Goodhue expecting Chiefs to be a dangerous outfit in Christchurch

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The Chiefs may be on a 10-game losing streak but so far as the Crusaders are concerned that will make them more dangerous than usual.

 

Centre Jack Goodhue said the Crusaders had some memorable games with the Chiefs over the years. One he remembered was a game in Fiji where they looked down and out only to come back hard, and that was what the Crusaders would be ready for on Saturday.

 

"We need our best performance and we need to play 80 minutes against them. They're good off-loaders, they keep the ball alive. Whoever is out there, we know they are threats in the backline," he said.

 

"They're a wounded animal at the moment but we have got to treat them like they have won many games because that's how they always play, with confidence. The Chiefs are going to get a win some time and we've just got to treat them like the awesome team that they are."

 

Goodhue said ball retention had been pleasing against the Hurricanes and they would look to extend that at the weekend.

 

He said his partnership with second five-eighths Dallas McLeod was developing well. McLeod was carrying the ball well and they were talking a lot. He was a confident player and was earning the right to call plays. He was getting time under his belt and getting better, as a result, he said.

 

Assistant coach Scott Hansen said Ethan Blackadder was working through concussion protocols and wouldn't be available for selection this weekend.

 

 

He said the coaches were pleased with the defensive effort during the middle 40 minutes of their win over the Hurricanes.

 

"I thought our defence gave us a really good platform to build off. We achieved momentum off the ball. When you've got momentum you're going forward, you're in control of the tempo and the ref [referee] goes out of the game and you're on the front foot.

 

"When we lost momentum, that's when our defence had to come. We had to make decisions around the breakdown and that influenced our tempo of the game," he said.

 

The benefit from taking earlier than usual control of the game was the opportunity it provided to get players off the bench sooner than might have been planned to give them more exposure.

 

The threat Damian McKenzie would offer in Saturday's game was not confined to where he played at either first five-eighths or fullback. They needed to get the ball to him to utilise his effectiveness while for the Crusaders it was a case of cutting down the time and space available to him.

 

"He's a class player so maybe it's just as important to influence the guys around him," Hansen said.

 

All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor's play had been outstanding in the first two weeks.

 

"His positioning, his effort around being in the spots where we need him to be. We've had a real focus this year on players over plays. What I mean by that is putting people in the best spots for them to influence the game and you can see where Codie is at the moment you can see his desire with and without the ball," he said.

 

While his play with the ball was obvious, his work off-the-ball had been outstanding.

 

"He's in great form at the moment, he's hungry and he's enjoying his rugby," he said.

 

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