Painful memories drive Chiefs

Wed, 24 Jul 2013 07:47
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The Chiefs have not forgotten the hammering they received at the hands of the Crusaders earlier this month and they are looking for revenge.

The Chiefs have not forgotten the hammering they received at the hands of the Crusaders earlier this month and they are looking for revenge.

Seasoned hooker Hika Elliot said it was "hugely disappointing" to not fire against the Crusaders in their 43-15 drubbing in Christchurch nearly three weeks ago.

And the painful memories from that performance is what are driving them head of Saturday's Super Rugby semifinal rematch in Hamilton.

He is certain they can lift well beyond that performance and produce their best game of the season when they take on the in-form southerners.

"We've always gone into the games against the Crusaders knowing that we have to front as a forward pack and if you look back at the last game it was us forwards that got beaten up, especially at the breakdown and line-out time," the Chiefs hooker said.

"We really need to step up in terms of our set-piece and bring an edge and a physicality to our game that people haven't seen this year.

"If we can do that I think we've got the potential in our backline to cut some shapes up in teams.

"We were in it for most of that first half and that try just before half-time [by Crusaders skipper Kieran Read] sort of relieved a lot of that pressure [on them] and put a lot of pressure back on us.

"We chased the game from there and probably chased the game too early. We made too many mistakes at our own end and to get a hiding like that - because it was a hiding - the boys really hurt."

Coach Dave Rennie also spoke of the bitter memories of the crunching defeat in Christchurch, saying it is providing plenty of motivation for an angry group of Chiefs forwards.

Roughed up then punished with five tries, Rennie's men left AMI Stadium a little shaken by the experience but it was their pride that suffered most.

"If you don't bring the same sort of intensity [as the Crusaders] you're going to be under a bit of pressure and we didn't have that with or without the ball," said Rennie.

"Any repeat of that and the season is over so I'm pretty confident you won't see any of that."

Because of that there was an acute feeling among the squad that they needed to be right on top of their game this week.

But Elliot has no doubt the Chiefs are capable of reaching the level he feels is needed to beat the Crusaders.

"I think we can get there. I know and I understand the character of this team and what we've built over the last year and a half to two years.

"We've got a hard-working bunch of guys that are willing to put their bodies on the line for each other week-in, week-out and I think we're going to show that this week - show how really tight we are."

Sources: Fairfax & Newstalk ZB

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