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Cruden wants to carry on goalkicking

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/05/2017

Aaron Cruden of the Chiefs. © Phil Walter / Getty Images Aaron Cruden of the Chiefs. Aaron Cruden is determined to keep on goalkicking despite a disappointing performance that played a part in the Chiefs' seven-point loss to the Crusaders in Suva.

The All Black first five-eighth was able to land only one from four attempts in the 31-24 defeat on Friday which has had a huge impact on the top of the standings.

However, he believes it was just a glitch and wants to keep the job ahead of fullback Damian McKenzie, who has enjoyed an accurate season with the boot.

"It was a bit of a bummer the way I kicked at the weekend, especially in such a crucial game," Cruden said.

"Kickers have those sometimes and the rhythm wasn't quite there for me but I'll be putting in the work this week to make sure it doesn't happen again."

The Chiefs' second loss of the season leaves the unbeaten Crusaders in the box seat to finish at the top of the New Zealand conference.

Cruden, who is heading to French club rugby later this year, will do anything to go out with a third title at the Chiefs.

He won't be too proud to hand the kicking tee to McKenzie if he is having another off-night.

"It's just one of those game-by-game situations but I've been happy with how my goal kicking has being going this year," he said.

"I have pretty high standards and expectations of myself but I won't let it get me down.

"I've got a great skills coach here with Andrew Strawbridge and he will be helping me to get that rhythm back."

Cruden has landed 73 per cent of his shots this season and coach Dave Rennie is keen for him to stay in the role.

"We're fortunate we have a couple of good options but we believe Aaron is our best goal kicker," Rennie said.

"He didn't have a great night by his own admission with the boot but I thought he played superbly overall so we certainly won't let one game spook us."

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