Chiefs pack ready for the Crusaders

Date published: July 24 2013

Having been outshone during their 43-15 defeat to the Crusaders three weeks ago, the Chiefs pack are out to make amends.

Having been outshone during their 43-15 defeat to the Crusaders three weeks ago, the Chiefs pack are out to make amends when the two teams meet in Waikato on Saturday in their Super Rugby semi-final.

The Crusaders wreaked havoc at the line-out and breakdown during the match in Christchurch, a performance they repeated against the Reds last week.

Chiefs hooker Hika Elliot admits that his side always know they are in for a titanic battle against the Crusaders forwards and that they failed to rise to the challenge when the two teams last met.

“We've always gone into the games against the Crusaders knowing that we have to front as a forward pack and if you look back at the last game it was us forwards that got beaten up, especially at the breakdown and lineout time,” Elliot told Fairfax Media.

“We really need to step up in terms of our set-piece and bring an edge and a physicality to our game that people haven't seen this year.

“If we can do that I think we've got the potential in our backline to cut some shapes up in teams.

“We were in it for most of that first half and that try just before halftime [by Crusaders skipper Kieran Read] sort of relieved a lot of that pressure [on them] and put a lot of pressure back on us,” he added of the round robin defeat.

“We chased the game from there and probably chased the game too early. We made too many mistakes at our own end and to get a hiding like that – because it was a hiding – the boys really hurt.”

Despite this, Elliot is confident that the Chiefs will be up to the standard required when they run out on Saturday.

“I think we can get there. I know and I understand the character of this team and what we've built over the last year and a half to two years,” he asserted.

“We've got a hard-working bunch of guys that are willing to put their bodies on the line for each other week-in, week-out and I think we're going to show that this week – show how really tight we are.

“I think our scrum's performing really really well and we're getting our ball on our terms and putting some scrums under real pressure so if we can just build on that and really go into a focus that our set-piece – whether it be lineout scrum or kickoff – and the breakdown are going to be key, that is going to be the winning or the losing of this game.”