Super Rugby Final preview: Chiefs v Brumbies
Last Updated: 03/08/13 10:24am
On Saturday the Chiefs' quest to become only the fourth side in Super Rugby history to retain their crown comes to a head when they host the Brumbies in Hamilton.
Super Rugby Live
You can see all the action from the Waikato Stadium as the Chiefs and Brumbies battle for the Super Rugby title from 8am (BST) on Sky Sports 1.
The nature of the Super Rugby draw has kept the teams apart thus far, meaning the Waikato showdown will be their first meeting of the 2013 campaign, with the defending champions avoiding fixtures against both the Australian and South African conference winners.
Despite the tournament's fixture compilation, the Chiefs have scored 458 points and 50 tries, more than any other side in the regular season.
While the hosts top the majority of statistics, the Brumbies do hold a superior penalty conversion rate, which could prove vital in the final. Furthermore, victory for the Canberra-based franchise would create history, making them the first side to win the competition having faced every team since the conference system was introduced in 2011.
After clinching top spot in the Super Rugby conference, the Chiefs went on to beat compatriots the Crusaders in last weekend's semi-final to ensure the grand final was contested on home soil. Meanwhile the Brumbies cross the Indian Ocean for a second time in as many weeks following their three-point victory over the Bulls in Pretoria last time out.
Both coaches have placed faith in the men who reached the final with Dave Rennie and Jake White naming unchanged starting line-ups.
The Chiefs are however left sweating on the fitness of winger Lelia Masaga who sustained an ankle injury after scoring during his side's narrow semi-final victory.
Robbie Robinson has been listed as cover should the 26-year-old fail a late fitness test but coach Rennie remains confident Masaga will take to field.
Meanwhile Brumbies coach Jake White heads into the final with a fully fit squad meaning Wallabies Jesse Mogg, Christian Leali'ifano, Ben Mowen and George Smith all feature from the start.
The teams have met six times since 2007 with honours even, while the Brumbies have not won at the Waikato Stadium in their previous two attempts.
Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga/Robbie Robinson, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Matt Vant Leven, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (capt), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Bundee Aki, 22 Robbie Robinson/Patrick Osborne.
Brumbies:15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Clyde Rathbone, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (capt), 7 George Smith, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Fotu Auelua, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Andrew Smith, 22 Joe Tomane.
What they said...
Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie
"There has been an enormous amount of hard work to get us into this position and we are excited to be playing in front of the people who mean the most to us."
Brumbies head coach Jake White
"They are the Champions, they have been here before and are playing at home so for our guys to beat the Chiefs will take a huge effort.
"Our players have worked hard to get to this Final and I can assure you they are not thinking of leaving here without another Brumbies championship."
Fri 22nd May - Overall Group
Chiefs34 - 20Bulls
Reds14 - 21Sharks
Sat 23rd May - Overall Group
Blues5 - 29Hurricanes
Waratahs32 - 22Crusaders
Western Force3 - 23Highlanders
Cheetahs17 - 40Lions
Stormers31 - 15Melbourne Rebels
Fri 29th May - Overall Group
Crusaders0 - 0Hurricanes
Brumbies0 - 0Bulls
Sharks0 - 0Melbourne Rebels
Sat 30th May - Overall Group
Highlanders0 - 0Chiefs
Western Force0 - 0Reds
Stormers0 - 0Cheetahs
Lions0 - 0Waratahs
Fri 5th Jun - Overall Group
Hurricanes0 - 0Highlanders
Western Force0 - 0Brumbies
Sat 6th Jun - Overall Group
Melbourne Rebels0 - 0Bulls
Blues0 - 0Crusaders
Reds0 - 0Chiefs
Cheetahs0 - 0Waratahs
Stormers0 - 0Lions
Fri 12th Jun - Overall Group
Blues0 - 0Highlanders
Melbourne Rebels0 - 0Western Force
Sat 13th Jun - Overall Group
Brumbies0 - 0Crusaders
Chiefs0 - 0Hurricanes
Waratahs0 - 0Reds
Bulls0 - 0Cheetahs
Sharks0 - 0Stormers
Super Rugby 2013 final
Australian veteran George Smith bid a fond farewell to Super Rugby on Saturday with no regrets despite losing the final.
Sean Fitzpatrick called the Chiefs one of Super Rugby's best-ever sides after they conquered the Brumbies.
After a fiercely contested Super Rugby final, both sides reflect on the chess-like tactical battle which took place.