The Chiefs’ starting attitude fired off well on each halves at least with the forwards’ hard work in the build-up attack that saw them lead towards the break.
However, the defensive side of things via the discipline, not staying into their crease and a lack of fire from the backline, let them down.
And that’s how the Highlanders combined the whole line-up to work together.
It worked successfully every turn & dominate the attack via the channels in all areas.
Now, we unveil the Top 3 overall performers.
First up, it’s Aaron Smith.
The Highlanders attacking awareness with the support from his forwards’ pack helped create that fightback late in the 1st half.
When the Chiefs fall with the stalled finishing and conceded mistakes in the defense & discipline, the forwards urged the backline to deliver.
From there, it gave a chance after chance for Smith to unleash his feed alongside his pace.
Not only he got the Highlanders’ 2nd TRY himself, but he also got involved with the assist & walkie talkies his backline troops to complete the attack around him.
Both Jona Nareki and Patelesio Tomkinson listed to his word & finished off with unbelievable pace and physical power in the final third.
Second up, Liam Coltman.
When he came on with around 20 mins to go, he began to ease with the line-out and defensive worries.
Having ticked the first of the two in-tray issues that the Highlanders found in the 1st half, he then made the maul straight and build-up attack accurate.
Fortunately, that provided a catalyst for the backline to unpack on all areas.
His throw-in power & bulky physical shape made life easier for him & his forwards’ department to construct an attack before leaving the finishing techniques over to the backline.
And it made a fantastic difference for Coltman as one of the key players alongside Aaron Smith that left the Chiefs upset at the last minute.
At last, Lachlan Boshier.
Like the way, Boshier unpacks both the running and physical power at the start having grabbed a TRY himself.
It’s the build-up support play gave time for him to see what the opposition is struggling & from that capitalize that on that situation.
Also, the forwards support he formed in the 1st half & earlier in the last 40 helped out Brad Slater secure two tries.
The added muscle needed to get over the line via the successful line-out throws allowed the maul to stay straight and help Slater find the gap on the run home.
Boshier may have also ruined the opposition attack at times, which gave the Chiefs the chance to sort things out.
But ultimately, a lack of finishing in the attack combined with the continued ill-discipline let them down.
Congratulations to all three best performers involved in this afternoon’s clash at FMG Stadium in Waikato.
Now that the Highlanders get the week-long break, the Chiefs travel to Eden Park next Sunday at Eden Park.
The Hurricanes, on the other hand, go to Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch v the Crusaders on Saturday night.