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Wed Apr 23 12:27:00 SAST 2014

Chiefs can win title, says McCaw

TEAMtalk Media | 29 July, 2012 14:110 Comments
Super Rugby Semi Final - Chiefs v Crusaders
Richie McCaw of the Crusaders is tackled during the Super Rugby semifinal against the Chiefs at Waikato Stadium on July 27, 2012 in Hamilton, New Zealand
Image by: Sandra Mu / Getty Images

Crusaders captain Richie McCaw believes the Chiefs have the ability to win their maiden Super Rugby title.

Speaking after his side's 20-17 loss to the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday McCaw warned, however, that Craig Clarke and his charges will have to maintain their intensity for one more week.

"That's always the challenge in sport but if they're able to get to that level again, then there's no reason that they can't," he told New Zealand's Yahoo Sport.

McCaw said the Hamilton outfit's ability to win retain quick ball, especially at the rucks, made life difficult for the Crusaders, especially during the first half when Sona Taumalo and Liam Messam scored tries.

"And they ran particularly hard at us, guys like Liam and Sonny (Bill Williams), and when you're a bit flat footed, they're hard men to tackle," he said.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said his side's mental preparation was much better than during their successive defeats to the Crusaders and Hurricanes in their final two matches of the regular season.

"We don't want to use it as an excuse but we just weren't as desperate in those last couple of games," he explained.

"This time you could see from the opening whistle there was more intensity in everything we did.

"There were a lot of guys who made big contributions defensively so it made a massive difference," added Rennie.

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