Lienert-Brown adds more speed to his game

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Lienert-Brown highlighted how important he would be in the All Blacks' thinking by showing rare speed in securing two tries for the Chiefs in their win over the Rebels in Sydney on Sunday.

He said he had been working on developing his speed.

"I guess my agility has always been a strength, and if I can add a bit of speed to that, that's going to help my game.

"I probably am feeling that touch faster this year which is helping. I pride myself on my work rate, and when I get those support lines, to be able to take off, is a good feeling."

Lienert-Brown said changes to the way he worked in the gym, concentrating on single-leg strength, had helped. But he was also managing his load well with the aid of his trainers.

"You want to be training as much as you can, but there's no point training like Tarzan and playing like Jane, so it's getting that balance right, which I have been throughout the year."

But it may not matter for the Chiefs this week, as there is the prospect he will have to take mandatory rest as he has had a busy season.

"From a player's point of view, you always want to start, you always want to play. But, I guess it's probably up to Foz [All Blacks' coach Ian Foster] and New Zealand Rugby what they want to do with load management. I know other teams have been doing it as well, so you've got to be fair, and even. We'll see what happens this week," he said.

With only a slim mathematical chance of extending their season beyond this weekend's final round, Lienert-Brown said, there had been some lessons learned by younger squad members.

"Sometimes, when things come easy, you sort of jump off a touch. But you can't afford that in this competition.

"Unfortunately, we've had lapses there, which means we're probably going to miss out on the final.

"We need to learn that we shouldn't necessarily fear the opposition, we should fear our own standards. That's where we need to get to," he said.

Assistant coach Neil Barnes said it was a natural thing in life to slacken off a little when things were going well, and they had been firm in their message that players needed to be consistent in their roles in the game.

"We were pretty clear in that yesterday [in their review] that they had to continue to grow as a team," he said.

Barnes said it would be his last game in his role. He was pleased with the way the forced regrowth of experience in the squad had been managed over the last two years. With Brodie Retallick back in the mix, teams would have to watch out for the Chiefs.


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