You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Chiefs braced for Bulls test up front

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/03/2017

Siegfried Fisi'ihoi in action for the Chiefs last season. © Phil Walter/Getty Images Siegfried Fisi'ihoi in action for the Chiefs last season. The unbeaten Chiefs have been put on notice as they prepare to face the raging Bulls in Hamilton.

Having seen his side produce a disappointing Super Rugby performance in Melbourne two weeks ago, assistant coach Andrew Strawbridge is expecting a stern examination from the South African forwards.

"There is a lot of internal pressure and some guys have an opportunity because in some instances people didn't perform as well as they should have against the Rebels," he said..

"The Bulls haven't had the start they would have liked but they're really good in a couple of areas we have struggled. We see this game as a real challenge."

The Chiefs expect to be targeted around the maul and at scrum time on Saturday night.

They have been forced to bring in Siegfried Fisi'ihoi at loose head prop with Kane Hames carrying an ankle injury.

"Ziggy has made some significant contributions off the bench," Strawbridge said.

"We felt, when he came on against the Rebels, he put his hand up by winning a couple of turnovers and scrummaging well."

The Chiefs, who are coming off a bye, have also recalled Johnny Faauli to the starting line-up, after veteran Stephen Donald was preferred at second five-eighth in the previous match.

"Johnny has done pretty well with the opportunities he has had so far," Strawbridge said.

"We see him as an abrasive player and we like what he gives us in terms of go forward."

Strawbridge paid tribute to Liam Messam as the loose forward prepares to play his 150th match for the franchise.

"Liam's a great leader in particularly helping young men understand the edge you need to cope at this level," he said.

"He's in really good nick and is working hard at his game, and finding aspects that we're helping him improve, so I can see him adding [significantly] to his 150."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon