Super Rugby Pacific: Hurting Hurricanes eye return atop competition table against Chiefs at Hamilton

The Hurricanes will have a chance to return atop the Super Rugby Pacific table, when they take on the Chiefs at Hamilton, with both teams hoping for redemption after last week. 

As they went through their final hitout, front of mind was the physical battle that lies ahead. 

"It's going to be a hard game and its going to be brutal where it is," said Hurricanes midfielder Bailyn Sullivan. "We just have to front up where we can and make sure we throw the first punch... well, not literally."  

Brayden Iose in action against the Chiefs.
Brayden Iose in action against the Chiefs. Photo credit: Photosport

The 'Canes will look for a knockout blow to take them back to the competition lead, but they're still smarting from last week's scare against Moana Pasifika, when the led 19-0 and scraped home 32-24. 

With a playoff spot confirmed, the Chiefs were also far from convincing last week, just pipping the Rebels 26-23. 

"We probably put ourselves in that situation," reflected midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown. "We've been through it now and i guess we are sort of prepared for what's to come." 

Bolstered by nine All Blacks in the starting XV, the Chiefs are yet to lose at home this season and the Hurricanes haven't tasted success there for four years. FMG Stadium is now something of a fortress.

"They've got cohesion around their coaching group and players that allow them to play how they want to play, and their own identity, which is a highly physical, fast and aggressive style," said Hurricanes coach Clark Laidlaw.

With the Blues in waiting for the final match next week, the Chiefs relish the tough road to the playoffs. 

"It's going to be the most intense rugby you are going to get in this comp and its going to prepare us well for the finals," said Lienert-Brown.

As both teams eye the playoffs, there's still plenty at stake with two rounds to go. 

Join Newshub at 7pm Friday for live updates of the Chiefs v Hurricanes Super Rugby Pacific clash