Super 14: Chiefs battling in ‘hotter than ever’ Durban

2010-02-11 00:00

THE Chiefs are battling with the Durban heat, but coach Ian Foster says his squad have prepared well for Saturday’s Super 14 opener against the Sharks.

The Chiefs have been training in temperatures in excess of 30 degrees in Durban this week and Saturday night’s game is expected to be played in hot, humid conditions.

Foster said it seems even hotter than usual in Durban.

“The key is to play well, particularly in the challenging conditions we are playing in with the heat and humidity here. But clearly we want points and if you pick up a couple of wins away on these sorts of tours you have done very, very well.”

He added that concentration and fitness would be critical on Saturday.

Foster said that Callum Bruce, who strained his knee in last Friday’s friendly against the Hurricanes, should be ready for Saturday and a decision on his fitness will be made today.

Foster said that the Chiefs’ first three games will be played in the heat and “we made sure we didn’t overplay too many people and our scrum is looking stronger than they were last year”.

Foster said he knows little of the Sharks’ Steve Meyer who is expected to be at flyhalf — with Ruan Pienaar on the bench — when the team is named today.

Foster told reporters that it is pointless studying video clips of Meyer playing for Perpignan because he is playing in a new team and would change the way he played anyway.

The Chiefs coach refused to take any comfort from the Sharks’ early season displays, but judged them on what he saw last year.

“I’m very surprised people are writing them off. I have very little to go on, except what I saw in 2009, which was pretty good for the most part.

“With the Bulls, they’re consistently the form South African teams who are always in play-off contention.”

He said that the Sharks have lost Frans Steyn since last season “but we are without Mils Muliaina and Lelia Masaga”.

The match kicks off at 7.10 pm on Saturday.

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