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Elliot: Chiefs will bring an edge not seen this year

Hika Elliot says the Chiefs really need to step up this weekend

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Article Published: Wednesday 24 July 2013|

Chiefs hooker Hika Elliot admits that the forward pack were poor against the Crusaders in their last two meetings but is confident they can peform against them this weekend.

The last meetings between the Chiefs and Crusaders in Super Rugby saw the Crusaders finish as the victors.

Elliot however says that he confident that the Chiefs can lift their performance this weekend and produce their best game of the season in Saturday night's Super Rugby semi-final at Waikato Stadium.

"We've always gone into the games against the Crusaders knowing that we have to front as a forward pack and if you look back at the last game it was us forwards that got beaten up, especially at the breakdown and lineout time," the Chiefs hooker said.

"We really need to step up in terms of our set-piece and bring an edge and a physicality to our game that people haven't seen this year.

"If we can do that I think we've got the potential in our backline to cut some shapes up in teams."

Elliot said that their last performance was "hugely disappointing" and admits they failed to fire in their 43-15 drubbing in Christchurch almost three weeks ago.

"We were in it for most of that first half and that try (by Kieran Read) just before halftime sort of relieved a lot of that pressure (on them) and put a lot of pressure back on us.

"We chased the game from there and probably chased the game too early. We made too many mistakes at our own end and to get a hiding like that - because it was a hiding - the boys really hurt."

Due to the Chiefs last performance against the Crusaders Elliot says there is a feeling in their squad that they need to be right on top of their game this week and Elliot has no doubt that they can perform at the level needed to beat the in-form Crusaders.

"I think we can get there. I know and I understand the character of this team and what we've built over the last year and a half to two years," Elliot told Fairfax NZ News.

"We've got a hard-working bunch of guys that are willing to put their bodies on the line for each other week-in, week-out and I think we're going to show that this week - show how really tight we are."

Elliot says that getting their set-pieces will be crucial in stopping the Crusaders and that they will look to capitalise on their strengths.

"I think our scrum's performing really really well and we're getting our ball on our terms and putting some scrums under real pressure so if we can just build on that and really go into a focus that our set-piece - whether it be lineout scrum or kickoff - and the breakdown are going to be key, that is going to be the winning or the losing of this game."

In their last outing against the Crusaders trapped the Chiefs in their own half and pressured them into making mistakes but Eliot says they are more aware this time.

"If we can't nullify that in their game then we're going to be on the back foot all day and guys like Daniel Carter, Israel Dagg and Tom Marshall are going to have a field day so we really need to shut them down and perform well at set-piece time," Elliot said.

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