David Hill expecting motivated Crusaders outfit in Hamilton

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Chiefs' assistant coach David Hill said after the Crusaders' last game was postponed due to Covid, facing them in consecutive contests added to the mix.


"Having tipped them up at the end, they will be highly-motivated. That's a given when we play them. It's going to be a good game and we look forward to it," he said.


An added factor will be returning to playing in front of crowds. For the Chiefs, there is also the knowledge they are playing on home turf for the first time since May last year following the return of crowds announced on Wednesday.


The Chiefs' coaching group interrupted a meeting to watch the Prime Minister's announcement, and once she said crowds could return, they switched their television off and got on with their planning.


"We're excited for the organisation, but just as importantly we're excited for our fans and families who can turn up to watch us at home. It's the first time in 10 months we've been at home and to play in front of a crowd so that's pretty cool and exciting," he said.



Having the Crusaders involved was also special because of the rivalry between the sides. That would contribute to the feeling around the game, he said.


While the Crusaders had been battling Covid earlier in the week, not knowing who would be in their team meant the Chiefs would focus on themselves in their preparation.


"If it's attack or defence, it's focusing internally and what we need to do out of the Moana Pasifika game and the last time we played them [the Crusaders]. In some respects it is a little bit easier because you don't know what you are going to get until the team is named, and even then there could be late changes right up to the kick-off as well, so it narrows your focus on yourself," he said.


The Chiefs' last two games had confirmed the depth across their squad giving management faith in the side chosen to play this weekend.


"It's healthy competition at training, and they have trained well," Hill said.



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