The Chiefs will be anxious to put away the Brumbies this Saturday to round out the Super Rugby regular season, but they will not be showing their full hand.

There is every chance the two sides will meet again in Canberra the following week in the 4 v 5 quarter-final, a scenario that would play out if the Chiefs win in Hamilton and then watch the Hurricanes lose at home to the Crusaders later that evening. That would seal fifth place on the official table.

A Hurricanes win, and both the Canes and the Chiefs finishing on equal competition points, would see the Hurricanes place higher as their points differential is the best of all teams. That would result in the Chiefs jumping on a bus at 2am on Sunday to head to Auckland for the long flight to Cape Town for a quarter-final against the Stormers. No prizes for guessing what is the Chiefs' preferred scenario.

But first things first. They must continue the unbeaten run of New Zealand franchises against their trans-Tasman counterparts in 2017 and defeat the Australian conference winners, who were sunk 16-15 on Friday night by the Reds via a late Quade Cooper penalty goal.


"We've spent a bit of time studying the Brumbies, but also done a bit on the Stormers," says Chiefs coach Dave Rennie. "We've still got to get a result, so you can't hide everything."

The Chiefs will be keeping a very close eye on the Hurricanes-Crusaders, which kicks off about 20 minutes after fulltime in their game.

"It will have a massive impact on our travel. We'll know by about 9.20pm. Packs are packed ready to go. If we have to leave them in a corner for a few days and go to Canberra, that will be good."

Hooker Nathan Harris was the only member of the All Blacks contingent at Chiefs' training on Monday, but he, Aaron Cruden and Damian McKenzie should be fine to play on Saturday.

"We told them (the All Blacks) to stay away (today). They've had a pretty intense three weeks, and only left the camp after lunchtime on Sunday, so we'll let them clear their heads a bit. We just want them fizzing come playoff time," says Rennie.

That means potentially Sam Cane, Brodie Retallick and Anton Lienert-Brown, who played extensive minutes in the Lions series, will not suit up against the Brumbies.

The Chiefs' injury toll is not too extensive, having played just one game in the last month, but Sam McNicol (concussion), Toni Pulu (knee) and Taleni Seu (forearm) are all scratched for the rest of the campaign.

Rennie will be seeking more of the intensity shown in the 17-14 win over the Hurricanes on June 9, rather than the loose play when his underpowered charges were pumped 34-6 by the Lions in the tourists' most complete 80 minutes of the tour.