Super Rugby: Chiefs chasing rare away win against Bulls in Pretoria

The Chiefs face a daunting task against the Bulls in South Africa on Sunday (NZ time), as they still search for their first win of the Super Rugby season.

The Hamilton-based franchise is rooted to the bottom of the Super Rugby standings, with four losses and a draw this season.

They face the Bulls, who are top of the South African conference and have the best defensive stats in the competition, conceding only 56 points through four games.

On top of that, the Chiefs haven't beaten the Bulls in Pretoria since 2001, although they did play out a 34-34 draw in 2014.

Chiefs assistant coach Tabai Matson knows the odds are against his side, but claims morale is high, after they drew 23-23 against the Hurricanes last week, ending their four-game losing streak.

"We're disappointed with the outcome [against the Hurricanes], but the silver lining is we stopped the losing streak, which is a massive confidence booster for us," said Matson.

"But we have to get better, if we're going to get a win.

"We didn't win last week because we didn't nail our opportunities, so we have to improve against the conference leaders and that's the reality for us." 

The Chiefs will name their squad late on Thursday night (NZ time), but Matson expects Damian McKenzie to start at fullback once again, with either older brother Marty or Jack Debreczeni at first-five.

McKenzie started at first-five for the first four games of the season, before switching to fullback against the Hurricanes, where he arguably played his best game of the season.

Matson said having two playmakers on the field made a massive difference.

"Having a world-class fullback at the back made a difference and we'll probably be looking to do that again.

"Just having two playmakers on the field made a massive difference to our territory battle. We'll be looking for that again this week."

The Chiefs are also expected to welcome outside back Solomon Alaimalo, after recovering from a head knock.

Meanwhile, the Bulls have named their squad to face the Chiefs, which will be captained by first-five Handre Pollard.

Despite the Chiefs' struggles in 2019, Pollard is still expecting a tough encounter.

"They have this ability to make things look so easy at times and are very quick to turn defence into attack," said Pollard. "This is going to be a huge challenge for us.

"It would be nice to have a good crowd in - there can be no doubt that it is going to be a very entertaining match."