Chris Rattue

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

First Take: Chiefs deserve better support

ames Lowe of the Chiefs is tackled by Jacobus Petrus Van Wyk of the Stormers during the round five Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and the Stormers. Photo / Getty Images.
ames Lowe of the Chiefs is tackled by Jacobus Petrus Van Wyk of the Stormers during the round five Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and the Stormers. Photo / Getty Images.

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. They are alert. 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. 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 only goes 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. An excess of empty seats is a sad trend in many New Zealand sports stadiums.

- NZ Herald

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