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Long injury list for Chiefs

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Sportal.co.nz     26 Feb 2012     Getty Images

Prop Toby Smith has a calf muscle injury that will keep him out for a lengthy period of time, as will fellow prop Ben Afeaki who broke his forearm.

Wing Lima Masaga strained his knee and it was still not clear just how bad that was. Halfback Brendon Leonard tore a hamstring.

"The props [injuries] are a massive concern and it will test our depth a bit," he said.

But Rennie said the injuries apart, the side had been out-muscled by the Highlanders in the collision area.

"We had been looking to our big fellows in the midfield to carry the ball up but we played a fair bit of footie at the wrong end of the field."

Towards the end of the game, options to kick for goal were declined with penalties being kicked to the corner. However, in each instance the Highlanders were able to disrupt the Chiefs' possession.

Rennie admitted the choice had come from the coach's box, and not from the players. They had felt there was still time to kick a penalty later, and they were looking to drive over the line from the lineouts. However, they had been out-muscled in the resulting play.

The talk at halftime, when leading, 16-9 had been to maintain cool heads but the side needed to get better at that.

The breakdown had been a bit of a mess and the Highlanders had been more physical than the Chiefs.

"Their ball carriers stayed on their feet long and we learned a bit of a lesson there tonight," he said.