Chiefs adopt indirect approach to final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Chiefs adopt indirect approach to final

By Martin Davidson 28/05/2009 03:57:22 PM Comments (0)

The Chiefs intend targeting Morne Steyn by looking elsewhere in the Super 14 rugby final against the Bulls in Pretoria on Sunday morning (AEST).

The Bulls five-eighth is a master at collecting the cheap points, his proficiency for dropped goals gaining Steyn the reputation of a serial heartbreaker.

It was Steyn who ended the Crusaders' hopes of retaining their title last weekend when he supplied 21 points, including four drop goals, in the Bulls' 36-23 semi-final win at their Loftus Versfeld fortress.

Operating behind a hard-nosed, physically imposing and technically efficient set of forwards, Steyn normally has time on his side to direct his backline attacks, via boot or hand.

Chiefs assistant coach Craig Stevenson acknowledged the threat posed by Steyn, who has 10 Super 14 dropped goals beside his name this season alone.

But he insisted the playmaker can be put off his stride providing close attention is paid to those around him.

"Obviously Morne is a very good player and he kicks the ball a long way, especially at altitude," Stevenson said.

"They do have a very, very good kicking game and we are going to have to close it down.

"We have to make sure we put pressure on his halfback (Fourie du Preez) and once again they have a very, very good halfback.

"As a forward pack, we need to put pressure on to disrupt their ball and try to slow it down and make it untidy. Then we can get pressure on their kickers."

In a boost for the Chiefs, centre Richard Kahui returns to replace Sitiveni Sivivatu - who was ruled out of the side's first-ever final with a dislocated shoulder.

Coach Ian Foster on Thursday named Kahui after the All Blacks midfielder overcame a calf muscle strain which ruled him out of their 14-10 semi-final victory over the Hurricanes.

Dwayne Sweeney shifts out a spot from centre to Sivivatu's left wing position, while in-form flanker Liam Messam will play his 50th Super rugby match for the Chiefs.

The Chiefs simply have to match the Bulls in the forward exchanges to stand a realistic chance of tipping over the title favourites.

The tough South African psyche takes some breaking down and men such as Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha do not flinch from any confrontation.

Stevenson said the Chiefs forwards took great heart from their effort against the Bulls in Pretoria last month, a game they lost 33-27.

"We know we can scrum well against them, our lineout worked well, and we just need to make sure we shut down their momentum.

"Our loose forwards have been defending really well off our set piece and our props have been getting in to help there too.

"We know we are up against a huge challenge against a huge forward pack.

"But we only have 80 minutes of rugby left and we are looking forward to that challenge."

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