Chiefs: Your guide to the 2014 season
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.
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
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
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