Chiefs look forward to fresh start in opening game

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Assistant coach David Hill said regardless of what had happened in the past, whether winning streaks or losing streaks Friday's kick-off would give them the chance to win that game.

 

"People will make a lot more of it outside our group. We've discussed it and dealt with it and the challenge for us this week is just to focus on preparations and do everything we need to do come 7.05 Friday night," he said.

 

Hill said expectations had been met from the opening round of games, regarding the way teams played and the way referees applied the offside law.

 

It was clear teams needed to be disciplined, especially early in games, he said.

 

Looking at the Highlanders performance it had been noted the amount of time they had spent in the Crusaders' 22m area but the Crusaders were a team capable of coping with that.

 

"They [the Highlanders] were pretty certain with how they wanted to play the game. It was a good chance to get a look at them," he said.

 

 

The lineout drive continued to be an area where teams needed to be disciplined and the Crusaders had shown that when giving away a lot of penalties that contributed to the amount of time they spent in their territory.

 

That was something the Chiefs had concentrated on in their preparation and that would be reinforced in the lead-up to Friday's game.

 

Hill said the effects of changes in alert levels associated with the Covid-19 pandemic were reduced because of the experiences they had last year.

 

The Chiefs were working under Level 2, which means no crowds can attend games.

 

They were well prepared based on last year's situation. The side's administrative staff were well-prepared and were able to pull the trigger on whatever needed to be done to meet health requirements.

 

"We just wait for the message, and follow the instructions and that's the way it rolls," he said.

 

The franchise was also supportive of the situation facing the Blues who, due to the Level 3 lockdown in Auckland, had not returned home and were basing themselves just down the road from Hamilton in Cambridge. The sides would not be training together but would be doing whatever they could to help the Blues, he said.

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