Chiefs

Chiefs playmakers challenged to step up with Damian McKenzie absent

The All Blacks playmaker has been the spark lighting up the Chiefs' attack, but he will spend the first half of next year in Japanese rugby with Tokyo Sungoliath.

The 26-year-old is almost irreplaceable after returning to top form last season as the Chiefs made the Super Rugby Aotearoa final in Clayton McMillan's first year as coach.

Death of Sean Wainui investigated as suspected suicide

The 25-year-old rugby player was found dead in Bay of Plenty last Monday.

Coroner Louella Dunn has made interim suppression orders around the circumstances of his death.

Wainui joined the Chiefs in 2018 and played 44 games for the Hamilton-based Super Rugby franchise, having previously played for the Crusaders.

He was first picked for the Māori All Blacks in 2015 and made 10 appearances for them.

Earlier this year, Wainui became the first player in Super Rugby history to score five tries in one game.

Vanuatu chiefs welcome presidential pardon

The chiefs from Port Olry in Santo, Lounelapen (Tanna) and Melsisi (Pentecost) said their people are happy with the decision taken by President, Tallis Obed Moses, to relieve the former PM’s of their convictions, despite political reactions from some political leaders.

Chief Eloi Taris, Chief Georges Nakat and Chief Joseph Viretamarin said the President had only performed his constitutional role to pardon them and nothing else, reports the Vanuatu Daily Post.

Former Prime Ministers Serge Vohor, Joe Natuman and Charlot Salwai were pardoned by the President last week.

Chiefs confirm departure of All Blacks fullback Damian McKenzie

  McKenzie, whose contract with New Zealand Rugby is due to finish at the end of the year, played 95 times for the Chiefs and is reportedly set for a lucrative move to Japan.

"All I know is Damian is not going to be with us, at the moment that's all I can sort of comment on," the Chiefs chief executive Michael Collins told Stuff.

"I think Damian McKenzie's probably irreplaceable. He's one of the Chiefs' favourite sons, done a great job for us over many years."

The Chiefs on Tuesday welcomed the arrival of Māori All Blacks first-five Josh Ioane from the Highlanders.

Josh Ioane signs for Chiefs after leaving Highlanders early

Ioane, of Te Rārawa, was granted an early release from the Highlanders with a year remaining on his contract.

He's signed a one year deal with the Chiefs for the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific campaign.

The 26-year-old, who holds one All Blacks Test cap to his name, said he is excited to link up with the Chiefs.

"I've loved my time with the Highlanders and am grateful for everything they've done for me" said Ioane.

Chiefs beat Rebels, hopes for finals fade

The win moves the Chiefs onto 14 points from their first four matches but, after missing out on a bonus point, their already slim hopes of a place in the final on 16 June diminished further.

Leichhardt Oval hosted the game after Covid-19 restrictions in Melbourne led to uncertainty over travel between Victoria and New Zealand which saw organisers shift the game from Hamilton to Sydney.

Reds capitalise on Chiefs' ill-discipline

New Zealand teams had won all of the first 13 contests in the competition, a streak continued on Saturday with third straight wins over Australian opposition for the Crusaders and Blues.

A rout looked on the cards when the Super Rugby AU champion Reds raced out to a 33-3 halftime lead after Chiefs playmaker Damian McKenzie had been dismissed for a dangerous tackle in the 22nd minute.

NZ teams go unbeaten in round one of Super Rugby trans-Tasman

Domingo Miotti missed a chance to see the Western Force to a home win over the Chiefs in Perth as they went down 20-19 while Noah Lolesio missed a similar last-gasp chance to earn the ACT Brumbies a draw with the Crusaders in Christchurch, handing the New Zealanders a 31-29 win.

The Blues, meanwhile, pulverised the Melbourne Rebels 50-3.

The trio of New Zealand wins added to Friday's success for the Highlanders, who outmuscled Australian champions Queensland Reds, and the Hurricanes, who beat the New South Wales Waratahs.

McKenzie takes over at No 10 as Chiefs prepare for first Western Force encounter in over four years

Aidan Ross, Lachlan Boshier, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown, Shaun Stevenson and Liam Messam were on hand for the narrow 16-7 win and will all feature this weekend.

Right wing Stevenson will be the only one of the sextet to wear the same jersey as he did on that evening, however.

Prop Ross and openside flanker Boshier were both on the bench in the victory while Lienert-Brown has shifted out one spot from second five to outside centre.

Super Rugby Aotearoa: Crusaders claim 12th title with win over Chiefs

The hosts secured a 12th Super Rugby title, a second in the domestic edition and the fifth in a row.

Winger Sevu Reece and fullback Will Jordan scored tries in the first 16 minutes but thereafter the Crusaders -- reduced to 13 men in the second half with two men in the sin bin -- had to rely on the boot of Richie Mo'unga to keep the Chiefs at bay.

The first five kicked a conversion, three penalties and a drop goal and, just as importantly, banged the ball into the corners to keep the Chiefs in their own half late in the game.