Smith: Stormers are a real threat to the Chiefs

Chiefs assistant coach Wayne Smith says that although the Chiefs are still unbeaten after four rounds he is excited as the Chiefs have plenty of room for improvement.

The Chiefs are one of three teams out of fifteen that are unbeaten going into the fifth round of Super Rugby.

The Chiefs are currently third in the overall standings and have played two matches and had a bye. The South African teams started a week early so they are a match ahead.

“It’s exciting because we have so much still to improve,” Smith told Sportal as the team prepares to face the Stormers in Hamilton.

Smith is expecting a tough match against the Stormers who lost by one point to the Crusaders in Christchurch.

The Chiefs assistant coach expects the Stormers to throw plenty at the Super Rugby champions after their frustrating loss.

“They deserved to win that game. They were really strong one-on-one, their defence was really good and their pack were very efficient with their rolling maul from lineouts. And flanker Schalk Burger was absolutely outstanding for them,” he said.

“One thing we have noticed when they come on tour to New Zealand, the Stormers get a bit more expansive and away from that attritional style of game they play at home.

“They have talented backs with Jean de Villiers and Gio Aplon is dangerous and Damian de Allende looks really good at second five-eighths. They offer a real threat to us,” he said.

Smith said that among the aspects that the Chiefs need to improve on was their supply of ball from the line out and their overall ball retention as they are putting themselves under pressure by not mastering these things.

“We need a bigger share of the ball in order to create more attacking play,” he said.

Last week’s bye has helped the Chiefs get closer to having their full personnel available for selection and at this stage it’s only likely to be Bundee Aki and Robbie Robinson for their tour of Australia and South Africa. Robinson is unlikely to feature for the Chiefs at all this season.

Lock Brodie Retallick and prop Ben Afeaki who were both out after their head clash in the season opener against the Crusaders are likely to be likely to be available this week while Tom Marshall and Gareth Anscombe are close to being ready, as is flanker Sam Cane.

Smith said that training was ‘pretty vibrant’ earlier this week as the numbers were up.

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