Chiefs wary of a hurting Queensland Reds side

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Home coach, and former World Cup winner with the All Blacks, Brad Thorn's side, let a 17-0 lead slip as they conceded 30 unanswered points to the Hurricanes last weekend.


Thorn said the Hurricanes had handled pressure and then turned it on the Reds, something the Chiefs would be looking to continue.


Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan, whose side beat the Waratahs, said the opening round of trans-Tasman games had shown the Australian sides had bridged the gap between the countries.


"You can't afford to take any of the teams lightly as they all have the potential to play well and win games," he said.


Playing Quinn Tupaea on the wing instead of in his usual position at second five-eighths was caused by injuries to wings and not having any other options in their 27-man squad.


"We think they're a quality outfit, [who are] particularly hard to beat at home. They seem to grow another leg back there. They've got a good, strong support base, some x-factor players and [are] just a well-balanced side, so we're anticipating a step up to the competition we faced last week.



"We're going to have to be better to get the result," he said.


Loose forward Luke Jacobson said he was looking forward to leading the side in Sam Cane's absence on paternity leave.


They had performed well in beating the Waratahs and were looking to build on that against the Reds.


"We know that the Reds are probably going to be a step up from the Waratahs. We've had a good week," he said.


McMillan responded to criticism of the competition structure that still allowed teams low on the table to have a chance of making the playoffs.


He said everyone knew what could happen at the start of the competition, and for those teams still being in the hunt created an interest for them to qualify.


"We all know once you get into finals footy, anything can happen on the day so I imagine for them there is a lot of excitement. If you want to win the competition you have got to beat everybody when it gets to that stage of the season," he said.


And reacting to calls for the implementation of fines for red and yellow cards, he said, it didn't appear in those cases seen this year that there had been intentional fouls.


"We're playing a dynamic game. There're lots of changes of angles, lots of drops in body height, and it's physical. We're challenging our players to be physical, to win collisions and sometimes we get it marginally wrong and pay the price.


"I don't think anyone does anything to be malicious or do anything on purpose. When you start talking about fining people, I'm not sure that's the correct action.


"I think the red cards are still having a significant impact. When you lost someone for 20 minutes it is hard for the team," he said.


Having a player back after 20 minutes was beneficial for the structure and integrity of the game, he said.




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