The Chiefs will take on the Hurricanes seriously under strengthed tonight.
A potential home quarter-final hangs in the balance for Dave Rennie and his men.
Sonny Bill Williams and James Lowe will both miss tonights clash due to injury.
The loss of SBW in particular is a big blow – not only for the fans who were looking forward to the exciting showdown of Nonu v Williams, but also the loss in physical presence in the midfield has handed a big advantage to the Hurricanes.
Andrew Strawbridge told media on Thursday that the Chiefs are not going to sweat heavily on young Damian McKenzie in his role in the vital first five position tonight.
Kicking the points is going to be crucial, perhaps the difference between winning and losing against a top of the table Hurricanes which have showed seemingly unbreakable defense this year.
However – should Andrew Horrell make the starting lineup, McKenzie’s kicking duties may be void.
Anton Lienart Brown has come into the side in replacement of Williams but it remains to be seen if the Chiefs coaches will start the youngster or back the experience of Horrell in the midfield.
Look for Horrell to be moved into the starting lineup tonight.
Bryce Heem moves onto the wing.
Discipline has been an issue, turnover ball, and injuries which have seen the Chiefs field varied different starting lineups throughought the season.
The record is good – only three losses thus far gives the Chiefs second standing in the NZ conference but the fact is – to beat the Hurricanes at home in Wellington tonight is going to mean the best performance from the Chiefs this season undoubtadley.