Rugby Union 4 years ago

Rebel Rivals: Chiefs

  • Rebel Rivals: Chiefs

The Rebels will come up against the champions of the last two years in Super Rugby this Saturday, the Chiefs. It's another tough task for Melbourne; here is the breakdown of their opposition.

Form:
As expected by the reigning champions, the Chiefs got their season off to a great start courtesy of an eight point win against the Crusaders in round 2, a two point win against the Highlanders in round 3, and a 16-point win in round 4 against the Stormers where they scored five tries.

The following week in round 6 was a shock to all, going down by three points to the Western Force, not even able to score a try in this match.

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The last two weeks, the Chiefs have recorded two draws in a row -- a statistics you'd be hard-pressed to find in the record books. The first draw against the Bulls was a try-fest, but it was a heroic result in the end for the Chiefs to score 3 tries in the final 10 minutes of the game to level it up and secure a bonus point.

Last weekend was a similar story against the Cheetahs. Six tries scored by the Chiefs, but it was the Nanai-Williams try in the 80th minute, followed by the conversion by Aaron Cruden at fulltime that secured the come-from-behind draw.

Statistics:
The Chiefs, despite not getting favourable result in the last three weeks, are a monster when it comes to possession. They accumulate, on average, upwards of 200 more metres than their opponents -- or in the case of round 7 against the Bulls, nearly 530 metres more. On top of this, they have amassed the second most total metres so far this season with 3284.

They are also second in overall tries scored this season with 21, equal to the Hurricanes and one try behind the Brumbies in first. They are the best offloading team with 92, but are the worst team at the lineout with only a 75.6% success rate.

Who to watch:
Tim Nanai-Williams is the most dangerous player in the backline for the Chiefs, and has been for several years. Three tries for him this season, he has played a variety of positions from wing to centre, and even the bench, in the first six games. He's also made the most runs for the Chiefs with 63, including 6 clean breaks.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow has been one of the better scrumhalves in New Zealand for a period of time, and will one to look out for, but unfortunately his partner in the halves and star flyhalf Aaron Cruden will miss with a broken thumb, and is set to be out for six to eight weeks.

Follow @JordanKounelis on Twitter for his views on the world.

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