Huge clash with Drua coming up for Chiefs in Lautoka

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The Chiefs head to Fiji knowing their chance to claim the fourth spot and a home playoff was in their hands.

 

Coach Clayton McMillan said, "Despite the scoreline [3-61 against the Crusaders] I thought the Fijians looked dangerous. At home, it's going to be a parochial crowd, the last game for them with nothing to lose. We certainly can't take the game for granted," he said.

 

"It was nice to stretch the legs and score some nice tries," he said.

 

But he had concerns with restarts, especially in the first half, and turnovers while scoring chances, one pass from scoring, were lost so there were still elements to tidy up.

 

"But we're tracking in the right direction," he said.

 

McMillan said flanker Sam Cane seemed to think his knee injury wasn't too bad, but waking up the next day would be more revealing.

 

"He's walking around fine so, hopefully, it's minor," he said.

 

 

Halfback Brad Weber said Luke Jacobson had stepped into the openside flanker's role well after Cane left the field, while it had been good having Mitchell Brown back.

 

"It's tough when you lose a guy of Sam Cane's ability stature but the guys who took his place were pretty sharp tonight," he said.

 

McMillan was confident that illness issues that forced late changes to the side would be sorted by the weekend but a twisted knee suffered by lock Josh Lord in the side's last training run would probably take another week of recovery.

 

He felt it would be close to a full-strength side that goes to Fiji.

 

Weber said it was good to be playing again. It had been a stop-start year for him, so he appreciated getting minutes under his belt and being able to probe gaps with trademark runs in the game.

 

"I'm starting to feel pretty good and when you've got a platform like the boys are giving me up front, it makes those sort of gaps and opportunities pretty easy to see, and to take," he said.

 

McMillan said hat-trick try-scorer second five-eighths Quinn Tupaea was running into a good patch of form. He had games on the wing that probably hadn't excited him, but he did a good job in his preferred position and had come back strong.

 

"It's good signs for him," he said.

 

First five-eighths Bryn Gatland had shown the benefit of a break because they detected he was getting a little stale because of the amount of time he had been playing.

 

"One week away has done him the world of good," he said.

 

That created competition for places in the side which was what they wanted heading into the playoffs.