Thursday, 26 July 2012
The Chiefs are desperately seeking the winning formula that has deserted them over the closing stages of the Super Rugby season.
Losses in their last two regular season games have stalled the Chiefs' momentum heading into Friday night's semi-final against the red-hot Crusaders in Hamilton.
Towering lock Brodie Retallick admitted defeats against the Crusaders and Hurricanes had knocked the wind out of their sails. They had spent their playoffs bye last week reviewing what had gone wrong after a chance to qualify top of the standings had been ruined.
"Some of the things that were working well for us earlier in the season, we might have just lost after coming back from the three-week break in June," he said.
"We got away from doing what we were doing so we've sat down and had a good look at the video. Then we've taken it onto the training field to nail out the couple of areas that have hurt us."
One glaring problem has been the set piece, with the Crusaders clearly dominant at lineout and scrum time when the sides met at Waikato Stadium three weeks ago.
Retallick said he was one of the big men determined to "redeem themselves" up front against their All Blacks-laden opponents.
Helping the cause is the return from injury of fellow lock Craig Clarke.
"He's been around a few years and he's got some good game sense," Retallick said.
"He knows what's going on in different parts of the field. It's good to have him there as a leader of the forward pack."
Meanwhile, Retallick denied he was feeling any fatigue after a remarkable debut season at Super Rugby level.
The 21-year-old has impressed with his high work rate and physicality for a man of his 2.04-metre frame, earning an All Blacks call-up for the Test series against Ireland.
"I'm still trucking on pretty well although it was good to have a bit of a lighter week last week," he said.
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