x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Aware of Bulls' comeback skills, Chiefs guard against complacency

The Chiefs captain Mils Muliaina knows a total 80-minute effort will be required if they are to overcome the Bulls in tomorrow's final.

PRETORIA // The Chiefs captain Mils Muliaina knows a total 80-minute effort will be required if they are to overcome the Bulls in tomorrow's final. In the semi-finals, the Bulls were trailing 20-7 early on to the Crusaders but stormed back in the second half to earn a 36-23 victory and the right to host the final. That type of recovery is something the Bulls also managed in the final few rounds of the regular season, and Muliaina is aware of the threat they pose.

"We have got to be playing for 80 minutes. We've got to start well to get us into the game and keep the foot on the pedal right through to the last minute," he said. "They showed when they were 20-odd points down against the Crusaders what they can do and their ability to come back. "They won't lie back and let you take over. They will certainly fight to the bitter end." The South Africans, who won the title in 2007, go into the final as firm favourites having not lost a game there all season. The Chiefs were one of the casualties in Pretoria back in April but Muliaina said lessons had been learned from their 33-27 defeat.

"We've looked at the breakdown and the way we took the ball into contact," he said. "The physicality this weekend is going to be important. There are some very big men out there, hence the reason why recovery has been such a big focus this week to make sure our bodies are right from the long flight over and that we're ready to go physically." One player who is back to full fitness is centre Richard Kahui who returns to the starting line-up after two weeks out with a calf injury.

* PA