Super Rugby Pacific: Chiefs confidence undented by defeat to struggling champions Crusaders

The Chiefs insist their second loss of the Super Rugby Pacific season has done nothing to knock their confidence and they remain among the competition frontrunners.

While last week's defeat to the Crusaders was far from ideal, they feel it might just be the reset they need, as they look to make another deep run in the competition.

After copping a reality check at Christchurch, the Chiefs are upbeat and energised, as they brace for the improving Moana Pasifika on Saturday. 

Shaun Stevenson reflects on defeat to the Crusaders.
Shaun Stevenson reflects on defeat to the Crusaders. Photo credit: Photosport

"There's nothing like a loss to bring your focus back to where it needs to be," said coach Clayton McMillan.

Despite falling short against the Crusaders, the confidence and belief in Chiefs circles hasn't wavered.

"I have absolute confidence in our group," said McMillan.

"Are we happy with our consistency? Probably not, but that hasn't detracted from our internal belief that we have the ability to beat anyone in this competition."

That confidence is also shared among the playing group, still adamant this side can be titlewinners.

"We're very confident in what we can do and I still don't think we've put in a full performance, so still a lot of things to work on and it's a tight race at the top at the moment," said star Damian McKenzie. 

The Chiefs should have little trouble staying near the top this week, but their cause, McKenzie will be back at first five, after being forced to sit out against the Crusaders with injury.

"I just had a little bit of a niggle with my knee, mainly when I'm kicking," he said. "We have to have a couple of weeks off with All Blacks rest, so this was a chance to rest up my knee and get it right.

"It's feeling a lot better."

If the Chiefs are to stay near the front of the pack, they could ill afford to lose him.

Join Newshub at 7pm Saturday for live updates of the Chiefs v Moana Pasifika Super Rugby Pacific clash