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Chiefs keen to get back into winning groove

Chiefs keen to get back into winning groove

All BlacksApril 26, 2024

Getting back into winning mode after their pre-bye loss to the Hurricanes in DHL Super Rugby Pacific will be the Chiefs' goal against the Waratahs in Sydney on Friday.

But with the Waratahs having a big shot of confidence in their golden point win over the Crusaders, also ahead of their bye, it will be a crucial assignment for the Chiefs, who go into the game having won their last seven matches against the Sydneysiders.

The challenge for the home team at Allianz Stadium is achieving back-to-back wins against New Zealand sides for the first time since 2015.

Chiefs assistant coach David Hill said they expected the Waratahs to employ their good set piece while being physical at the breakdown.

The last time the sides met at Allianz Stadium was a tight, physical encounter, and they expected the same.

"They're a proud team that have had some tough losses and we're expecting a physical battle after having a week off, like us, and they will be fresh and ready."

Coming off a loss to the Hurricanes, the Chiefs have absorbed the lessons, especially after being dominated physically, and will be looking to improve their start, an area in which the competition leaders hurt them.

See ya soon Sydney 💥💥

Read More - https://t.co/SOSHdD2xBs pic.twitter.com/tq9g2LPZe7

— Gallagher Chiefs (@ChiefsRugby) April 24, 2024

"We managed to come back and be leading with 20 to go, and then that last 20 didn't quite go to plan on both sides of the ball. We highlighted some of the good stuff we did [in their review] but realise there was more to tidy up at the start and end of the game."

Captain Luke Jacobson is missing from the team after injury, and flanker Kaylum Boshier will lead them.

Hill said halfback Cortez Ratima's impact was the same as that of several other players in the side.

"He's in his third year of Super Rugby. He has sat behind Brad Weber for a good amount of time and also battled with Xavier Roe for the spot.

"He's doing what we always thought he could do leading up, so he's a bit more experienced. He's had the benefit of having back-to-back starts, which always helps anyone when they're playing and getting into a bit of a groove. He's an exciting player with great skill in passing and kicking.

"Being more experienced and mature, his natural skills are coming to the fore."

Whether that was enough to propel him towards a possible call-up for the All Blacks could depend on how the side plays through the playoffs. 

Getting to the finals and playing at their best would give several Chiefs players the best chance of taking the next step.

"I know they've got the ability and the potential to play for us at a really high level and whether that's good enough for others, then it's for them to decide."

A full platter of #SuperRugbyPacific for Anzac Weekend Round!

Which game are you looking forward to most? pic.twitter.com/RUz8oZTEdZ

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) April 23, 2024

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