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"We love playing the Blues" - McMillan

"We love playing the Blues" - McMillan

All BlacksMay 27, 2024

The Chiefs will face the Blues in their last regular-season DHL Super Rugby Pacific game on Saturday, an ideal challenge ahead of the playoffs.

Coach Clayton McMillan said after Friday's 17-20 loss to the Hurricanes, "We love playing the Blues. It doesn't matter whether we play there or at home.

"It's a game we always look forward to...We had a few dusty lineouts tonight, but the scrum was good, so there are some things that we can build off that will set us up well for what's coming in the future."

He was disappointed the Chiefs couldn't pay back their supporters who packed the stadium.

"It's a big part of the reason why we go out there, and we didn't quite get it done."

He was more disappointed for the crowd than anything else.

In the first half against the Hurricanes discipline let them down, and the Chiefs were not winning the collisions.

"That made us become ill-disciplined, and gave them too much easy access into the game."

At halftime, they decided to reverse things and stay patient, and opportunities would follow.

"It was nice to get a try early in the second half, boost the confidence. The margin became a lot smaller, and it stayed that way for the rest of the game.

"The reality was that we gave away too many penalties.

"Every time it looked like we were about to poke our head through the clouds and start getting that momentum ourselves, we'd do something a little sill and release that pressure valve."

It resulted from two teams pushing the boundaries and getting on the wrong side of the laws.

Captain Luke Jacobson said that had been the case, especially in the first half.

"We got the brunt of the penalties which is not what we want."

Jacobson said when Hurricanes hooker Raymond Tuputupu was red-carded, he wasn't surprised that the Hurricanes lifted their game.

"We would have liked to have capitalised on that a lot more, but when you've got attacking footy like they did, they had a lot of the ball then, and on the back of ill-discipline from us, it makes it hard for us to play.

"They were able to hold onto the ball and play some good footy."

McMillan said missing an early penalty goal chance and an inaccurate lineout could have seen them eight to 10 points up with the Hurricanes chasing the game.

But they didn't get them.

"They're a quality rugby team, and the second try they scored was good heads-up play around us being a man down and targeting a transition zone where we were a little bit thin. So you've got to give them credit for seeing those opportunities.

"Otherwise, the game was pretty tight and was swinging both ways at times. But, on the balance of things, we just didn't have enough momentum."

One more week to go 👀#SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/noQXp49buJ

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) May 26, 2024

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