Kahui & Sivivatu boost for Chiefs


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The Chiefs have received a boost in that key backs Richard Kahui and Sitiveni Sivivatu look to be on track for Saturday’s Super 14 clash against the Highlanders in Hamilton.

Kahui and Sivivatu had both been ruled out of the 43-27 hammering of the Bulls in Rotorua with ankle injuries.

The Chiefs had a rearranged backline but did well to secure a four try bonus point, their first of the season.

Once the two are ready for action they are expected to be named in the team.

“They’re probably the first two names down on paper when you’re selecting a team and we’ll be looking forward to having those guys back and adding another dimension to our attacking backline,” halfback Brendon Leonard told RugbyHeaven.

Looking back at the match against the Bulls he described the match as a potential “benchmark” for the Chiefs as they looked to turn their season around.

“That’s the first game we’ve scored four tries and I think that will give us a bit of confidence that we can play how the Chiefs are known to play, with a bit of free-flowing rugby,” said Leonard.

He says that the difference last week was in the forwards. “But the major contributing factor for me was the forwards stepped up and gave me and Steve [Donald] a good platform.”

“I knew I had to perform to help us beat the Bulls and Fossie put it on myself to step up and control the team around the field and lift the talk a bit.”

Leonard was also the beneficiary of some Sione Lauaki magic in the first half, the big No 8 putting his halfback away for a key score with a chip kick, gather and pass that Launched the home team’s charge.

“I saw him do the chip kick and I thought it was a good idea because there was no one in behind the front line,” said Leonard. “I realised if he got a good bounce we might be in with a shot, and he did.

“He had a great game, and there wouldn’t be many people picking he could pull off a chip-and-chase like that.”

“But we have to get another win this week. We haven’t won two in a row this year and we have to start building a bit of momentum. If we lose this week, it’s back to square one, so we just have to make sure we keep going.”

Leonard says that he believes the Chiefs need to start showing some consistency and with their next match being against the Highlanders who are bottom of the log without a win after five matches they have a good opportunity to get two wins in a row.

“We’ve got to make sure we start getting some consistency into our game and keep climbing the table,” added Leonard. “We’re in a better position than we were last year when we finished pretty strongly, so we’re still capable of giving this competition a good nudge.

“It’s another big clash this weekend. We’ve got to start putting back-to-back wins together if we want to be serious contenders.”

“There are no easy games against Otago or Highlanders sides. We’ve got to make sure we’re ready for the physical challenge they’ll bring. They’ll throw everything at us and really have nothing to lose now.

The Highlanders have finished within 7 points of their opposition four out of five times this year.

“They’re probably in the same place we were last year. They’ve had close losses through the first five or six rounds, but they’ve got a good side and we definitely won’t be taking them lightly.”   

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