Attitude crucial for Chiefs
Chiefs back-line coach Wayne Smith believes the side's attitude will determine whether they will win this year's tournament.
After being at the top of the table for most of the season the Chiefs were relegated to second spot after their 28-25 loss to the Hurricanes in their final round-robin match in Wellington.
That result followed a 28-21 defeat to the Crusaders and although their title challenge appears to be floundering, Smith is confident that they can turn things around in next week's semi-final in Hamilton against the highest ranked qualifier of this weekend's play-offs in Brisbane and Christchurch.
"Attitude is definitely the key," Smith told Fairfax Media.
"We've worked on performance all year, on high performance, training to win and we've also worked on environment.
"I think now is the time for that environment to come through, where attitude, playing for each other, playing for our people in the Chiefs region is going to be critical," he added.
Many enthusiasts believe the Chiefs' losses to the Hurricanes and Crusaders were against teams who could not afford to lose, as they were chasing play-off berths, while the Chiefs had already booked their semi-final spot and were just playing to secure home ground advantage.
"Perhaps (that was the case) but I hate saying that because we've had great attitude all year and there's good character in the squad and we were in a position to win both those games," explained Smith.
"Perhaps desperation does that to you, but we're in a great position here.
"We've got a home semi-final in front of our people, there'll be a full crowd, we've got everything to play for and we will have freshened up.
"And I'd expect us to be the desperate ones and put it out on the track."
Smith believes that vital for the side to return to their winning ways.
"You want to be at your best in the biggest moments, and that's what we've got to show we can do."