Brodie Retallick believes the bye came at just the right time for the Chiefs as they look to rebound from their disappointing Super Rugby defeat to the Highlanders.
The Chiefs had won seven in a row before coming unstuck against the defending champions and the All Black lock feels the 26-13 loss was a timely wake-up call.
“It’s been quite good for this team as it has highlighted a few things that we haven’t got quite right and we were getting away with because we were still winning,” he said on Tuesday.
“We’ve struggled to build pressure when we have dropped a bit of ball so it’s just a mental lapse that’s let us down.
“If we get the right mentality upstairs, then I have got no doubt that our skill sets are good enough to put some teams to the sword.”
The Chiefs have the chance to get back on track against the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday night in Hamilton.
The Rebels won the last meeting between the sides with a 16-15 upset in Victoria last May.
The home side will be without impressive centre Charlie Ngatai who is suffering from concussion-type issues from the clash with the Highlanders.
“Maybe there is not as much expectation because it’s not two New Zealand teams, but it’s still going to be a physical and fast game,” he said.
Retallick is looking forward to facing former teammate Toby Smith, who spent four seasons with the Chiefs before switching to the Rebels in 2014 and then earning a Wallabies call-up last year.
“For him he’s probably excited about playing against his old team,” Retallick said.
“Obviously he’s a great player and he has gone on to play for Australia since he left from here.
“When he gets ball in hand and runs hard at you, he’s hard to put down, so we will have to try and take care of him.”