Fiji Time: 6:06 AM on Thursday 30 June

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
CAD 0.63220.6132
JPY 50.597447.5974
GBP 0.36260.3546
EUR 0.43850.4265
NZD 0.69540.6624
AUD 0.66050.6355
USD 0.48740.4704

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 29th June 2016

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Home on a mission
  2. Monster fish halts traffic
  3. Nowhere to turn to
  4. Big dough for Radradra
  5. Parliament instability
  6. Kane feels at home after Fijian reception
  7. Rabuka has first meeting with executives
  8. Crusaders arrive for Super Rugby match
  9. Fight against cyber crime
  10. 'Fiji's vaccine coverage higher than most countries'

Top Stories this Week

  1. Hayne works on 'God's call' Friday (24 Jun)
  2. Early morning catch wows crowd at Labasa fish market Tuesday (28 Jun)
  3. Police confirm discovery at Natadola beach Friday (24 Jun)
  4. Resignation threat Saturday (25 Jun)
  5. Home on a mission Wednesday (29 Jun)
  6. Rabuka in Saturday (25 Jun)
  7. Body parts Tuesday (28 Jun)
  8. INTERPOL assists with Natadola gruesome discovery, missing couple Monday (27 Jun)
  9. 2016-2017 Budget: The major drivers of economic growth Thursday (23 Jun)
  10. Monster fish halts traffic Wednesday (29 Jun)