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Set Pieces and Collisions: Key Factors in Chiefs vs Hurricanes Battle

Set Pieces and Collisions: Key Factors in Chiefs vs Hurricanes Battle

All BlacksMay 23, 2024

Games between the top sides in DHL Super Rugby Pacific are now about winning the collisions contests, something the Chiefs are aware of ahead of Friday's game in Hamilton against the Hurricanes.

Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan said times have changed for the Hurricanes, who beat the Chiefs 36-23 earlier in the competition.

"They're much improved in their set piece so that you won't get any freebies there. It used to be an area where we felt we could expose them, but they've tidied that up.

"What you're seeing with the best teams now is that it is a game of collisions, and you're either on the right side of those collisions or you're losing the battle."

McMillan said the Chiefs have been going about their business. They've had some good days at the office and others without being happy with their play.

"Last week was probably a good example of that. We're still trying to grow our game and we know that the ones [games] that really matter are the ones coming around in a couple of weeks."

While not quite back to full strength from injuries, they have a strong side named to play the Hurricanes.

"We're at the pointy end of the season where we need to start getting a bit of continuity to prepare not only the upcoming couple of games [Hurricanes and Blues], but the finals.

"The balancing act is your locked into a home quarter, but you've got two big local derbies even before the playoffs."

He said everything had to be based on the quarterfinal.

"We still have an opportunity to advance up the day if we perform well and other teams don't quite get the results."

The Hurricanes, on Friday, will be a test of the Chiefs' progress.

"They're a team that are similar to us. They've invested in some youth over the last few years. They haven't lost a lot of bodies; they've got a lot of continuity in their squad and good coaching.

"Coming into the season I anticipated they were going to be one of the front runners, and that's turned out to be the case, it's not a surprise."

McMillan said that if the Chiefs win both remaining games, they will unlikely change their position of fourth.

The three teams above them were likely to win at least one of their remaining games, putting them out of the Chiefs' reach.

"From our view, it's about the growth in the game, and growth comes with winning because that gives you confidence."

Captain Kaylum Boshier said efforts to have the ball more in play during games fitted with the Chiefs' style.

"As a team, we like to play a lot of tempo, so we're trying to speed the game up ourselves and train accordingly.

"You do feel there're longer passages of play at times."

He said that would be seen on Friday.

"Every time we play a top four or six team, it will be another level.

"With the 'Canes this weekend we know what they're going to bring up front and it's probably going to come down to the bench who impacts most on the game."

Boshier said that both scrums had gone well since their first game, which the Hurricanes won.

"There were some things in that game that we weren't happy with in our performance. We'll see who gets it right this week."

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