Chiefs know they need to retain focus against Sunwolves

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Fullback Damian McKenzie, who completed his first full game in 12 months, in the 25-15 win over the Crusaders at the weekend said it would be important to remain focused on their goals.

 

McKenzie said while it had been great to get a win over the Crusaders in week two, they knew the competition didn't get any easier and going over to Japan they had to make sure they backed up with a good performance this weekend.

 

"The Sunwolves are coming off a bye so they'll be pretty fresh so for us it is about going over there and having the same mindset we had last week," he said.

 

Attempting to get a better start was an improvement they could always make as it had been something they had struggled a little with in the past.

 

"If we can come out of the gates and start a bit stronger this weekend than we did last weekend I guess it helps, especially with scoreboard pressure and then building more pressure against the Sunwolves.

 

"They're a good side and can't be taken lightly so we'll have to come out and start well," he said.

Not giving them a 'sniff' would be important. McKenzie said the prospect of a first trip away together was exciting.

 

"Like all years they are a team that plays some pretty exciting rugby. I've only seen one of their games this year so they are one win from one. It's never easy going over to Japan. It's always a nice trip to get over there and it's a little bit colder than back home at the moment so the boys have packed a few winter clothes," he said.

 

McKenzie wasn't expecting jetlag to be an issue for the side, in spite of leaving so late in the week. There was only four hours time difference so it would be important how they handled themselves on Thursday and they would be coming home on Saturday night straight after their game.

 

McKenzie said his body had taken a little bit of a battering against the Crusaders and his shoulders were a bit sore.

 

"But it was great to be back out there and it was just adjusting to being out on the field and getting through 80 minutes," he said.

 

He got a taster for the job ahead with the pre-season game against the Blues which gave him some confidence while that grew through training and to get through 80 minutes and to play some more time would all contribute to his confidence building more.