a bunch of randomly selected valued members with a Friday treat of lamingtons to thank them for their support and to surprise them.

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We were thrilled to be able to chat with our members and to be invited into their homes for a coffee.

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It was great seeing our members’ passion for the team – one member even showed us their membership cards which he’s been collecting since 1996 – now that’s dedication!

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Groups of us visited three of our kind sponsors, AON, Placemakers Clarence Street and Hamilton Radiology to drop off more Lamington’s to make sure the hardworking staff had something to look forward to for morning tea. We really enjoyed getting out to our sponsors and seeing the hard work they put in although Hamilton Radiology have unfortunately seen us this season a whole lot more than we would’ve liked.

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The underlying message we are trying to get through to our Chiefs Country community is spreading kindness and encouraging positive sideline behaviour across all codes at all levels. We cannot wait to play in front of a passionate crowd at FMG Stadium Waikato tomorrow evening, and we look forward to our fans leading the way when it comes to positive sideline interaction. Thanks for the support – click HERE to purchase tickets for tomorrow evening.

The Gallagher Chiefs are back at home this Saturday for a huge Investec Super Rugby clash against the Waratahs. The team is braced for the Sydney based side who have posed a significant attacking threat throughout the season and lead the Australian conference. The home side are back from their South African tour where they won a tough game in Cape Town against the Stormers, and narrowly lost against the Sharks in Durban.

Head Coach Colin Cooper said that the team are doing a lot of work and planning on how to nullify the Waratahs attack.

“The team have travelled back from South Africa well, and brought five points back, which we are pretty happy about. Now it’s about getting ready for a tough Waratahs match. They have really shown against New Zealand opposition what their attack can do, so we are doing a lot of work defensively to stop the Waratahs and their attack play.”

“Recovery is key. We felt there were some inaccuracies in our attack flow in our previous game and we will look to execute better this weekend.”

There are seven changes to the starting fifteen that took the field against the Sharks. In the forwards, All Blacks Nathan Harris and Brodie Retallick return to the number two and four jerseys respectively, while exciting flanker Mitchell Karpik gets a start at number seven. Veteran Liam Messam will wear the number eight jersey.

Damian McKenzie and Anton Lienert-Brown return to the backline after time at the All Blacks camp, and Toni Pulu starts at right wing. It’s a first chance this season to see the midfield pairing of Charlie Ngatai and Lienert-Brown in action together, which fans can get excited about.

Newest All Blacks recruits Karl Tu’inukuafe and Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi both feature in the 23, with Karl starting at loosehead and Te Toiroa on the bench. Cooper commented on their determination to take all opportunities offered this season.

“Karl and Te Toiroa are two guys that have put their hands up and have got opportunities through injuries and their form, and they’re now All Blacks. They’ve done really well.” 

The Chiefs Rugby Club are carrying on the great efforts from Pink Shirt Day Aotearoa by spreading kindness in our community this week and promoting positive sideline behaviour. It’s an ongoing campaign through Chiefs in the Community to encourage supportive sideline behaviour at all levels and in all codes. The Chiefs Rugby Club will be raising funds for Mental Health Foundation NZ by auctioning off uniquely designed Chiefs pink tees signed by the team. The key messages for this campaign are #ChiefsCheerBulliesBoo and #SpreadKindness.

The game kicks off at 7:35pm at FMG Stadium Waikato. Fans can enjoy a fantastic double header, with the University of Waikato Chiefs Cup final taking place as the Curtain Raiser which will kick off at 5:10pm between Rotorua Boys High School and Wesley College.

The Gallagher Chiefs team to play the Waratahs this Saturday is:


1. Karl Tu’inukuafe (10)

2. Nathan Harris (40)

3. Angus Ta’avao (11)

4. Brodie Retallick (94)

5. Michael Allardice (28)

6. Luke Jacobson (8)

7. Mitch Karpik (8)

8. Liam Messam (173)

9. Brad Weber (51)

10. Damian McKenzie (60)

11. Sean Wainui (9)

12. Charlie Ngatai (50) (Captain)

13. Anton Lienert-Brown (50)

14. Toni Pulu (28)

15. Solomon Alaimalo (20)

16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (5)

17. Sam Prattley (4)

18. Jeff Thwaites (8)

19. Jesse Parete (3)

20. Matt Matich (1)

21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (11)

22. Marty McKenzie (15)

23. Shaun Stevenson (27)

The Chiefs Rugby Club are proud to be launching their new Goal Line based Corporate Suites for 2019.

These purpose designed and equipped Goal Line Corporate Boxes allow 20 guests to enjoy an exclusive hosting experience unique to any stadium in Australasia in which to wow your clients while being associated with one of the most successful sporting organisations in New Zealand. Get ready to enjoy the closest and most unique perspective on a range of world class sporting and entertainment events with an up close and personal view over the lush playing surface of FMG Stadium Waikato. These Corporate Suites not only deliver a supreme hosting experience at all events at the Stadium but allow you the flexibility to have a unique meeting space outside of events available whenever you may need.

The Chiefs Rugby Club are hosting a morning tea at FMG Stadium on Wednesday the 30th of May at 10am to talk through how these Corporate Suites work as a hosting space and a sponsorship asset. To register for the event please click HERE


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Sam Cane
Full Name: Sam Cane
Team: Chiefs
Position:Loose forward
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
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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