The Chiefs are out to avoid the same fate as the Blues when they face the Crusaders in Saturday’s Super Rugby Pacific final.
Despite all the hype and talk of an even contest in the build-up of last Friday’s semi-final between the Auckland and Christchurch outfits, the Crusaders blew the Blues off the park in comprehensive fashion.
In 80 unrelenting minutes, the Crusaders ran in six tries and hit a half-century of points, advancing to the final with a 52-15 demolition job.
Scott Robertson’s side will play for a seventh title in seven years, up against a Chiefs side out to end a 10-year wait for a championship.
In contrast, the Chiefs’ semi-final victory over the Brumbies on Saturday made for different reading.
Just one try was scored, as the hosts booked a home final with a 16-9 victory of their own.
Having to defend their tryline for so long will aid the Chiefs, up against the attacking might of the Crusaders, with loose forward Luke Jacobson adamant his side have the blueprint of what not to do come Saturday.
“I watched a little bit of it,” Jacobson told Newshub. “The Crusaders came out with an awesome mindset, and I think the Blues got left behind.
“The Crusaders came to play, and the Blues missed the jump a little bit. It’s finals footy, you’ve got to be coming out with everything. The Crusaders showed what happens if you don’t.
“We won’t make that mistake of coming out half-hearted. We’ll be there fully.
“They’ll be getting a better response than what they got last week.”
Saturday’s final also takes on a different meaning for a number of players in the Chiefs’ squad.
Club co-captain Brad Weber, stalwart Brodie Retallick and the likes of Pita Gus Sowakula, Bryn Gatland and Alex Nankivell will all leave New Zealand at the end of the year, signing overseas deals from 2024.
And wanting to send them out on a high, the Chiefs have all the motivation they need to take the attack to the Crusaders on Saturday.
“It’s going to be sad to see them go,” he added. “There’s a lot of motivation to put the cherry on top for them this season.
“They’ve added so much to the club. I think they’ll be huge this weekend, they’ll be leaving everything out there, as everybody else will be.
“But I think there’ll be a little bit extra with them – being their last game. I’m looking forward to getting out there and playing alongside them.
“We’re going for it. It’ll be really awesome to send them off with a win.”