‘Time to narrow the focus’ – Cane

Date published: February 22 2016

Chiefs co-captain Sam Cane said his side will be focusing on key aspects and will look at what the Crusaders have been doing in preparation for their Super Rugby opener on Saturday.

The Waikato-based side have reviewed their 24-12 pre-season loss to the Blues to help get them ready for the AMI Stadium fixture.

"It was a good workout, and the pleasing thing is we know we can be a lot better," Cane told Stuff.co.nz.

"Because we didn't hold on to the ball for long periods we gave away a fair few penalties which put us under a lot of pressure and forced us to defend a lot.

"There were only glimpses where we actually played in the structure we've been training, and when we were there we looked quite good. 

"If we can get that out on the park for longer periods we'll put teams under a lot more pressure."

Leading alongside Aaron Cruden, Cane reveals that the encounter with the Crusaders will require them to step up, but also knows that, coming from a 74-7 pre-season whipping from the Hurricanes, the seven-time Super Rugby champions will be in the same boat.

"We've got to be ready, don't we," he shrugged.

"You always feel like at this time of the year you're little behind where you'd like to be, or you can always cover off a wee bit more. 

"But this week in training we'll narrow our focus on to a few key things or look at what the Crusaders have been doing.

"The pre-season is pre-season; come game time in the competition it's a different intensity."

"They'll be in much the same boat as us, and I'm sure they'll move on pretty quick from their final hitout and be looking to put out a good one this week and start off well," he said.

Leading a team with a fair amount of new faces, Cane looks forward to working with the recruits and the season ahead.

"It's going to be a steep learning curve for a few boys, but the ones who step up and take their chances will see plenty of game-time," he said.

"It's exciting for them and it's exciting for the other boys in the team to have some new guys pushing the rest of us.

"It's been enjoyable coming back a little earlier and doing some real pre-season work with these guys and going through some of the hard yakka together. 

"That's been a real positive and I feel ready and excited about the season ahead."