Avoiding conceding hard-won possession will be the goal of the Highlanders as they prepare for their Super Rugby Pacific challenge with the high-flying Chiefs at the weekend.

Assistant coach Dave Dillon said the Highlanders were hurting from their consecutive 50-point losses.

"You've got to learn from it and move forward. The week comes around pretty quick. We flew back from Melbourne [on Saturday] and play on Friday against another quality side, the Chiefs."

In assessing the Highlanders' losses, Dillon said they had given a lot of ball back to opponents. As a result, they couldn't afford to turn the ball over against quality sides.

"At this level, ball is precious. It's a pretty simple thing. We're trying to hold the ball and build pressure from an attack point of view, and then from a defence point of view, we're trying to put pressure on and get ball back, and we keep giving the ball back too often.

"There's been a couple of areas of our game, through one reason or another, that haven't been where we want them to be, and you can find yourself under the sticks pretty quick."

Losing six lineouts to the Crusaders was one issue in Melbourne, but there were two or three other things they would be 'doubling down on' during the week's preparations for the Chiefs game.

It wasn't all doom and gloom after the first two rounds. Dillon said players had been given the opportunity to play their first games for the side. 

Lock Will Tucker came off the bench against the Blues, did well and then started in Melbourne against All Blacks locking pair Sam Whitelock and Scott Barrett. Nikora Broughton had started at No8, while halfback Kemara Hauiti-Parapara had an opportunity in Melbourne.

"So, some of those young guys getting experience at that level was invaluable when looking at a long season and it is a game with a high rate of attrition."

All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith, flanker Shannon Frizell and prop Ethan de Groot will be available for the weekend. 

With his experience and the way he worked with the younger players in the squad, Dillon said he would be an influence on the side.

Wing Jonah Lowe suffered a head knock and was being assessed with return-to-play protocols, while fullback Sam Gilbert had a knock to his shoulder. He had been all right on Monday and would be observed during the week.