Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Rugby: Retallick ready for whirlwind clash

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Brodie Retallick scores the match-winner for the Chiefs against the Blues in Hamilton. Photo / Getty Images
Brodie Retallick scores the match-winner for the Chiefs against the Blues in Hamilton. Photo / Getty Images

Giant Chiefs lock Brodie Retallick is expecting another high-tempo try-fest against the Hurricanes in Saturday night's highly anticipated match in Wellington.

He says the way the Blues attacked them in the epic round seven clash in Hamilton is a pointer to what the Hurricanes are likely to try as the Chiefs return from the bye week.

"The Blues really took it to us and tried to run us off our feet. There was a lot of running in that first 20 minutes. It was a different aspect that not a lot of teams had done against us in keeping the ball and trying to run it out of their own half," Retallick said.

"It was a test for us and it pulled up a few holes in our defensive system, which were some learnings we have taken out of it.

"The Hurricanes have good athletes with great skill throughout their team, a good set piece and some big ball carriers. They are probably the team in the competition who play the same sort of style as us. It will be a great test for us this weekend."

Retallick is finally over one of the more painful injuries he has endured in his career after missing four weeks with fractured ribs courtesy of a shoulder charge from a Lions forward in round two.

"It was tough the first week or so. You don't realise how much use your core for normal body movements, even getting off the couch, laughing or coughing, which was pretty painful," he said.

Retallick proved his fitness by playing 80 minutes in his comeback against the Blues and managed to dive over for the match-winning try to seal victory for the Chiefs.

"It was tougher than usual, to be fair. You can do as much fitness as you like in terms of running but doing the pushing in scrums and getting up off the ground repeatedly was the tough part for me.

"It is always nice to score a try. I don't get too many of them. I popped my head up from a ruck and saw a wee hole there and was lucky [Steamers prop] Ziggy [Fisiihoi] was there to push me over."

The helter-skelter attacking style that has taken the Chiefs to the top of the Australasian Conference and overall Super Rugby standings is loved by tight forwards like Retallick as much as the backline.

"It brings real excitement to the whole group and gives the team a lift. It has been awesome when we are scoring tries and making breaks with some of the skill level we have seen over the past few weeks," he said.

"It is fun to go out there and play that way. I think if everyone is having fun and is keen and excited then it is only going to add to our performance."

- Chiefs v Hurricanes, Westpac Stadium, Saturday, 7.35pm

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