Chiefs dealing with uncertainty surrounding Rebels clash

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Which country the game will be played in, will depend on whether there are any changes made to the suspension. If it is extended, the side will stay in Australia.

 

Assistant coach David Hill said the uncertainty was an extra factor teams were coping with this season. They needed to be adaptable and flexible.

 

For the moment, they fly from Townsville to Sydney on Wednesday, and, if able to return to Hamilton, they will travel on Saturday. If not, they will stay in Sydney and play at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.

 

Hill said the players were getting used to situation changes.

 

"We get messages all the time, we just wait and see, just be at the ready. Once we get told to pack our bags, we'll be into it.

 

"We've had enough meetings already, even last year as well. When players walk in, they get the sense that something's going to change. They just crack on with it," he said.

 

“We've got a good crew of leaders here, experienced guys, a great management team, and the people back home at HQ are looking after us.”

David Hill

 

It was about being prepared to roll with the punches that Covid might throw.

 

There was a chance their planned one-week trip to Australia to play the Reds might now turn into a three-week tour.

 

 

However, in a perfect world, the preference would be to return to New Zealand to play the Rebels, giving the side their last home game of the season. They would then return to Sydney to play the Waratahs in their final game.

 

The news of a three-week suspension for first five-eighths and All Black Damian McKenzie was not a surprise. The dangerous tackle ruling against him had been a combination of poor technique and timing, Hill said.

 

"He's pretty gutted with what went down, but the team made it pretty clear that he wasn't to say sorry [to them], or anything like that.

 

"He was pretty upset after the game. He's slowly coming round," he said.

 

Hill said they were comfortable with either Bryn Gatland or Kaleb Trask starting at first five-eighths, in place of McKenzie, who will return to New Zealand on Wednesday.

 

Utility forward Mitchell Brown said while the prospect of a final was looking beyond them, the players still had their pride to play for and they had two games to show that before the season ended.

 

Having to cover the locking role from his usual loose forward position, Brown said it was a job that was a little easier against Australian teams, who were of similar size and physicality to New Zealand teams, when compared to the bigger and more demanding African sides.

 

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