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Chiefs happy with Super Rugby bye break
Crystal Ja
11:55 AEST Sat Mar 17 2012

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie says the Super Rugby bye has come at a perfect time after three impressive - but fatiguing - victories in a row against the Blues, Crusaders and Brumbies.

The Chiefs have briefly stormed their way to the top of the New Zealand conference table with Friday's last-gasp 29-22 home win over the ACT franchise.

Outside centre Jackson Willison left it until the final minute to score in the corner and send the hard-fighting Brumbies back across the Tasman with a loss.

Rennie said it was a massive relief to come away with the points.

"It wasn't our best performance," he told AAP.

"There's probably not too many things that we're jumping up and down with joy over.

"We're lucky we managed to steal it in the end."

Rennie said it was likely the Chiefs were still feeling the effects of two grinding wins over the Blues and the Crusaders in the past two weekends, noting the Chiefs lacked their usual edge.

"We played a very wide game right from the kick-off, but the plan was to go up the middle and force the Brumbies to make a lot of tackles and bring the defenders in.

"But we just didn't look after the ball and played quite wide, and then defensively we weren't anywhere where we've been in recent weeks."

Handling errors marred much of the Chiefs' match.

"We pushed too many passes," Rennie said.

"Even when the Brumbies made errors, we could have had a crack at the turnover ball, but we were really inaccurate on that too.

"We didn't have same sort of commitment to the ball on the deck.

"But we've had three very tough games against Kiwi sides and certainly our boys were pretty tired after it.

"The bye is probably good timing for us to be honest."

Taking in the bye, the Chiefs will be 18 points up when they take on the Waratahs at home on March 31, while the Brumbies host the Highlanders in Canberra next Saturday.


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