Chiefs quietly confident ahead of semifinal showdown

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The Hurricanes won the two earlier games, home and away, and have home-town advantage. SKY Stadium is expected to be packed.

But the Chiefs go into the semifinal with confidence from their quarterfinal win over the Reds. They tidied some areas of concern in their game, and their set piece was strong.

"Our discipline was significantly better than what it was in previous weeks, and as a consequence we got better access into the game and played with a bit of freedom."

Avoiding the high penalty counts they suffered in their two earlier games against the Hurricanes will be a goal.

"We let ourselves down and own our responsibility in that space. You can't give a good team like that easy opportunities to get in the playground and play the sort of game they want to play.

"It's important, we've learned over the last few years that having 15 men on the field is advantageous. We're doing everything in our power to make sure that happens.

"We have been trying to build a game capable of playing finals rugby in whatever conditions, against whatever opposition we happen to come up against. We're fortunate we've got most of our bodies on deck for selection at the right time.

"They're fit and fresh, and haven't overdone their minutes. So, it's set up well. But that only gives you a starter's chance. It doesn't guarantee anything."

Extensive use has been made of game coverage from the two earlier games, not only in the aftermath of the games but ahead of the semifinal.

"We've been able to forecast that we were probably going to be playing them for a couple of weeks now. So, a lot of preparation has gone into putting a plan together, You learn off the previous experiences to help you try and find the margins that might turn the game in your favour."

McMillan said the Hurricanes were always a team that needed to be respected.

"We probably breathed a little sigh of relief last year when they fell over at the quarterfinal stage to the Brumbies because they're a dangerous team who, on their day, can beat anyone in the competition.

"They're always well-balanced. They've always had plenty of x-factor backs and score all over the place and some tough, resilient forwards who have grown over the last couple of years.

"They've been the best team in the competition all year."

Captain Luke Jacobson said that after some up-and-down performances in the regular season, they had worked out how they wanted to play and that they needed to be accurate, not beat themselves by poor discipline and conceding penalties.

"We've had a big focus on being accurate and trying to nullify a lot of those points. Last weekend you saw the outcome of that leading to a lot more pressure on the opposition and holding onto the ball for longer periods of time."


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