Super Rugby Preview: Hurricanes v Chiefs

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Thursday, April 25, 2019    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Match Details: Hurricanes v Chiefs, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 7.35pm, April 27, 2019

Played: 34
Won: Hurricanes 17, Chiefs 15, Draws 2
Last time: Chiefs 23-23 Hurricanes, FMG Stadium, Hamilton, March 15, 2019
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge



The Hurricanes go into the game with six wins to date. They opened with a 20-19 away win over the Waratahs then carried on for a 43-13 win over the Brumbies, 25-22 over the Highlanders, 34-28 over the Stormers, a 31-28 away win over the Highlanders and a 29-23 win away over the Sunwolves. They lost twice to the Crusaders 22-38 away and 8-32 at home. They also drew with the Chiefs 23-23. The Chiefs started with four consecutive losses to: the Highlanders 27-30, the Brumbies 17-54a, the Sunwolves 15-30 and the Crusaders 28-57. But then drew with Hurricanes 23-23 and beat the Bulls 56-20a, the Jaguares 30-27a and the Blues 33-29. They lost their most recent game 17-23 at home to the Lions.


Still looking for the best qualities in their game, the Hurricanes know that finding them against the Chiefs will not be easy. But the season statistics demonstrate the Hurricanes sit top of the table in terms of metres made at 470.1 while the Chiefs are back in 10th on 381.8. While their missed tackles are 19.1 percent, the fifth least in the competition, the Chiefs are back in 12th, but in terms of tackles made the Chiefs make around 133 per game, the third best in the competition compared to the 114.7 the Hurricanes make which is only 11th. Both sides have had lineout issues and the Hurricanes have the least success in the competition while the Chiefs are 10th. Coach John Plumtree said: "We know the character the side is showing us each week and we knew we can get better and we will need to be against the Chiefs."


Chiefs fans know their side is on its game when they can manage their off-loading and that will be a key asset in Wellington. The Chiefs are the best off-loaders in the competition with 13.2 a game while the Hurricanes are the worst at 6.1 per game. The Chiefs are also up there in the discipline stakes, having the second best record for fewest penalties conceded, an average of only 7.1 percent while the Hurricanes are 13th at 10.4 per game. Coach Colin Cooper said: "This weekend we need to be more disciplined and alert if we are to be competitive. We had a good tussle against the Hurricanes at home last month, we know this weekend will be no different. We need to ensure our defence systems are strong and we are quick to our feet. If we can combine that with patience and control on attack, we should be in a good space."


The Hurricanes don't often lose at home, but after their loss to the Crusaders in their last home game, another loss would be the first time they had conceded consecutive games since 2014.


There's something about contests between the Hurricanes and Chiefs. In their last 11 games the winning margin has been eight points or less. The sides have won five games each with one draw.


Hurricanes: 1.Fraser Armstrong, 2.Asafo Aumua, 3.Ben May, 4.James Blackwell, 5.Kane Leaupepe, 6.Vaea Fifita, 7.Ardie Savea, 8.Reed Prinzep, 9.TJ Perenara (captain), 10.Beauden Barrett, 11.Chase Tiatia, 12.Ngani Laumape, 13.Matt Proctor, 14.Wes Goosen, 15.Jordie Barrett.

Substitutes: 16.Ricky Riccitelli, 17.Xavier Numia, 18.Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 19.Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20.Sam Henwood, 21.Richard Judd, 22.James Marshall, 23.Salesi Rayasi.

Chiefs: 1.Atu Moli, 2.Nathan Harris, 3.Angus Ta'avao, 4.Michael Allardice (captain), 5.Mitchell Brown, 6.Luke Jacobson, 7.Lachlan Boshier, 8.Tyler Ardron, 9. Brad Weber, 10.Marty McKenzie, 11.Ataata Moeakiola, 12.Anton Lienert-Brown, 13.Tumua Manu, 14.Sean Wainui, 15.Solomon Alaimalo.

Substitutes: 16.Liam Polwart, 17.Tevita Mafileo, 18.Sosefo Kautai, 19.Taleni Seu, 20.Jesse Parete, 21.Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22.Stephen Donald, 23.Alex Nankivell.