Super Rugby Pacific: Hurricanes wary of complacency before revenge game against Western Force

The Hurricanes are gearing up for more just than Sunday's Super Rugby Pacific clash against Western Force, with the risk of complacency not lost on them.

Through five rounds of action, the Wellington-based side have four wins and sit behind only the unbeaten Chiefs on the ladder.

A win against the Force, and a Chiefs' loss to the Blues could see them leapfrog their rivals into first place on the table.

With a perfect three wins over Australian opposition so far this season, the fixture at Palmerston North has all the makings of a walkover.

But last year's shock loss to the Force has the Hurricanes wary of complacency, and determined to come out of the match with their low profile intact.

"Not underdogs, we're just going about our business and focusing on ourselves [and] trying to prepare well," Hurricanes assistant coach Tyler Bleyendaal said.

"There are no easy, gimme games in this competition. You've really got to put your preparation in and perform well on the week - that's been our focus.

"There's always that risk [of complacency] but I don't think it will be a problem this week. We're well aware of the challenges the Force poses this weekend. They dealt to us last year and that's still in our memories, there shouldn't be any complacency."

Brett Cameron scores a try against Moana Pasifika.
Brett Cameron scores a try against Moana Pasifika. Photo credit: Photosport

Much of the Hurricanes' success can be attributed to the resurgence of one-test All Black first-five Brett Cameron.

The 26-year-old's halves combination with Cam Roigard has been instrumental in the Hurricanes' impressive start.

"He's worked his way into the season well, and he looked really sharp last weekend," Bleyendaal said. 

"He looked fast and controlled our game well and that's all we can ask for. He's still growing and learning our game, he's looked more and more comfortable.

"It's just his connection with the boys around him, and trying to put them in the best spots possible and trying to drive and really own that game as a No.10. That's the key for him, he's got all the skills, and he's been showing a lot of them."

Cameron joined the Hurricanes in 2023 after a season in Japan with the Kamaishi Seawaves.

The former Crusader bust onto the Super Rugby scene in 2018, before earning a cap for New Zealand against Japan in Tokyo the same year.

[I'm] just really enjoying the environment at the moment," Cameron said. "Obviously, we've got an awesome squad and there are plenty of guys that are playing really good rugby.

"It's helping my game and [I'm] just staying relaxed and enjoying it."

Join Newshub at 3:35pm Sunday for live updates of the Hurricanes v Force Super Rugby Pacific clash