The Chiefs have a mountain of a task ahead of them as they look to pick up their first win in Super Rugby Aotearoa, after back to back defeats against the Highlanders and Blues.

That task is made harder as they come up against the reigning champions of Super Rugby, the Crusaders, on Sunday in Christchurch.

Failure to claim a result against the Crusaders will continue to see the Chiefs languish in the bottom two with the Hurricanes, who they face the week after in Hamilton.

The results have been a stark contrast to how the Chiefs were performing in Super Rugby before the suspension of Super Rugby, with the team fifth in the overall standings.


Last weekend's defeat against the Blues was the Chiefs first loss at home against the Auckland side since 2011, and to add salt to the wound, Luke Jacobson has been ruled out of the remainder of the season for the Chiefs after fracturing his hand in Saturday night's 24-12 loss.

Jacobson was playing in just his third match of 2020, after being limited to 10 minutes of action in the Super Rugby season before the Covid-19 enforced hiatus due to a hamstring injury. It came after he had shaken off a concussion which saw him ruled out of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup campaign late last year.

Speaking to the Herald before the opening round of Super Rugby Aotearoa, Jacobson said it had been the first time in his career that he had been hit by a string of injuries.

"Before last year, the longest I had been out for was maybe three or four weeks with an ankle," he said.

Jacobson is facing a rehabilitation process of up to six weeks, leading to his unavailability for the remainder of the Chiefs' campaign.

As a result, the 23-year-old has been able to feature in only 11 matches for the Chiefs over the past two seasons. Jacobson featured in all 160 minutes of the Chiefs' first two games in Super Rugby Aotearoa, and looked as though he hadn't missed a step in his time out of the game.

With Jacobson ruled out, Chiefs coach Warren Gatland will be hoping at least one of Sam Cane (back), Mitchell Brown (neck) or Mitchell Karpik (back) will be ready to play when the side meet the Crusaders.

Cane and Karpik have missed the opening two rounds of the season, while Brown was injured early in the Chiefs' round one match.