In the 68th minute of this morning’s game in Hamilton, Bulls prop Conraad van Vuuren received a yellow card for a swinging arm directed at the head of a falling Damian McKenzie. The Chiefs were awarded another penalty 2 minutes later and elected for a scrum, forcing John Mitchell’s hand: starting tighthead Trevor Nyakane had to return to the field, and the away team’s head coach chose to sacrifice a midfielder – Burger Odendaal – rather than another member of the forward pack. This had important tactical consequences for the Bulls – they were now a man short in the backline when defending in set-piece situations – and the Chiefs exploited the decision expertly before the end of van Vuuren’s sin-binning to put themselves 6 points clear with 5 minutes to play.
Continue reading “Attack analysis: Chiefs vs. Bulls, 16 Mar”
The Chiefs broke away from the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth towards the end of the first half of last weekend’s Round 3 match, having made hard work of the opening half an hour. Their defence of the Kings’ driving maul, some uncharacteristic handling errors and the concession of soft penalties allowed the home side to keep in touch until Damian McKenzie touched down on 32 minutes. They added four second half tries to their three in the first, and Charlie Ngatai’s midfield break on first phase ball to open the scoring in the second period exemplified what the New Zealand franchise have tried to do in attack so far this Super Rugby season.
Continue reading “Try analysis: Chiefs vs. Southern Kings, 12 Mar”