Chiefs win Brisbane Tens for Lauaki

With Sione Lauaki in their hearts the Chiefs have won the Brisbane Tens, beating Canterbury 12-5 in the final.

After receiving the news this morning that Lauaki, the former Chief and All Black, had passed away at the age of 35, the Chiefs swept all before them in honour of his memory.

Captain Liam Messam was due to fly home after the quarterfinal to support friends and family of Lauaki, but decided the best way to pay tribute was to lead their team to victory.

Despite losing the opening match of the tournament on Saturday to the Melbourne Rebels , the Chiefs thrashed the Panasonic Wild Knights 33-5 on Sunday before beating the Queensland Reds 12-10 in the quarterfinals.

The Bulls provided little resistance to the emotionally charged Chiefs in the semifinals, going down 26-14 and clearing the way for an all New Zealand final with the Crusaders.

Shaun Stevenson was one of the stands out players for the Chiefs on day two, scoring a brilliant individual try in the semifinal and setting up the match winning try in the final.

The Crusaders defeated the Hurricanes 17-7 in the other semifinal, before yielding to the Chiefs in the title match.

The Blues were the only New Zealand team not to reach the Brisbane quarterfinals in which the Highlanders were beaten by the Hurricanes 7-5.


Photo: Photosport  Tim Nanai-Williams and Liam Messam look to the heavens in tribute to Sione Lauaki.