Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Chiefs must cut out errors: Weber

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Chiefs halfback Brad Weber has been a standout performer in this year's Super Rugby competition. Photo / Getty Images
Chiefs halfback Brad Weber has been a standout performer in this year's Super Rugby competition. Photo / Getty Images

Last week's bye did not come at a good time for the Chiefs players and coaches.

They have had plenty of time to ponder what went wrong and how to get their title aspirations back on track after the sobering loss to the Highlanders at a sold-out Waikato Stadium on May 7.

Halfback Brad Weber says this week's training has been about focusing on holding the ball and building pressure.

"We let the Highlanders off a lot of the time. We made breaks and got in behind them a lot but then we would let ourselves down by dropping the ball and giving the ball back to them," Weber said.

"We know if we hold on to the ball for long phases then we will put teams under pressure. But if you can't go more than three phases in a game then more than often you are going to lose.

"We played the Highlanders a couple of times last year and they were very similar in terms of their intensity, so we knew what was coming.

"We just let ourselves down more than anything."

Weber was hoping to play better up against Highlanders and All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith.

"I didn't play as well as I've played previously this year. They certainly looked after their ruck defence so I didn't see too many opportunities to get my running game going unfortunately.

"Aaron's skill set is obviously pretty high up there in terms of his passing and his kicking and everything. He really controlled their game in particular with his kicking game.

"We play slightly similar but at the same time are different. He is pretty good isn't he?"

Weber knows where he needs to improve to get closer to Smith's performance levels.

"Certainly the consistency in my skill set. I know I have a good pass and a good kick in my arsenal but it is just about doing it at a high level consistently cause if you do one or two bad ones in a game it is a bit of a blight on your game," he said.

"So for me it is all about getting heaps of reps in and being consistent out on the field."

Weber made his All Blacks debut against Samoa last year and is right in the frame with Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara to be selected as Smith's back-up against Wales next month.

It is something the former Napier Boys' High School First XV star wants more than anything.

"I had a little taste of it last year and I am pretty keen to get back in there. It is great to be in the mix and have my name thrown about.

"I learnt from last year that I really have to perform here [Chiefs] to even get a shot so I am not really thinking too far ahead to that sort of stuff," he said.

"If I am not playing well for the Chiefs then I won't be back. If I get picked that would be bloody great."

- Gallagher Chiefs v Melbourne Rebels, Waikato Stadium, tomorrow, 7.35pm.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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