Chiefs not distracted by final permutations

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Assistant coach David Hill said the old cliché of taking things 'one game at a time' was not going anywhere.

 

"From where we have come, the points table is, not irrelevant but it is not on the wall anywhere, it is not talked about on Monday morning. It is back to the grind and doing what we are doing.

 

"It is probably for everyone else to speculate and have some permutations," he said.

 

Hill said the Chiefs were in a good place. They had improvements in areas they had worked on, and these included staying in games until the later stages and going on to achieve wins.

 

While the Crusaders' dominance had been dented after their loss to the Highlanders and their golden point win over the Hurricanes at the weekend, they were an outstanding team as they had proved over a long period, he said.

 

"They're a bit like everyone else when you play lots of derbies back to back to back, but it is quite tough to back up and keep going. It's a massive challenge, we have a lot of respect for them," he said.

Injuries to Chiefs skipper and flanker Sam Cane, and the Crusaders' prop Joe Moody and mid-fielder Jack Goodhue showed it was a brutal competition. The intensity of the derbies was different to the Super Rugby format pre-2020 when games against lesser sides allowed for rotation and rest.

 

It came down to having faith in the depth of your squad, and in what had been done in pre-season to ensure everyone in the squad was prepared and ready to play, he said.

 

Given the Chiefs' recent history and lack of success, they couldn't take anything for granted, and it would be considered a little cheeky to rest players.

 

Second five-eighths Quinn Tupaea was still to have a scan on his injured knee before the full extent of his injury was known, he said.

 

Flanker Lachlan Boshier had come through his club game and would be available for selection this week.

 

Hill said the first application of the golden point law which had seen the Chiefs take the extra-time win over the Highlanders, only to be repeated by the Crusaders a day later, had everyone talking about it.

 

"It's still quite new for us, and everyone is probably thinking about it more than we had done previously. When you win, and do well, you're probably a fan of it but we would probably like to win it before the 80-minute mark and take it out of the equation," he said.

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