Super Rugby 2019: Chiefs embracing bye week after a tough road trip

Chiefs coach Colin Cooper is looking forward to the bye week, after a successful road trip to Pretoria and Buenos Aires.

His side started the season with four defeats, before producing a draw against the Hurricanes, and two wins away from home against the Bulls and the Jaguares.

After the 30-27 nail-biter in Argentina, the 60-year-old thinks it's a great time for his side to have a week off.

"We've had a tough few games at the start and we've managed to go on this tour, which has been demanding," Cooper said. "The bye has come at a good time.

"Yes, you may lose some momentum, but it's about making sure we have a good break to prepare for the Blues."

Cooper knew the team would come right, given the amount of work put in at training each week.

"[I was] always confident, because they were trying and working hard.

"I knew the performances would come good against the Hurricanes, and we got better against the Bulls and then here - it's put the team in a good place.

Captain Michael Allardice was happy with the team's defence against the Jaguares, but knew it could get better.

"[We are] heading the right way, but we're still not where we want to be," he said.

"I think we were a bit slow in clarity, especially in defence.

"The points we were leaking were costing us big time - we made shifts in that area and it's starting to pay off now."

Cooper agreed it had taken time to adjust to Neil Barnes as the defensive coach, taking over from Cooper at the start of the season.

"It's a new system," he said. "It's something that takes time.

"We are getting better and better - we are starting to have better communication.

"A couple of their tries came from poor tackles, but overall, the defence has got better.

"Our defensive lineout was outstanding. Their lineout drives are a massive key for them and we were able to stop those.

The Chiefs have this week off, before hosting the Blues in Hamilton on April 13.

Join us at 7:30pm Friday for live updates of the Highlanders vs Hurricanes Super Rugby clash.


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