Chiefs chase Reds revenge in Super Rugby quarterfinals

rugby08 June 2023 06:02| © AFP
Brodie Retallick © Getty Images

The Chiefs have a score to settle against the Reds in the Super Rugby Pacific quarterfinals this weekend when the New Zealanders look to avenge their only defeat this campaign.

The Reds denied the Chiefs a 100 per cent record with a 25-22 win last month, but still the Chiefs finished the regular season 11 points clear in the table.

With a semifinal berth now at stake, the New Zealand team want payback in front of their own fans in Hamilton on Saturday.

"We're keen to rip in and we know it's a bit of a redemption game after our only loss," Chiefs fullback Shaun Stevenson told local media this week.

"We're keen to right a few wrongs."

All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick, who will join Japanese team Kobe Steelers in 2024, wants to sign off with another Super Rugby title, 10 years after their last.

The 32-year-old sat out last month's loss to the Reds in New Plymouth and said another defeat was unthinkable.

In the first quarterfinal, the Blues host the New South Wales Waratahs on Friday with All Blacks star Beauden Barrett back at outside half after needing 20 stitches in an ankle wound.

Barrett told TVNZ that the cut, which he suffered three weeks ago in a 45-26 away win over the Reds, "did everything but nick" his Achilles tendon.

He had a lucky escape because a damaged Achilles could have been the end of his chances of playing at the Rugby World Cup later this year.

As it is, the Blues' playmaker is fresh after his spell on the sidelines.

"We're obviously pumped to be at home in potentially our last game at Eden Park for the season," Barrett said.

"The Waratahs can be a dangerous side if we allow them to be, but we've got a plan in place to nullify the opportunities they're going to get."

The Fijian Drua, who made the quarterfinals for the first time in only their second Super Rugby campaign, face a tough tie at defending champions the Crusaders on Saturday.

The hosts are bidding for a seventh straight title, before head coach Scott Robertson leaves to take over at the All Blacks.

The Crusaders are missing experienced lock Sam Whitelock, who is sidelined by an Achilles tendon injury.

The Hurricanes visit the Brumbies in Saturday night's last quarterfinal, which is effectively a homecoming for All Blacks prop Tyrel Lomax.

He will make his 50th appearance for the Hurricanes in the same city where his father, John Lomax, played rugby league for the Canberra Raiders in the 1990s.

"I was born in Canberra and dad played there so to be able to bring up 50 games for the Hurricanes over there will be special for my family and me," said Lomax.