Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue: Top rugby, shame about the crowds

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

The Chiefs aim to play rugby the way it is meant to be for those who like sport served sunny side up. So where are the crowds?

The Stormers were quickly in trouble at Hamilton. The Chiefs made more breaks in five minutes than the Crusaders managed in 80 against the same team.

Dave Rennie's super-fit champions have a smorgasbord of options, being stacked with speed and energy. They quickly fling the ball to overlaps. They back up. They sniff out opportunities anywhere. Considering they are two-time champs, the squad isn't really star studded. The sum is often more than the parts.

The Chiefs get their share of luck because fortune favours the brave and they are prepared to lose the ball to win the game. They even look to be having fun.

The Chiefs struck luck when TMO Ben Skeen awarded a crucial try. But Skeen gets my vote as man of the hour, for making quick decisions. Slow TMOs - hey NRL we're talking to you - kill the moment, kill the game, and don't necessarily get it right anyway.

The Stormers are stout, but opportunistic attack goes only so far. With a bit more faith in themselves, they could have had consecutive wins in New Zealand.

There were 14,000 spectators which isn't bad. But it isn't great. The Chiefs are the champs, and play a killer style. The place should be heaving. Empty seats is a sad trend in many NZ stadiums.

- NZ Herald

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Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue writes about a wide range of sports for the New Zealand Herald. He has covered numerous sporting events for the Herald including Rugby World Cups and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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