Super Rugby Aotearoa: Chiefs out to avenge Super Rugby Aotearoa defeats after tough start

A week off has done the Chiefs the world of good for the rest of Super Rugby Aotearoa, claims captain Sam Cane. 

Earlier in the year, the Chiefs were one of the surprise packets in the opening rounds of Super Rugby, before the coronavirus pandemic brought the southern hemisphere competition to a halt. 

They've failed to replicate that form in Super Rugby Aotearoa, sitting at the foot of the five-team ladder with a winless run and three bonus points. 

Speaking to Newshub, Cane feels his side has the goods to turn their fortunes around, starting with a rematch against the Highlanders at FMG Stadium on Sunday.

"Despite the results we're a happy team and we have to keep trusting that what we're doing is right," he says. 

"The break did us good. Lots of us got away and none of us chatted about rugby, and we've come back and had some good days at practice. 

"The uniqueness of this competition is that we get a crack at the same four teams that we just lost too. They're fresh in our mind and we're excited to have another crack at these teams.

"The feeling in camp has been awesome, but the frustration has crept in that we haven't been able to do it in the park."

In that match five weeks ago, Bryn Gatland - son of Chiefs coach Warren - came off the bench and slotted a 40m drop goal in the closing minutes to secure a 28-27 for the Highlanders. 

"We could have been saying it was our drop kick that won it, if we secured our own kickoff," says Cane, reflecting on the loss 

"The Highlanders were good up front, they created two tries from rolling mauls, so we will have to improve that area. 

"Aaron Smith has taken another step up since wearing the captaincy armband, but a big part of our game will be slowing their ball down."  

Cane also noted the importance of taking their opportunities, something the other teams have done when facing the Chiefs. 

"These series remind me of test matches, where we've had arm wrestles and then there has been a five-minute spell where the team pulls away. 

"The Crusaders have been finishing strong later in the halves, so we need to be better in those moments and not allow the opposition to take theirs."

Join us for live updates of the Chiefs v Highlanders Super Rugby Aotearoa clash from 3:30pm Sunday   

Super Rugby Aotearoa: Chiefs out to avenge Super Rugby Aotearoa defeats after tough start