Gatland in for injured Ioane

GettyImages 1389227423

Competition between Ioane and Gatland for the starting role was beneficial for the Chiefs' campaign as both have made strong contributions when on the field.


Ioane, who suffered a rib injury last weekend in the 30-29 win over the Hurricanes in Wellington, had shown the attacking skills that won him All Blacks selection.


"His running game is a strength of his, and his ability to see the gap and take it. There were a couple of plays early on [against the Hurricanes] that went his way and he looked good," Hill said.


But Hill said the Chiefs were well covered with Gatland in the role.


"They're two guys that want to start, and they've made that clear. They're comfortable with that but [they are] two guys also that have a great impact off the bench, so for the betterment of the team, they're aware of the bigger plan.


"We've got two great 10s at the moment, so we're blessed in that respect," Hill said.


Round two of the local derby between the two sides will follow a close contest in the first played at Eden Park.


"It's a game that we always look forward to," Hill said.


"We don't need to talk about it too much because it's there. And the players that come from outside our region, they'll get it explained, and know what it feels like," he said.


After holding off a fast-finishing Hurricanes team at the weekend, Hill said it was a common feature of the competition that no team was putting complete 40-minute halves together in games. Momentum swings meant games were often close.


While the Hurricanes had come back from 15-30 down to be within one point Hill was pleased that in the last six or seven minutes the Chiefs were able to close the game out.


"It's really tough in this competition, against these teams, to keep the momentum and hold the momentum for a long period of time," he said.


View all