Improvement at the breakdown a focus for the Chiefs

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In their 24–14 win in Sydney at the weekend, the Chiefs were given a working over at the breakdown, something coach Cameron McMillan was keen to rectify this week.

"Our ball-carrying height was pretty poor. We carried high; we allowed them to get two people in the tackle. It was slow. We weren't getting to ground on our terms, which affected our cleaners' ability to do a good job in that space.

"It got better in the second half, but that's an obvious area to improve on."

Mistakes were a feature of the game, and while it was an ugly win, McMillan said sometimes that was better than 'losing pretty'.

"Everyone has games like that, and you scrap to the end, and you wish you had played a lot better. But that's the beauty of our game – there are always things to work on.

"We've been the first to put up our hand and say that over the last five weeks, we've been far from perfect."

McMillan said the Chiefs had to accept that opposing sides knew they wanted to keep the ball in play for long periods.

"We want to have some lightning-quick ball and be able to play, so they are going to come with tactics to try and prevent that happening for us."

That would need to be improved before the Blues game. McMillan said he couldn't put his finger on why the Waratahs had been so disruptive, and he would check match footage to see if anything needed to be discussed about the refereeing.

"It's just a dynamic area of the game, and referees are having to look at a lot of different pictures, and it's probably just around getting some consistency."

"The Blues are a team that we always love playing. It's the Battle of the Bombays. We only get them once this year in round-robin play, so that adds to the motivation.

"It's going to be round six in the competition, and everyone's getting better. We've seen that across the competition, and it's about trying to get better at an accelerated rate over your competitors," he said.

The Chiefs host the Blues at 7.05pm NZT, Saturday 1 April, at FMG Stadium Waikato.


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