Andrew Horrell had never played centre before Friday night's Super Rugby clash with the Crusaders in Hamilton.
To outside observers it was a massive risk in such a high-pressure match. However, head coach Dave Rennie didn't see it that way with his versatile utility, and Horrell says he would be keen to play there again.
Centre became a problem position for the Chiefs when All Black Richard Kahui dislocated his shoulder and subsequently found he had to have corrective surgery when rest failed to heal the injury.
Jackson Willison has not let the team down in his outings in the 13 jersey since, despite preferring to play in 12, but such was Horrell's successful transition to starting fullback from backup five-eighth that when Robbie Robinson returned at the back the coaches decided they needed to fit both players into the mix.
"I don't mind where I play," Horrell said. "Depending where the coaches put me, I'll be happy to go there.
"I don't want to be too versatile, but at least you're on the field that way."
Horrell's fullback background dated back to schoolboy rugby in Christchurch, but centre was something completely new for him.
"It wasn't too bad, obviously more easy playing outside Sonny [Bill Williams], and I enjoyed it, but I would have liked to come away with a win.
"It was a little bit [daunting]. I just wanted to hold my defensive end up and see what I could do attacking wise, but I didn't get too many chances there."
He'll leave it to the coaches to decide whether he gets a pass mark and whether he gets to start at centre again on Friday against the Hurricanes in Wellington, but he felt he went "all right" defensively.
Horrell said the Chiefs, at times, had shown what they could do as a team, but at other times they found themselves under pressure, either through their own actions or those of the Crusaders.
"It's obviously a really good learning curve for us and I think we'll be definitely better for it."
There was confidence emanating from yesterday's review session that the Chiefs could learn from the lessons of Friday night and do better next time.
"We've been talking about the lessons we've learnt and how we can put those things right.
"I think it's been really good for us. We don't want to lose but I think it's been beneficial for us to get our feet back on the ground."
Now the Hurricanes await and Horrell said it was crucial the Chiefs kept the momentum going into the finals.
"The Hurricanes are obviously a good team and they've come off a win over the Crusaders and we're looking at going down there and taking it to them."
The Chiefs need a bonus-point win in Wellington to seal top spot on the points table and have home advantage throughout the playoffs.
Horrell said they had to concentrate on doing the small things well and the rest would take care of itself.
"We have to be much better in our set piece and just be really effective in everything we do – a lot more than on Friday night," he said.
Aaron Cruden has become the first Chief and third New Zealand player to score 200 points in a Super Rugby season.
The Chiefs first five-eighth's 209 points place him between this country's top Super Rugby scorer, Daniel Carter (Crusaders), who scored 221 points in 2006, and another Crusader, Andrew Mehrtens, who scored 206 in 1998.
Springbok Morne Steyn holds the all-time Super Rugby season points-scoring record with the 263 points he scored in 2010 to help steer the Bulls to the title. Kiwi-born Wallaby Quade Cooper scored 228 points, including five tries, in helping the Reds to the title last year.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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