Recap: Super Rugby Aotearoa – Hurricanes v Chiefs


Where: Sky Stadium, Wellington

Kickoff: Saturday, 7.05pm

Referee: James Doleman

NZ TAB odds (as of Friday PM): Hurricanes $1.46, Chiefs $2.55

Weather forecast (as of Friday PM): Showers clearing in the afternoon and becoming fine. Westerlies turning southerly late morning. High of 15C, low of 0C.

Hurricanes: Jordie Barrett, Kobus van Wyk, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Vince Aso, Wes Goosen, Jackson Garden-Bachop, TJ Perenara (cc), Ardie Savea, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Scott Scrafton, James Blackwell, Tyrel Lomax, Dane Coles (cc), Ben May. Reserves: Asafo Aumua, Tevita Mafileo, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Kane Le’aupepe, Devan Flanders, Jamie Booth, Billy Proctor, Jonah Lowe.

Chiefs: Damian McKenzie, Shaun Stevenson, Anton Lienert-Brown, Alex Nankivell, Sean Wainui, Kaleb Trask, Brad Weber, Pita Gus Sowakula, Sam Cane (c), Luke Jacobson, Mitchell Brown, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Nepo Laulala, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ollie Norris. Reserves: Bradley Slater, Rob Cobb, Angus Ta’avao, Tupou Vaa’i, Mitchell Karpik, Lisati Milo-Harris, Quinn Tupaea, Kini Naholo.

The big storylines:

* Younger Naholo looks to make his mark

* Number 12 Bus to Kilbirnie Park: Hurricanes legend makes club rugby return

* Hurricanes skipper TJ Perenara says Super Rugby Aotearoa ‘not sustainable’

* Chiefs pitch in on cancer fight fundraiser

* Gatland would work ‘for free’ at Chiefs in 2021 if Lions tour canned

* Hurricanes rising stars Asafo Aumua, Peter Umaga-Jensen sign extensions

* Luke Jacobson ‘chomping at the bit’ for surprise return for Chiefs

* ‘I wasn’t too flash’: Hurricanes prop flattened by infection after tiny cut

* Hurricanes pushed for Super Rugby Aotearoa decider: ‘Fans do love a final’

* Hurricanes lock in Jordie Barrett for next season despite opt-out clause

* Lachlan Boshier – the All Blacks skipper’s handyman

* The merits of signing Julian Savea for a fortnight

* Julian Savea determined to win contract for next year​​​​​

Peter Umaga-Jensen of the Hurricanes scores a try during the round 9 Super Rugby Aotearoa match against the Chiefs in Wellington.

Masanori Udagawa/Getty Images

Peter Umaga-Jensen of the Hurricanes scores a try during the round 9 Super Rugby Aotearoa match against the Chiefs in Wellington.

Prediction: There is almost nothing riding on this game in terms of the competition title. Almost. The Hurricanes need two bonus-point wins from their last two games in order for a potential tie at the top of the table with either the Crusaders or the Blues. That would then see the teams separated by points differential, where the Canes also have some making up to do, on -7 compared to the Blues’ +27 and Crusaders’ +61. So expect the home side to be all guns blazing in trying to score at least three more tries than the Chiefs, who will be desperately trying to ensure they don’t finish the competition winless. Their franchise-record eight-game (including one pre-lockdown) run of defeats is closing in on the worst losing streak by a New Zealand Super Rugby side, which is the 11 by the Highlanders across 2012-13. Hurricanes by 9

How to follow: Stuff’s live blog will kick off at 6.30pm