Clarke fit for S15 final

2012-08-02 08:19

Hamilton - Chiefs rugby captain Craig Clarke has passed a late fitness test on a knee injury, enabling coach Dave Rennie to name an unchanged lineup for Saturday's Super Rugby final against the Durban-based Sharks.

Clarke was injured as the Chiefs beat the Crusaders 20-17 in last weekend's semifinal to reach the final for only the second time. The giant lock convinced the Chiefs' medical staff on Thursday that he was fit to start in the sold-out final.

Rennie retained the forward pack that stared down the seven-time champion Crusaders and kept a backline which includes Sonny Bill Williams, who will play his last Super Rugby match before heading to Japan.

Prop Sona Taumalolo has been retained and, after scoring his ninth try of the season in last weekend's semifinal to become the leading New Zealand tryscorer in the tournament.

Young tighthead prop Ben Tameifuna has also been retained after a strong match against the Crusaders, while Samoa World Cup captain Mahonri Schwalger remains at hooker.

Tanerau Latimer has been confirmed on the open-side flank, keeping his young All Blacks understudy Sam Cane among the reserves.

Four current or former All Blacks have been named on the reserves bench: hooker Hika Elliot, Cane, scrumhalf Brendon Leonard and winger Lelia Masaga.

Flyhalf Aaron Cruden will oppose his young Springboks counterpart Patrick Lambie after outplaying his All Blacks' teammate Dan Carter last weekend.

Lambie has overcome an injury and was expected to be named in the Sharks' lineup.


Chiefs: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Andrew Horrell, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Kane Thompson, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (captain), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Sona Taumalolo

Substitutes: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Jackson Willison, 22 Lelia Masaga

Sharks: 15 Patrick Lambie, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak,9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis,1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Jacques Botes, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Meyer Bosman
22 Riaan Viljoen


  • cape.maori - 2012-08-02 08:29

    Excellent news for the Chiefs! Clarke was missed in the previous outing against the Saders (not the semi's) and the line outs were a mess! Will be a spectacle of pen and expansive running running. Cannot see a classic final of defense, defense and defense aka stormers between these two sides!

      cape.maori - 2012-08-02 09:49

      @Mike - you are really trying to be funny, but instead I find your posts annoying, to say the least! Do me one favour - please stop breathing!

      david.s.duncan.1 - 2012-08-02 10:10

      Mike please go for a CT scan. I don't know if it's an attempt to be funny or if you are delusional. Either way, call for an ambulance please

      hans.himmler.7 - 2012-08-02 10:13

      Isak, you and your comments have been a great spectacle as well, jy wen 'n pakkie nik naks!!!!

      harold.lloyd.520 - 2012-08-02 11:15

      It's a pity the new IRB concussion rules weren't in effect when Mike played rugby.

      mike.barmby - 2012-08-02 14:41

      What has happened to my comment? Cape Maori you are most annoying of all. You support Australia but you come from the Cape. I find that very nasty

      skinfaxi.mordor - 2012-08-02 16:29

      Every time I meet a Cape Based All Black Supporter I ask “If your son was chosen to play rugby for the Bokke would you still support the All Blacks against your own son?” They always say no. From this I conclude that the Cape Based All Black Supporters kids can’t play decent rugby.

      skinfaxi.mordor - 2012-08-02 17:00

      What you are saying that you’d be supporting your son by hoping that the team he is playing in loses? So not only are you a traitor to your own country, you have the most twisted and confused logic imaginable and you’re a lousey parent. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

  • willy.vanniekerk.9 - 2012-08-02 08:40

    All i can say is good luck. Lets hope the Sharks can prove all wrong. My superbru pick however will be with the Chiefs.

      david.s.duncan.1 - 2012-08-02 09:36

      I've picked the Sharks by 3 and have R100 on the Sharks. I have faith in the guys

      willy.vanniekerk.9 - 2012-08-02 10:28

      Either way i win.... From a South African perspective and from a Superbru perspective. It will be a great rugby spectacle, especially with the Toothless wonders from the Cape absent.

      mike.barmby - 2012-08-02 14:06

      As a Stormers supporter and avid rugby watcher I think Rugby will be the real winner

  • danny.cohen.315 - 2012-08-02 08:58

    Klompie suur-gatte hier..........damn

      blou.johnny - 2012-08-02 09:38

      ...Go Sharks..! .....Go Sharks..! ... Go JP.....!

  • skinfaxi.mordor - 2012-08-02 09:14

    Robbie Robinson the unsung dangerman in this team. Kerr-Barlow the key to the Chiefs counterattack. Taumalolo is big but not fit enough to be effective against a strong forward pack. Expect him to be subbed early and then brought back when his replacement gets "injured".

      taetjo.mathabatha - 2012-08-02 10:02

      You can say that again. Robbie Robinson... Dangerous!!!

  • vernon.annandale.7 - 2012-08-02 09:27

    Win or loose,SHARKS 4 life!

  • hans.himmler.7 - 2012-08-02 09:51

    Lambie on Fullback please Plum, The Frenchman doing well at Flyhalf.

      hans.himmler.7 - 2012-08-02 10:12

      Good morning Isak!!! Why don't you have a nice cup of shut the fk up!!!

      david.s.duncan.1 - 2012-08-02 10:14

      Isak, if you're still bitter about last week then go troll a Kiwi site. You lost that game, man up!! I used to think the Bulls fans were the pits but I've been proven wrong a few times by their generally gracious manner after defeat on this site. The Stormer/WP fans on the other hand have been whiny little bitches. SHARKS GROETE!!

      hans.himmler.7 - 2012-08-02 10:17

      Well said David. Win or loose on Saturday, The Black and White is CHAMPION. BLACK . WHITE . DYNAMITE

      mike.barmby - 2012-08-02 14:09

      As a Stormers supporter and avid rugby watcher, I find these comments not even remotely funny and the name calling is rather immature!

      david.s.duncan.1 - 2012-08-02 15:29

      Yes Mike we get it already, you're a "Stormers supporter and avid rugby watcher"

      mike.barmby - 2012-08-02 17:35

      As a former Stormer supporter and avid rugby watcher I respectfully think you are being nasty to me

      hans.himmler.7 - 2012-08-03 16:08

      David - LoL ! Mike, there is a love hate relationship here, don't take it seriously.

  • sibongile.makopi - 2012-08-02 14:08

    All the best for amaShaka Shaka

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