Super Rugby 2019: Highlanders out to defend home record against Hurricanes

The Highlanders hope home advantage will help them return to their winning ways in Super Rugby when they host the Hurricanes on Friday night.

The Dunedin-based side is on a three-game losing streak and haven't won since beating the Queensland Reds in February.

On top of that, they have only played once in the last three weeks after their game was cancelled against the Crusaders, while also having the bye week last weekend.

The run of poor form has seen them drop down the Super Rugby ladder to sit fourth in the New Zealand conference behind the Crusaders, Hurricanes and Blues.

Despite that, the Highlanders have won 15 straight matches under the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium dating back two years, and co-captain Luke Whitelock thinks that will help his team end their poor run of form.

"The guys are hungry to come back after the bye week," said Whitelock.

"This is only our second game at home, so I know the guys are excited to play at home in front of the fans and none better than up against a great Hurricanes team.

"Our home record isn't something we don't talk about, but it is something to be proud about."

Earlier in the season, the Hurricanes claimed a narrow 25-22 win over the Highlanders in Wellington.

The Canes are also coming off a 32-8 drubbing at the hands of the Crusaders, and Whitelock is wary of the threat they pose.

"They'll be hurting from that loss so they'll want to put on show.

"They have firepower across the whole team, and once they click, they're hard to stop."

Highlanders lock Tom Franklin knows the importance of this match also, as another loss will see them lose further ground on the teams above them in the standings.

"It is a massive game," he said.

"I like to approach every game like that - like I've got something to prove and I've got to play well. That's my mindset going into it."

The Highlanders are without All Blacks duo Aaron Smith and Waisake Naholo who are out with injury.


Join us at 7:30pm Friday for live updates of the Highlanders vs Hurricanes Super Rugby clash.