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Hurricanes vs Chiefs
Super Rugby, 13 April, 2018
|Fulltime - Hurricanes 25, Chiefs 13|
|Referee: Jamie Nutbrown|
|Touch judges: Ben O'Keeffe & Cam Stone|
|TMO: Glenn Newman|
The Hurricanes take on the Chiefs in Wellington, in a mouth-watering clash of two of the top sides in the whole competition. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 5:35pm (AEST).
These two sides are both on a five-game winning run, and look very good.
Both survived big tests in the last round – the Canes squeezed by the Sharks by one point and the Chiefs overcame the Blues with a last-second penalty try to win by two.
Rather than seeing these as near slip-ups, both sides will likely take great confidence from their performances. Super Rugby so often sees big wins for teams with tries coming from all over the place, but in these two games, we saw the Chiefs and the Canes have to truly fight right to the bitter end to get the win.
The Hurricanes are known for their attacking prowess. In 2017 they set a new record for most tries scored in one season and have started 2018 with the same flair. What’s scarier for the opposition is the fact that they’ve added a defensive capability that is making them harder and harder to beat.
Canes fans will be glad to see Beauden Barrett back at 10 but will be disappointed that his halves partner in TJ Perenara is going to miss this game and potentially up to another seven weeks. Three others changes shouldn’t be seen as a sign of problems – all are players coming back from injury.
While the Canes are looking worryingly good, the Chiefs are growing in confidence each week, aided by settled selection – their only changes this see Taleni Seu and Charlie Ngatai return to the starting line up.
It’s tight at the top of the Kiwi conference – just three points between the top three sides – and as the competition reaches its midway point, neither of these sides can allow the Crusaders to build a bigger and bigger gap.
It’s hard to bet against an in-form side that has Beauden Barrett pulling the strings. As long as his forwards give him the platform he needs, the All Blacks playmaker should just have enough class to take care of the rest.
Hurricanes to win by 5.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 5:35pm (AEST).