Chiefs: 'A win is a win'

Fri, 10 May 2013 12:33
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The defending champion Chiefs were happy to have won, despite the narrow margin in a sloppy performance in Pukekohe on Friday.

The defending champion Chiefs were happy to have won, despite the narrow margin in a sloppy performance in Pukekohe on Friday.

The Chiefs survived a second-half fightback to defeat the Western Force 22-21 and keep at the top of the New Zealand conference.

The result saw both teams claim 'positives' from the match.

Chiefs captain Craig Clarke admitted it was a scrappy performance against a willing Force outfit that has downed the Reds and Crusaders already this year.

"It's a win," was Clarke's frank post-match response to the nailbiting victory.

"Pretty frustrating, I know it was wet, but we're pretty disappointed," he added.

"Still not an 80-minute performance from us."

The Force outscored the Chiefs by two tries to one, but still failed to make up final margin - returning to Perth with just a losing bonus point for their efforts.

Force coach Michael Foley said despite the result, his side took another step in the right direction in their overall development.

"I'm very pleased with the effort there," he said.

"We're restless about results and we want results and you sense that in the playing group as well.

"Six months ago they set a very high level for themselves. Over the last month or so there's been a couple of times where it would have been very easy to back off a bit and they've actually pushed harder.

"The fact that they're out there against one of the best sides in the comp putting in a performance like that suggests that they are making progress.

"To the people outside looking in, wins and losses are all that matter; but to get more wins we have to go through some of these times.

"We are ambitious, we're not satisfied with a loss, but at the same time we've recognised that there's some progress being made."

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Crusaders 8 7 0 1 32
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Kings 7 1 0 6 4