Chiefs look to get season back on track

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The game is the last of New Zealand's group games before the sides head to take on the Australians. A win would give the Chiefs some leverage towards securing a home ground advantage in the playoffs.


And knowing Moana Pasifika played with plenty of physicality meant the Chiefs were in for another round of competition at the breakdown after being well beaten by the Blues last week.


Assistant coach Nic White said: "It wasn't an ideal game for us, we got beaten at the physicality part of the game at the breakdown, and we weren't able to get into the game. We met with a brick wall every time we went to play. You've got to give credit to the Blues, they came down and played well," he said.


It had been a wake-up call for the side. Two losses at home were never nice. Saturday was a big game where they needed to focus on a few simple things they needed to get right.


The loss of centre Anton Lienert-Brown for six months was a blow, but they had cover with Quinn Tupaea and Alex Nankivell. The main thing for Lienert-Brown was to make sure he got his rehabilitation right before coming back to the side.



White said Nankivell had been playing well all season.


"He's had a great season, he's a bit older and more mature. He's played a lot of rugby for the Chiefs and Tasman and is a fantastic team man. Every time he's started, he's earned his stripes. He's on a good run of form.


"We're going to have to rely on him a bit in the midfield, he's a leader in the backline so, again, it is another great opportunity with Anton not being there for him to play a lot more and get some good game time and, hopefully, lead us out there," he said.


Moana Pasifika beat the Hurricanes in extra time in their first game, and while they have endured their second storm week, they were not a team that ever went away.


"The more they've played, the better they've got. Last time, we managed to get away on them, but not until after halftime.


"We've been slow starting so it's important we get off to a good start and make sure we can try and control the game and play how we want to but if we don't do that then we're going to be in for a long afternoon," he said.


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