Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Rugby: Chiefs grounded despite hot form

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Brumbies back Matt Toomua is crunched by two Chiefs defenders in Tom Sanders and Sam Cane (right) in Canberra last Saturday. Photo / Getty Images
Brumbies back Matt Toomua is crunched by two Chiefs defenders in Tom Sanders and Sam Cane (right) in Canberra last Saturday. Photo / Getty Images

Chiefs fans are expecting another running rugby onslaught from their team against the hapless Blues in Hamilton tonight.

The Super Rugby leaders have scored 15 tries in their last two matches, including six spectacular efforts against the Brumbies in Canberra last Saturday that are certainties for the post-season highlights reel.

But Chiefs co-captain Sam Cane was taking a more pragmatic approach.

The down-to-earth product of the small town of Reporoa was taking nothing for granted despite his team's success so far this campaign.

"If you look at the past clashes against the Blues it is never easy. Although we have had the wood over them the past few years they have not been easy battles. They do have a very good pack with a number of strong ball carriers and throughout their backline as well," Cane said.

"One-on-one they have guys that can beat you so our defence is going to have to be very sharp. We are going to have to hang on to ball and not give them any turnover opportunities and make sure our kicking is on the money.

"We are actually pretty excited about playing at home again. Although we only played here two weeks ago it seems like we haven't spent much time at home. Hopefully we can get another good showing from the crowd and put up a good performance and get the right result."

Cane was delighted with the style of rugby his team had been playing.

"The best way to sum it up is we are having lots of fun. We are finishing the game after scoring some great tries and seeing the joy on the guys faces. It is really enjoyable.

"You always hope as a team to do really well. We have aspirations of winning the title so we want to make sure we are winning but maybe the way we have gone about winning over the last couple of weeks has been particularly pleasing.

"But we know in this competition it doesn't count for much if you can't back it up every week. We have moved on and dumped that (Brumbies) and even though we have scored a few points there are too many areas of our game that are not quite up to scratch."

Cane had a big part in the turnover ball created against that Brumbies that directly led to some of the Chiefs tries.

The steals were more significant than normal up against David Pocock, regarded now, post-Richie McCaw, as perhaps the world's best openside flanker.

"It is always good to test yourself against other quality opensides. You don't read too much into one-on-one battles because a lot of it is down to how the team performs ultimately and how the tight five get some dominance usually."

- Chiefs v Blues, FMG Waikato Stadium, tonight, 7.45pm

- Bay of Plenty Times

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