First of all, take a bow to versatile back Damian McKenzie (No.10 tonight) who was not only was excellent with his kicking game & attacking creativity as always; but he too has also set another record as the fourth NZer to reach 1000 points in the history of Super Rugby. He just never stops generating these big scores and extra conversion points while designing the Chiefs’ passage of play with some pace & space to get past the Highlanders through the channels. It goes to show how extraordinary he is so far this year as Damian is here to stay for another two years, with winning a Super Rugby championship a huge golden goal to tick off come Finals time early next month. If he can do that, then he will no doubt want to their main No.10 for the All Blacks in a bid to regain the World Cup later this year.
Gotta say that Daniel Rona has shown some magic on the Chiefs outside midfield at No.13 tonight. Love how he assisted Shaun Stevenson with a brilliant little kick where the Chiefs overtook the Highlanders for the first time halfway through the opening 40. Then he always backs up their attacking play going forward while scoring back-to-back tries in the 2nd half that sums such a brilliant night by the 23-year old. Daniel has oozes of talent, physicality & pace to show the world as to why he wants to take Super Rugby by Storm for himself & the Chiefs.
And Shannon Frizell has been excellent on the blindside back row at No.6 for the Highlanders tonight based on his brilliant physicality against the Chiefs defense which was tested really well. You just couldn’t stop such a huge player who has the tall reach & vast expertise every time he unpacks with the ball, so the Highlanders know that they’re trying to build some attacking momentum. It helped his side score the opening TRY v the Chiefs including some fightback later on where he scored one of the late tries himself. Sadly, a lack of executions has isolated their defense & ill-discipline mightily where they were brutally beaten at the hands of the runaway leaders.