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    'Embarrassed' Chiefs told to shape up for Bulls

    2017-03-30 08:25

    Wellington - The Chiefs have been told to get their act together for their Super Rugby clash with the Bulls after an unconvincing win over the struggling Rebels.

    Coach Dave Rennie read the riot act to the two-time champions after they needed a late burst to overcome Australia's bottom-placed team in their last outing.

    "There were some carefully chosen words," Rennie said, after showing his players images from the Rebels match. "When the guys looked at it, they were pretty embarrassed."

    The Chiefs return from a bye with a record of four wins out of four games so far to lie second in the New Zealand conference behind the Crusaders.

    The Crusaders will also need to improve after being sent to scrum school following a series of collapses in their recent wins against the Reds and Force.

    Despite having a pack bulging with All Blacks, the seven-time champions have been put through a refresher course in scrum techniques ahead of their game against the Waratahs in Sydney.

    "We want it to be a contest, and we don't want re-sets like that," said assistant forwards coach Jason Ryan.

    The Hurricanes will need to contend with the after-effects of Cyclone Debbie as they take on the Reds in storm-soaked Brisbane.

    As well as the severe weather, the Hurricanes will also have to cope with the loss of captain and All Blacks hooker Dane Coles, who is nursing an injured knee.

    Meanwhile, the Stormers revealed an unusual approach to training ahead of their game against the unfancied Cheetahs.

    While the Cheetahs may not pose formidable opposition, Stormers coach Robbie Fleck is taking a long-term view and preparing his side as if facing a New Zealand franchise. 

    A quirk of the draw meant the Stormers did not play a New Zealand side last year until the quarter-finals when thrashed 60-21 by the Chiefs. 

    They play all five New Zealand teams this year, starting with the Chiefs next weekend, and flyhalf Robert du Preez said preparations were already under way.

    "Our training has changed a lot," Du Preez said.

    "Every Thursday we do what we call a 'Kiwi Day' just to prepare for them because we knew that they pose a different threat. 

    "We go hard at each other on Thursdays."

    In the congested Africa 2 Conference, the Lions play the Sharks with both sides having one loss from five outings so far. 

    Argentina's Jaguares, with a similar record, have a bye. 

    In Australia, the Brumbies also have a bye leaving the way open for the Waratahs and the Reds to challenge them for the top spot. 

    The remaining two matches see the Highlanders play the Rebels in Dunedin on Friday, while the Blues host the Force on Saturday.

    Teams:

    Chiefs

    15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane (co-captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi

    Substitutes: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Kane Hames, 18 Atu Moli, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Stephen Donald, 23 Solomon Alaimalo

    Bulls

    15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11Jamba Ulengo, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Nick de Jager, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Pierre Schoeman

    Substitutes: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Jason Jenkins, 20 Jannes Kirsten, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Warrick Gelant

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    Fixtures

    Friday, 27 April 2018
    • Hurricanes v Sunwolves, Westpac Stadium 09:35
    • Stormers v Rebels, Cape Town 15:05
    Saturday, 28 April 2018
    • Reds v Lions, Suncorp Stadium 07:05
    • Blues v Jaguares, Eden Park 09:35
    • Brumbies v Crusaders, GIO Stadium 11:45
    • Bulls v Highlanders, Loftus Versfeld 17:15
    Friday, 04 May 2018
    • Chiefs v Jaguares, Rotorua International Stadium 09:35
    • Rebels v Crusaders, AAMI Park 11:45

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