Chiefs are all on for back-to-back crowns

RICHARD KNOWLER
Last updated 23:01 27/07/2013
Waikato Times

The Chiefs emerged the victors over the Crusaders in the first semi-final of the 2013 Super Rugby competition.

Chiefs vs Crusaders
PETER DRURY/Fairfax NZ Zoom
Liam Messam takes on the Crusaders defence.
Cheifs
Following their epic semifinal win, the Chiefs players have installed a saying called BTB - back to back.

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

We're in to the real grind of the Super Rugby season now Liam Messam to win his 150th Chiefs cap in Super Rugby clash against the Bulls Hurricanes wary of the Reds' winning pedigree at home Crusaders' nemesis Bernard Foley expected to be scratched from Waratahs team Highlanders captain Ben Smith seeking points ahead of home stretch Snapping a five-year dry spell in Sydney required for Crusaders to maintain winning streak Jimmy Cowan says from the outset his halfback rival Aaron Smith highlighted his talents Former NZ 20s midfielder TJ Faiane handed first start for Blues as Rieko Ioane rested Hurricanes captain Dane Coles gets another week to overcome knee niggle Former Wallabies captain Phil Kearns wants ARU to 'show some cojones'

Work begins for Dave Rennie in the morning.

The Chiefs coach was determined to enjoy tonight's 20-19 semifinal win over the Crusaders but that will all be history when he rolls-up his sleeves tomorrow.

Following the epic win, wing Lelia Masaga revealed the Chiefs players have installed a saying called BTB - back to back.

That statement reflects their desire to defend their Super Rugby title.

Rennie, who is hoping to collect his second title in just two years as Chiefs boss, said he wouldn't watch this morning's semi in Pretoria between the Bulls and Brumbies.

That's because he would prefer to analyse the game knowing what the result was - that would enable him to view it dispassionately and analyse each side's strategies.

And Rennie knows his side, who produced such a mighty effort with their tackling against the Crusaders, are capable of doing the double.

"On the whole there was just some fantastic moments defensively - I'm just very proud of them,'' Rennie emphasised.

Chiefs captain Craig Clarke admitted the tight finish reminded him of last year's battle against the Crusaders in the semi at Waikato Stadium - which his side won 20-17.

"There was a real sense of déjà vu - they were really throwing everything at us and there was some pretty tough scrambling. We just scrambled and scrambled - there was some pretty good defence there," Clarke said.

"We wanted to just play footy against him. Don't let them settle into their good defensive system where they control the game.''

Clarke also acknowledged the grit and work ethic of openside flanker Tanerau Latimer who started the game ahead of All Blacks flanker Sam Cane.

"He is a real workhorse for us. He is a real catalyst for us. He hadn't trained all week, he has got a massive big bruise down his leg and epitomises what the Chiefs all are all about.''

Rennie said that after his side were thrashed in Christchurch three weeks ago they were prepared to change their game plan and there was no panicking despite trailing 9-3 at halftime.

"We were reasonably at halftime and it was just a massive effort in the second half.''

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which 2015 NZ Super Rugby team looks best?

Blues

Chiefs

Crusaders

Highlanders

Hurricanes

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content