Calm Cane's example gets Chiefs home

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Sunday, April 8, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

While it is almost a cliché that teams talk about the respect they have for the opposition, no matter where their opponents sit on the competition ladder, Cane said that every Chiefs-Blues clash he had been involved in while won by the Chiefs, they had never been able to put the Blues away.


"There's always been small margins and it's normally been right down to the last 10 minutes so I'm under no illusions about how tough they are, they are probably one of the classic derbies," he said.

Cane said the period in the final quarter when a series of scrums out from the Blues line hadn't produced the desired result until finally a penalty try was awarded by referee Paul Williams was trying.

"From experience you can't allow frustration to start creeping into your brain otherwise it just dominates and affects the way you play the rest of the game. There was a bit of frustration that we were creating opportunities, not finishing them off.

"It felt like sometimes we weren't getting the calls we really wanted. I was feeling frustration creep in so a couple of times we just brought the key decision-makers in and said, 'let's not get frustrated, let's just stick at it. We'll get our crack and we'll make the most of it when we do'.

"In the end it came in the form of scrum after scrum so it was pleasing to get," he said.

They had then managed to lock the Blues deep in their own half to get the win.

"Frustration can creep in, but you can't allow it do dominate your thoughts," he said.

Coach Colin Cooper said frustration had been an issue for him. Usually he was the one telling everyone else to keep calm but he said when there were continual penalties from scrums they had dominated for most of the game before a penalty try was given, it was frustrating.

"But we got there with a lot of patience and a lot of control and we got what we deserved, but I would have expected it to come a little earlier," he said.

"We worked really hard this week as we knew the Blues would come here wounded. We worked really hard defensively," he said.

While the Chiefs had dominated the second half their progress was hindered by mistakes they made and the rub of the green with decisions not going their way.

However Cooper said with a leader like Cane there was a degree of calmness in getting the side ready to battle again.

"To me that was the difference. I've got a bunch of leaders in the group that dig deep and their experience and their calmness really showed in that second half," he said.

It didn't help that the ground clock had advanced by nearly 10 minutes as they headed deep into the final quarter with the Chiefs still behind on the scoreboard.

"To see Sam in charge to bring the waka home, it was just a fantastic effort by the players," he said.

The second half performance had been outstanding because the Blues were not a bad team, he said.