Live updates: Super Rugby Pacific - Hurricanes v Blues at Wellington's Sky Stadium

  • 09/03/2024

Click here for game wrap

Kia ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the Super Rugby Pacific clash between the Hurricanes and Blues at Wellington's Sky Stadium.

After two weeks, these two longstanding rivals are among the three unbeaten sides - the other are the Chiefs - in the competition, so someone's '0' must go tonight.

The Hurricanes will miss All Blacks midfielder Jordie Barrett, whose 100th appearance for the franchise last week was marred by a yellow card that turned red for a high tackle and resulted in a three-week suspension.

With captain Brad Shield already sidelined through injury, Barrett's absence is also a severe hit to the team's leadership, with hooker Asafo Aumua and centre Billy Proctor sharing captaincy.

By contrast, the Blues have the luxury of bringing outstanding No.8 Hoskins Sotutu off the bench this week.

Join us at 7pm for kickoff.

TAB Odds: Blues $1.55, Hurricanes $2.50, Draw $16


Blues wary of shorthanded Hurricanes despite unbeaten Super Rugby Pacific start

They might be unbeaten this Super Rugby Pacific season, but the Blues feel the biggest test of their progress is about to come.

Vern Cotter's side travel to Wellington to face the also-unbeaten Hurricanes, who go into the contest somewhat undermanned, without suspended All Blacks star Jordie Barrett.

Things are cranking up a notch at Blues HQ. The tackles are harder and conversations to the point, but despite an unbeaten start to the season, coach Cotter still needs convincing.

Jordie Barrett settles in for a long spell on the sidelines after a high tackle. Photo credit: Photosport

"I think there's a lot more in us," he insisted. "I think we can get better and that'll be every day.

"We have to try and be better, and if I say I'm happy, they'll stop working."

They can ill afford that against a Hurricanes side also riding high. If they're to make it three from three in the capital, they'll have to do it the hard way, even with Barrett in the stands for three weeks.

"I'm a bit of a glass-half-full kind of guy and optimistic Jordie has to have All Black rest at some point," said Hurricanes coach Clark Laidlaw. "We can use these weeks to make sure we get his training weeks and gameload right."

Jordie Barrett settles in for a long spell on the sideline.
Jordie Barrett settles in for a long spell on the sideline. Photo credit: Photosport

Barrett's red card and subsequent suspension serve as a timely reminder for everyone that poor tackle height won't be tolerated.

"I think it's a wake-up call for everyone," agreed Blues captain Dalton Papali'i. "You can't have shoulder-to-head contact, that's just the way game is and we've got to install better habits."

After overcoming a tenacious Reds side to edge a golden-point thriller, Hurricanes confidence is high, although Laidlaw is quick to keep the side grounded.

"The Blues are a different prospect," he said. "They're two from two and will be licking their lips around coming down here."

They sure are, with a clear 'tribalism' theme in Blues camp this week.

"You put your jersey on, they put their jersey on and one of these two teams will walk away with the first loss of the season," said Cotter. "It becomes tribal."

The Blues are out to make sure it's not them.