Kahui thrilled to come through Chiefs comeback

Getty Images

James Mortimer     24 Mar 2013     Getty Images

Kahui, returning from a shoulder injury and operation - his fourth in six years - played his first senior game of rugby in more than ten months.

Putting some significant size in a relatively lightweight Chiefs backline, Kahui may have looked tentative with one or two touches, but he relished taking the ball into contact, often the best sign that a player's confidence regarding their injury is high.

Speaking to Fairfax Media after the match, Kahui was just happy to be playing rugby again.

"It is really good to be back, it's a long time since I last played footy, 10 months, so there was a bit of apprehension about the game, a bit of nervousness," Kahui said.

"But to get through half an hour of footy and get some touches felt good."

Shoulder injuries are always so tricky to come back from, with the joint prone to such high impact events, such as running the ball into heavy traffic or stopping a 100kg plus ball carrier, and Kahui was happy with how he felt during the fast paced contest.

"I felt like I did that (tested his shoulder) and I felt strong in the contact areas, so there are a lot of positives to take out of those 30 minutes," he said.

"I made a few tackles, I was still a bit nervous on a couple."

"From here I'll keep growing and getting better. Having a full week of contact leading up to the game was really good and now that I've had some clean outs and tackles I'll feel more comfortable from here."

The Chiefs play the Blues in Round Seven, and Kahui said he would be happy to start if needed.

"If I was asked to start I'd happily do so and if it was off the bench I wouldn't be bothered either way," he said.

"There is still a lot to do to earn that starting jersey, Tim has been playing well and guys like Charlie Ngatai have been doing the job as well, so it's no given that I'm going to start now that I'm healthy, I'm going to have to work my way back in.