Chiefs: Your guide to the 2014 season

EVAN PEGDEN
Last updated 08:32 21/02/2014
Aaron Cruden
Getty Images
AARON CRUDEN
Tim Nanai-Williams
PETER DRURY/Fairfax NZ
TIM NANAI-WILLIAMS
Andrew Horrell
Photosport
ANDREW HORRELL

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Evan Pegden dishes out his hopes for the Chiefs in 2014.

Top 10 wish list:

1. CALL TO ACTION

Consistency at last in referee rulings around the breakdown - probably the impossible dream.

2. INJURY PREVENTION

The backline injuries, which hampered the Chiefs last season and have struck again

3. FAIR RULINGS

The Chiefs get an even break from the referees and see an end to the over analysis of their play by the offi cials to try and find an illegal play.

4. KICK START

Aaron Cruden get into the goal-kicking groove early and carry it on all season.

5. STEADY GROUND

The Chiefs make a better fi st of the period after the international window and avoid the wobbles through diffi Zealand derbies at the end.

6. OZ SHOW

A stronger showing against the Australian teams in Australia by the Kiwis this time with the Chiefs away to the Brumbies and Force, but not playingthe Reds this time.

7. FRONTING UP

The dreaded scrum engagements sorted out from the start.

8. FULL POTENTIAL

Robbie Fruean go free of health problems and fi nally start playing to his potential at centre.

9. FULL NINE YARDS

Ben Tameifuna last 80 minutes in a game.

10. FEED THE BACKS

The South African teams other than the Cheetahs back themselves to play a running game outside their own country.

 

On the Chiefs: 

SQUAD: Ben Afeaki, Bundee Aki, GarethAnscombe, Sam Cane, Nick Crosswell, AaronCruden, Hika Elliot, Ross Filipo, Mike Fitzgerald, Robbie Fruean, Josh Hohneck, Andrew Horrell,Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Tanerau Latimer,James Lowe, Jamie Mackintosh, Pauliasi Manu, Rhys Marshall, Tom Marshall, Liam Messam, Mils Muliaina, Tim Nanai-Williams, Charlie Ngatai,August Pulu, Brodie Retallick, Robbie Robinson, Mahonri Schwalger, Liam Squire, Matt Symons, Ben Tameifuna, Kane Thompson, Asaeli Tikoirotuma.

WIDER TRAINING GROUP: Carl Axtens, Nick Barrett, Anton Lienert-Brown, Tevita Koloamatangi, Brad Weber.

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MAJOR SIGNINGS: Mils Muliaina (Japan), Robbie Fruean (Crusaders), Tom Marshall(Crusaders), Jamie Mackintosh (Highlanders), Kane Thompson (Japan).

 

NOTABLE LOSSES: Richard Kahui (Japan), Lelia Masaga (Japan), Craig Clarke (Ireland), Brendon Leonard (Italy), Toby Smith (Rebels), Patrick Osborne (Highlanders), Fritz Lee (France).

DARK HORSE: Liam Squire.

MAJOR STRENGTH: Depth throughout squad.

MAJOR WEAKNESS: Second five-eighths.

LAST YEAR'S FINISH: 1st.

NZC WINNER: Chiefs

2014 CHAMPIONS PREDICTION: Chiefs

 

Chiefs games

R2: Feb 21 v Crusaders, Christchurch 7.35pm

R3: Mar 1 v Highlanders, Hamilton 7.35pm

R4: BYER5: Mar 14 v Stormers, Hamilton 7.35pm

R6: Mar 23 v Force, Perth 12am

R7: Mar 30 v Bulls, Pretoria 2am

R8: Apr 6 v Cheetahs, Bloemfontein 2am

R9: Apr 12 v Rebels, Hamilton 7.35pm

R10: Apr 19 v Crusaders, Hamilton 7.35pm

R11: Apr 25 v Brumbies, Canberra 7.40pm

R12: May 3 v Lions, Hamilton 7.35pm

R13: May 9 v Blues, New Plymouth 7.35pm

R14: BYE

R15: May 24 v Hurricanes, Wellington 7.35pm

R16: May 31 v Waratahs, New Plymouth 4.35pm

R17: Jun 27 v Highlanders, Dunedin7.35pm

R18: Jul 4 v Hurricanes, Hamilton7.35pm

R19: Jul 11 v Blues, Auckland7.35pm


- © Fairfax NZ News

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