Home playoffs spot a motivating factor for the Chiefs

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Assistant coach David Hill said the three teams they have lost to this year were the three teams ahead of them on the points table.

 

That showed that the Chiefs were not quite good enough yet, and they would be using their last round-robin games to achieve that before the playoffs.

 

The calculations are simple for the Chiefs. If they win their last three games, they will have a home quarterfinal while, if they lose, they will still be in the quarterfinals but possibly away from home.

 

If they keep playing well, they can hold onto their spot, which is their intention.

 

Keeping to the stance of working on their own game rather than looking too much to the opposition, Hill said, the Rebels had been a tough defensive proposition against the Crusaders two weeks ago, but had been hit by the Blues in Auckland last week.

Being back in Melbourne this week, they expected a strong response from the Rebels.

 

Hill said the Chiefs were enjoying the best period of player availability at training, and he hoped it could continue through the final weeks.

 

Lock Brodie Retallick was still having to jump through some hoops after his broken thumb. That involved catch-and-pass and contact progressions in order to get the clearance to play.

 

"But he's definitely not far away," he said.

 

Hill said the loss to the Brumbies last week showed where the Chiefs needed to improve.

 

"They played a distinct style and are really good at it. We stayed with them for good periods, but we probably weren't as tidy and clinical as we would like, and that gave them the opportunity to kick points and score some tries from plays that started inside our 22.

 

"There're a few things to tidy up but a tip of the hat to them the way they played. We feel like we've got a lot more growth in us," he said.

 

The Chiefs take on the Rebels at 4pm NZT on Sunday 15 May at AAMI Park in Melbourne. Catch the action live on Sky Sport NZ.

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