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Smith : The right attitude is crucial for Chiefs

Chiefs assistant coach Wayne Smith

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Article Published: Thursday 19 July 2012|

Chiefs Assistant coach Wayne Smith says that it is vital that his team must go into their home Super Rugby semifinal with the right attitude as it is the single most important factor.

The former All Blacks assistant coach has been through play off matches of all kinds during his time with the the Crusaders and the All Blacks.

"Attitude is definitely the key," Smith said after the Chiefs Semi-final was confirmed for next Friday (July 27).

"We've worked on performance all year, on high performance, training to win and we've also worked on environment.

"I think now is the time for that environment to come through, where attitude, playing for each other, playing for our people in the Chiefs region is going to be critical," he said.

Even though the Chiefs finished as New Zealand conference winners and in second place overall they are on a two match losing streak after losses to the Crusaders and the Hurricanes.

Last week's loss to the Hurricanes effectively cost them their place on top of the Super Rugby standings.

The Hurricanes had their backs against the wall last week and simply had to win in order to stay in with a chance of reaching the play offs while the Chiefs were simply playing for home advantage and probably didn't go into the match with the right attitude.

"Perhaps (that was the case) but I hate saying that because we've had great attitude all year and there's good character in the squad and we were in a position to win both those games."

"Perhaps desperation does that to you, but we're in a great position here," Smith told Fairfax.

"We've got a home semifinal in front of our people, there'll be a full crowd, we've got everything to play for and we will have freshened up.

"And I'd expect us to be the desperate ones and put it out on the track."

Smith says that key to winning the match willl be having the right attitude.

"You want to be at your best in the biggest moments, and that's what we've got to show we can do."

Smith said that the Chiefs had learnt from several scenarios in their two recent losses that if they had done things better they would have won the games.

"That's like gold, you know, you learn from those situations, you write them in your book and take them away and the next time they occur you nail them."

Smith has praised his players attitude going into the Semi-final and said that yesterday afternoon's session at Beetham Park was the best training run they have had in a couple of months.

"There was good fizz, good understanding. We've looked inside ourselves a wee bit and we know what we want to do so there's a lot of excitement there."

The Chiefs have looked back at what got them to the top of the table for a number of weeks and what they did right in some of their best performances this season.

"We might have lost a bit of that along the way," he said.

The Chiefs have a bye this week but Smith said that he would be watching the play offs this weekend very closely.

"I'll be taking notes in both games because any scenario is possible - we can play one of three teams effectively, Reds, Crusaders or Bulls - so we've just got to be pretty alert and work pretty hard the next day getting some (video) clips done."

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