Chiefs can become an even more ‘potent force’

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Coach Clayton McMillan was delighted in his side's 26-25 win over the Crusaders on Saturday, but both he and captain and halfback Brad Weber, looked at their lack of reward for their competition leading line break-leading as cause for continuing attention in the final weeks of the competition.


Getting that right would make them an even more potent force, they said.


McMillan put the side's run of success down to character, especially having had their backs to the wall during the early part of the season.


"None of our wins have been comprehensive, or pretty. We've just had to guts, scrap and fight for every inch. We've got better, our game has got better, but everyone else's has as well.


"I'm stoked for the boys, they've worked hard for this, and our job's not done," he said.


McMillan appreciated the support they had drawn from their crowd and he wanted even more support next weekend when they host the Hurricanes. He was sure that interest had grown over the way the side had shown how much they were putting into their effort to improve.



"I've always been involved with teams that don't have a lot, but I'd like to think, have a really good culture, care for one another, and have a real fighting spirit.


"And when you get those things right when you need to look your mate in the eye and ask for a little bit more, he's more likely to give it, if you've created the right stuff off the field.


"If you don't put the time and effort into trying to get that, then you run the risk of not being able to jump out of the trenches together when the big moments come.


"And I think this team is doing that really well. Right from day one we've done that," he said.


The team was a tight group.


"Even when people weren't backing us, and they were consumed with losing records, we weren't. And we're not consumed with winning ones either. We'll just keep doing our job, and we'll get what we earn," he said.


Weber backed McMillan in acknowledging the contribution the bench has made in recent weeks and there was a good feeling resulting from the achievements of the side.

Weber said the team always felt it had the ability, but it was a case of blocking the 'outside noise', of which there was plenty and sticking to their processes.


"The belief is there, the character is there. The best thing now for us is that our destiny is in our hands," he said.


Weber said Damian McKenzie, who started at first five-eighths on Saturday, and who landed his second injury-time penalty goal to secure a win, had been outstanding this year.


Having had an injury that kept him out for a year, there were expectations of a quick return to his best, but it took another year for players to feel like themselves again.


"We're seeing that now; he's confident, he's pulling trigger when he needs to, he's coming up with some clutch plays now. He's been great," he said.


Tempering the expectations of him, and allowing him to get his legs back, was bearing the fruit, he said.


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