2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa: Chiefs v Highlanders Round 6 Game Debrief

Initially, it went the Chiefs’ way for most of the opening 40.

The combination of forwards’ strength via the physical power and running made their life more comfortable thanks to the ball feeds from their backline.

That strategy worked with the big opening score from Lachlan Boshier.

It gave the backline some breathing space to follow the forwards’ guidance with the build-up attack and unpack those short balls and pace on the run home.

When Damian McKenzie saw that gap, he asked Anton Lienert-Brown to tick all of the above & finished the Chiefs’ 2nd TRY.

Beyond that, the line-outs and maul staying straight gave Brad Slater time to read where the gap is, which touched down well on the opposition danger zone.

Defensively, the Chiefs looked out of hand at times like the Highlanders, such as not staying in their crease, shoulder tackles, etc.

It gave the away side chances to get the job done, which turned out not bad when it comes to attacking.

Again, the forward powers’ patience in the build-up via exposing the Chiefs’ defensive mistakes converted flowed well with the finishing thanks to Marino Mikaele Tutu.

HALF-TIME: Chiefs 24-7 Highlanders

The Chiefs’ starting attitude has remained unchanged with another Brad Slater big score via the successful build-up play and opening the vast areas the Highlanders couldn’t block.

But their momentum in the finishing side couldn’t match the Highlanders’ attacking set up; instead, it’s the fumbles, and weak maul defense ultimately hurt them & the forwards in the last minute.

How did the Highlanders fight back?

They sorted out with the call from his forwards to push past the opposition half, which is a good start.

It prepared so well for the backline like Aaron Smith to use his physical awareness with the running and passing to get the job done, having grabbed a TRY himself.

Also, he read the space well where the Chiefs struggled to block & feeds his backline troops through the channels with two late tries in the end from Jona Nareki & Patelesio Tomkinson.

When Mitch Hunt kicked the winning conversion between the sticks, that’s how you see an entertaining masterclass with the backline and forwards working together.

By unpacking all of the techniques above, it gave their finishing more time to successfully dismantle the opposition defence as the Highlanders win at FMG Stadium by two points.

FULL-TIME: Chiefs 31-33 Highlanders

Published by Sports Benches

Matthew Nicholas, the founder/blogger/vlogger on Sports Benches, is an aspiring cricket player & passionate sports fanatic who lives in Sydney, Australia.

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