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Kerr-Barlow calls for one last big defensive effort

Tawera Kerr-Barlow wants another big performance from his team-mates

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Article Published: Tuesday 31 July 2012|

Chiefs half back Tawera Kerr-Barlow has called on his team mates to put in one more big, in-your-face defensive effort as they look to secure their first Super Rugby title.

The Chiefs have done everything they can to get themselves into a position where they can win their first Super Rugby title including having home advantage but it will come to nothing if they lose to the Sharks on Saturday.

Victory on Saturday for the Chiefs could come down to the battle of the gain line which the Chiefs decisively won in their semi-final upset of the Crusaders.

Kerr-Barlow is one of the most physical halfbacks in the game and helps to set the defensive tone for his team.

He was also one of several Chiefs who threw the Crusaders off their clinical methods with an aggressive, relentless approach to defence.

"And it wasn't the first 20, it was the whole 80 minutes," Kerr-Barlow told NZ Newswire.

"Right at the end the boys defended magnificently. We held our composure and forced a mistake out of them.

"It happens because everyone's talking and when everyone's too tired to talk, someone else is talking.

"The more voice out there, the more intensity you have."

Victorian-born and Darwin-raised Kerr-Barlow moved to Hamilton in his early teens but has risen through the ranks quickly in Waikato and has kept 13-Test halfback Brendon Leonard on the reserve bench.

The twenty-one-year-old says that higher honours are a long way from his mind this week and has assigned himself the role of keeping his forwards focused on the task of being physical against the impressive Sharks pack.

"I'll know how we're going to go in the first five minutes.

"All year we've made dominant tackles, it's been a feature for us apart from in the last couple of round robin games (losses to the Crusaders and Hurricanes).

"We can't get carried away, we've got a final to play, there's no room to let up."

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