Super Rugby

Rennie angrily denies cheating claims

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Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has angrily denied that his Super Rugby team cheated in the closing minutes of their 27-28 victory over the Hurricanes.

The Chiefs are Super Rugby’s leading team but in their victory over the Hurricanes they were second best in the scrums before they went to being uncontested scrums.

Chiefs tighthead prop Siate Tokolahi was injured near the end of the match and was replaced. As there was no specialist replacement left on the bench scrums became uncontested but the Chiefs were reduced to 14 players.

Hurricanes skipper Dane Coles remarked to referee Craig Joubert at the time that it was “an amazing coincidence” the injury came when the home side’s scrum was on top.

Then a New Zealand radio station posted a video on Facebook showing Tokolahi apparently running freely from a scrum and a lineout with no contact from any other player before going down injured.

Rennie, who has been touted as a possible future All Blacks coach, said Tokolahi was genuinely injured and denied his departure was a tactical move.

“I’m bloody angry because they’re challenging our integrity,” he told Radio Sport.

“We’ve got two injured tighthead props and that forced us to go down to 14 players… it happens, you don’t want it to happen but you have to deal with it.”

Under the rules of rugby, if a member of the tight five has to leave the field and a properly trained replacement is not available, then scrums are not contested as a safety measure.

“It’s such a rarity, I’ve had 78 games in charge of the Chiefs and it’s the first time we’ve gone to golden oldie (uncontested) scrums,” he said.

Tokolahi has been named on the bench for Friday’s match against the Sharks but Rennie said that should not cast doubt on the seriousness of the injury he suffered against the Hurricanes.

“A lot of guys go off injured and front up the next week,” he said.

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