Fiji Time: 9:25 AM on Wednesday 1 July

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

It's do-or-die for champion Chiefs

AAP
Thursday, July 03, 2014

Update: 4:07PM THE Chiefs have talked about playing knock-out football for a few weeks now, but Friday night's Super Rugby derby against the Hurricanes really is do-or-die for the defending champions.

Lose at Waikato Stadium and their season is over even before their final-round clash with the Blues at Eden Park.

It is not the ending the Chiefs want for stalwarts Tanerau Latimer and Mahonri Schwalger and others who are moving on at the end of this campaign.

The Chiefs have suffered three successive losses to find themselves bottom of the New Zealand conference and ninth overall.

To win at Waikato Stadium the team will need to rediscover some of the fire that took them to the title in 2012 and 2013 when many said they couldn't do it.

"A lot of effort went in to winning two and I'm not so sure that conscious desire to win three has been as evident," admitted assistant coach Tom Coventry.

"I still think it lies latent in us. I see it in us when we train and I've seen it in glimpses this year but not consistently."

They will also need to find the heart for the physical battle against the Hurricanes having been out-muscled when they lost 45-8 in Wellington in May.

"That's a mental thing, an attitude thing," Coventry said.

"When your confidence is down you have to work pretty hard to try and instil that back in your team. We've spent a lot of time talking about the physicality and getting the attitude right particularly when it's a do-or-die match."

The Chiefs' kick-chase was also poor at Westpac Stadium and they were carved up by Alapati Leiua, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett and Andre Taylor.

While Leiua and Taylor are injured for the return fixture Barrett and Savea have continued their sparkling form and Cory Jane has also come back from All Blacks duty with renewed attacking vigour.

In contrast, the Chiefs have lacked polish on attack.

The constant chopping and changing in the back line selection has only added to the frustration and this week is no different with six changes in the backs.

"Right from game one we've been plagued with having to change for injury and form and that hasn't helped us build continuity in our game," Coventry said.





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
JPY 59.956256.9562
GBP 0.30770.2997
EUR 0.43100.4190
CNY 3.03032.9303
NZD 0.71420.6812
AUD 0.63390.6089
USD 0.48690.4699

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 25th June 2015

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. New date
  2. 'Complicated' English
  3. Biman: Delaying does not address issue
  4. Ratu Jope passes away
  5. Probe into claims of child rape
  6. Leaders welcome decision
  7. Uproar over defensive driving course pass rate
  8. Gel sparks raid
  9. 'Wait and look'
  10. Farms target 90pc youth

Top Stories this Week

  1. Ryder in jail Monday (29 Jun)
  2. Nude pictures warning Monday (29 Jun)
  3. Jail terms for trio Thursday (25 Jun)
  4. Toxic cassava Monday (29 Jun)
  5. Education shocker Tuesday (30 Jun)
  6. Botia sets his target to book a RWC spot Thursday (25 Jun)
  7. The discovery of illegal weapons in Fiji Tuesday (30 Jun)
  8. Nadro boy on US naval ship Friday (26 Jun)
  9. Bainimarama challenges Flying Fijians ahead of Rugby World Cup Tuesday (30 Jun)
  10. Club sold for $14k Tuesday (30 Jun)