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No Pressure, No Problem: Chiefs Eye Win Over Blues in Auckland

No Pressure, No Problem: Chiefs Eye Win Over Blues in Auckland

All BlacksMay 31, 2024

Knowing their place in the DHL Super Rugby Pacific top four is assured, the Chiefs can head to Eden Park on Saturday for their last regular season game against the Blues without the potential distractions that could face their opponents.

Playing just after their top-of-the-table partners, the Hurricanes play the Hurricanes, the Blues will know what they need to do to retain the No1 position on the points table. A bonus points win for the Hurricanes would pressure the Blues to do the same against a rival they have struggled to beat over the last decade.

The Chiefs are keen to make the most of a full week of preparation after a few short turnaround weeks and Friday night games. However, rest requirements mean they will be without All Blacks Tupou Vaa'i and Anton Lienert-Brown.

Loose forward Samipeni Finau helps cover Vaa'i's absence and looks forward to returning to play.

Assistant coach David Hill said the Chiefs enjoy playing the Blues, and no extra motivation was needed when it came to playing them at their base at Eden Park.

He said while the week's concentration was on preparing for the Blues, some in the coaching group, especially on the eve of the game and game day itself, were looking ahead to their quarterfinal against the Reds the following week.

They were also conscious that the Blues' emphasis could change depending on how the earlier Hurricanes game against the Highlanders turns out. If the Hurricanes scored a bonus-point win over the Highlanders, it would put pressure on the Blues to do likewise against the Chiefs to retain first place.

But for the Chiefs, it wouldn't change how they wanted to play.

"We're going up there to win, so whether it's a one-point win or a six-point win, a 21-point win, we'll take whatever."

Hill acknowledged that the Blues' playing style has not changed much throughout the season, and he felt that they would not veer too far from what has worked well for them.

"They've been playing really well, really strong."

A titanic battle of the backs!

Who will reign supreme on Saturday night?#SuperRugbyPacific pic.twitter.com/orM7ADaJhg

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) May 30, 2024

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