Super Rugby 2020: Chiefs' lacklustre starts must be rectified - Damian McKenzie

Two lacklustre starts have marred the Chiefs' perfect start to their Super Rugby campaign, something Damian McKenzie says they must rectify. 

Both the Blues and the Crusaders had early success against Warren Gatland's table-topping side, only to be run down in the second half.

The Chiefs trailed 19-5 against the Blues in week one, before overwhelming the Auckland-based franchise 37-29 with a three-try second half.

Much the same occurred against the Crusaders in Hamilton last Saturday night, when the three-time defending champions led 12-3 midway through the first half.

A 25-3 run got the Chiefs home relatively comfortably, but that recipe for victory is not viable long term, according to fit-again All Black McKenzie. 

The 24-year-old, who has returned from a horror knee ligament tear, told Newshub the Chiefs sought a better start against the Sunwolves in Tokyo on Saturday.

"If we can come out of the gates a little stronger against the Sunwolves, that will help us build some scoreboard pressure on them, which creates opportunities," McKenzie said on Wednesday.

"They're a good side, so we will need to start well. They play exciting rugby and we saw that against the Rebels in their win, week one. 

"It's never easy playing over there and it'll be a tough game on Saturday."

McKenzie was excellent for the Chiefs in his return to action against the Crusaders.

The fullback-first-five-turned-fullback was back to his elusive best, after seeing his World Cup dreams shattered nearly 12-months ago.

"The body took a little bit of a hammering for sure, but it was great to be back out there and get through the full 80 minutes.

"I was lucky enough to have a little bit of a run around against the Blues in the pre-season, which gave me some confidence, but to get through the game on the weekend and then if I can build from that the next few weeks, that confidence will only build.

"It's just great to be back playing some footy."

The Chiefs head to Tokyo a little undermanned, with Gatland opting to rest front-liners Aaron Cruden, Sam Cane and Anton Lienert-Brown.

Join us for live updates of the Chiefs v Sunwolves Super Rugby clash from 4:45pm Saturday.