Chiefs to come out swinging against fast starting Crusaders

The Crusaders’ intensity out of the gates blew the Blues away in the semi-final, but Chiefs No 8 Luke Jacobson says it’ll be a different story in the final.

15 Crusaders points in the opening 12 minutes set the tone for the match in Christchurch, which ended with a scoreboard figure of 52-15. The other semi-final offered an entirely different match, with the first try of the game only coming in the 78th minute.

The Chiefs have found ways to win all season and Jacobson, fresh off being named in the All Blacks‘ 2023 Rugby Championship squad, was looking content with the week ahead when he spoke to the media on Tuesday.

“The Crusaders came out with an awesome mindset,” Jacobson told Newshub. “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.”

A championship win would be the dream send-off for the Chiefs’ departing players, which include several club legends as well as fan favourites. All Blacks Brad Weber and Brodie Retallick will play their final game for the club as well as Pita Gus Sowakula, Bryn Gatland and Alex Nankivell.

“There’s a couple of greats leaving,” Jacobson added. “It’s going to be sad to see them go. 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.”