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Rugby showdown

Thursday, July 17, 2014

AUCKLAND - Others might seek guidance from history, but Chiefs co-captain Liam Messam says the Super Rugby qualifying final against the Brumbies is a match that stands on its own.

The two sides met in the final last year, the Chiefs prevailing 27-22 in Hamilton to secure a second successive title.

The Brumbies gained some revenge on Anzac Day with a convincing 41-23 victory at home. For Messam, what's gone on before carries little significance ahead of this weekend's clash in Canberra for a place in the semi-finals.

"A lot of people talk about momentum when you come into play-offs, but I'm a big believer that's it's a one-off," he said.

"If you do everything for this one game, then you should be all right. That's what we have to do — focus day by day in our training and get into Saturday night and just rip into it."

Messam also sees a big difference between the Chiefs squad that headed for the Australian capital yesterday and the one that "got a bit of a hiding, got a bit embarrassed" there last time around.

In April, they were without several injured players, including co-skipper Aaron Cruden, halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow and openside flanker Tanerau Latimer.

But Messam also feels they've grown during an up-and-down campaign.

"We've gone through a lot of hard times as a team," he said.

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