Lowe pays price for Chiefs failings

Date published: March 26 2015

Despite a blinding start to the season, Chiefs back James Lowe is ultimately the fall guy for Saturday's game after a low try return. 

The Chiefs are back in New Zealand after a two-game tour of South Africa which ended with a win over the Stormers and a loss to the Sharks.

The 2012 and 2013 champions managed three tries across those two games, although conditions in Durban were especially poor.

However following that low total the Chiefs coaches have opted for a change, bringing in Gloucester-bound Tom Marshall for Lowe on the left wing as Sonny Bill Williams and potentially Charlie Ngatai also return in midfield.

Chiefs assistant coach Andrew Strawbridge outlined the reasoning for leaving Lowe out against the Cheetahs, with the 22-year-old not in the matchday 23.

"It's a case of wanting to have a look at somebody else," Strawbridge told the NZ Herald.

"I suppose [Lowe] has opened the door a little bit and someone else is getting an opportunity.

"Against the Highlanders and against the Sharks, we had a lot of line breaks but we didn't convert. We had a lot of opportunities with our counter-play but we weren't making passes.

"That isn't down to James but he's part of that back unit. We're looking to improve our game in those areas, so we're giving someone else an opportunity to do it."