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Clarke set to return for Chiefs against Sharks

Chiefs co-captain Craig Clarke should return this weekend

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Article Published: Tuesday 23 April 2013|

Chiefs co-captain Craig Clarke looks set to give the current Super Rugby Champions a timely boost by returning to face the Sharks having recovered from concussion.

The Chiefs have lost their last two Super Rugby matches - against the Reds and the Waratahs - and Clarke has missed the Chiefs last five matches after suffering concussion in their loss to the Stormers in Cape Town on March the 9th.

Clarke's leadership work ethic and leadership have been missed by the Chiefs particularly in their recent losses in Hamilton and Sydney.

Now that Clarke is available to return for the Chiefs he says that it was time for the champions to starting thinking clearly rather than making wholesale changes which usually happens when a team loses two matches in a row.

Clarke says that they realise the size of the task ahead but they are looking forward to the opportunity to put things right starting in this weekend's Super Rugby final rematch against the Sharks.

"It's pretty obvious that we're starting pretty poorly and that's a combination of (a lack of) intensity and accuracy - there have been too many mistakes which have let teams get a roll on early which is fairly tough to combat once you're down by a few," Clarke told the NZHerald.

"There's been a little bit of a disconnect between the forwards and the backs - when do the backs get the ball and when do the forwards take over, that sort of thing."

Clarke says that the Chiefs pas has been providing a decent enough platform and the set pieces were functioning okay but they have lost the directness they had last season.

"The lineout drive (is) not that good, and general go-forward around close (to the ruck is) not quite good enough."

Clarke said that last week against the Waratahs at half time the coaches Rennie, Wayne Smith and Tom Coventry made their displeasure obvious after the Chiefs had let the home side go ahead 15-0.

"At halftime in the Waratahs game there was a fair bit of heat there from the coaches, which was warranted. The guys know if they don't perform they're going to get a serve."

"But this week the coaches have been really good in being realistic about the position we're in and the amount of work we're going to have to do to get out of it. "

"We see that as a really good challenge. We have a really positive mindset to get into our work and get things going again."

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