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Rennie : Chiefs are ready for Crusaders

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie and his assistants

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Article Published: Monday 23 July 2012|

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie says that as they had the bye last weekend and having focused on their own game they are ready to face the Crusaders on Friday.

The Chiefs finished the regular season in second place but on top of the New Zealand conference so they had a bye last weekend while the Crusaders played and beat the Bulls.

The Sharks traveled to Brisbane and beat the Reds which set up a clash on Saturday against the Stormers in Cape Town.

The Stormers finished on top of the Super rugby standings so if they beat the Sharks they will host the Super Rugby final regardless of who wins between the Chiefs and Crusaders.

Rennie is not dismissing the possibility of the Sharks upsetting the Stormers in Cape Town and if that happens the winner of the Chiefs vs Crusaders match will host the final as they both finished the season higher in the Super Rugby standings.

Rennie says that he was expecting the Chiefs to be facing the Crusaders this weekend and for the Stormers to be playing the Sharks on Saturday.

"They (the qualifier results) were predictable," Rennie told Fairfax.

"We thought the Reds might battle against the Sharks, although we hoped they might win because that would have put the Crusaders over in Africa against the Stormers, and they had a good chance of winning that.

"That would have given us a home final if we could look after the Reds, but either way the Sharks are playing good footy and they could easily knock off the Stormers [and provide a Hamilton final anyway].

"But either way we've just got to worry about this weekend and our own game."

Rennie said that the Chiefs are happy to travel to Cape Town if they win their Semi-final and the Stormers win theirs.

"We can't control the other things."

The Chiefs have spent the last week focusing on their own game but also did a little homework on the Crusaders and the Reds who they were in line to face in the Semi-finals.

Since Saturday the Chiefs have been able to focus solely on the Crusaders who they played three weeks ago at the same venue.

"Of course we only played the Crusaders a couple of weeks ago so it's just about reaffirming things that we wanted to put into that game that we didn't manage to do."

The coaches and the team's leaders met last night in order to put together a strategic plan for the rest of the week and more particularly the game itself.

The Chiefs have identified a couple of key areas where they were not good enough the last time around against the Crusaders and feel that if they can get those right this week they would be much more competitive.

Rennie said that the Chiefs had enjoyed a particularly good week of training and preparation and that they are in a good frame of mind for the semi-final.

The coach is however conscious that the Crusaders have more experience when it came to playing in play offs as they have won seven titles and the Chiefs have yet to win a title.

"You only get experience by doing and our boys have got belief. We've beaten them in the past and the only way to get that belief is to go out and do it.

"We know we're good enough if we get things right. "

"They're in good form and will have a lot of confidence going into this game as well, so it's going to be all about who gets it right in that 80 minutes," Rennie said.

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