Natalie Akoorie

Natalie Akoorie is a reporter at the NZ Herald based in Hamilton.

Rugby: Chiefs' coach bolts the door

Measures to prevent copycat finals burglary let Rennie concentrate on the big game.

The Brumbies will be tough opponents for the Chiefs. Photo / Christine Cornege
The Brumbies will be tough opponents for the Chiefs. Photo / Christine Cornege

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has beefed up security at his home so he can concentrate on the big game this Saturday.

Last year, his house was burgled during the Super 15 rugby final.

Rennie's jubilation at the Chiefs' championship win was dampened that night when he and his wife Stephanie found their Huntington home had been broken into.

Now the coach, whose team faces Australia's Brumbies at Waikato Stadium this weekend, has taken steps to prevent a repeat performance.

The company that monitors Rennie's alarm, which he had installed after burglars made off with a safe and a laptop, will keep close tabs on the house on Saturday night.

"They sent guys around last week during the semi and they'll do it again during the final. It's really good of them, they've been fantastic."

During the home semifinal in which the Chiefs beat the Crusaders, security guards visited the house three times.

Last year thieves used a crowbar to break in and take the safe, which contained a collection of jewellery belonging to Mrs Rennie as well as foreign currency and their son's university graduation certificate.

Former Chiefs midfielder Sonny Bill Williams' home at the time, also in Huntington, was burgled a couple of months earlier during a Chiefs game which Rennie called "a hell of a coincidence".

He agreed knowing Watchdog Security was looking out for his house this time would put his mind at ease so he could concentrate on the game.

Rennie was upbeat at the Chiefs' open training yesterday, although he admitted the Brumbies were a smart team who would be tough to beat.

"They want to play territory but they're pretty lethal when they get down your end of the field ... they've got a lot of firepower in among that back group so there's plenty of challenges there."

His biggest injury concern was for Lelia Masaga who was "50-50" for the weekend after hurting his ankle against the Crusaders.

The winger and team prankster did not seem troubled, riding a bike through media interviews after the training.

Outgoing co-captain Craig Clarke tweaked his neck in the semifinal but was still in contention for the final, his last game for the Chiefs before he takes up a contract in Ireland.

Clarke said a hometown final was always an advantage, and he hoped as many loyal fans as possible would get tickets when they go on sale today.

- NZ Herald

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