Hurricanes v Chiefs



  • Gallagher Chiefs team named to play the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium

    It’s the only kiwi Investec Super Rugby contest this weekend and there’s plenty to play for! With the BNZ Crusaders cementing first place in the New Zealand Conference, the Gallagher Chiefs and Hurricanes are fighting for the first wildcard qualifier position. The Chiefs are the masters of their own destiny - securing 10 points from their remaining two regular season games will guarantee the team fifth place.

    Gallagher Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie has made three changes to the starting fifteen who defeated the Waratahs 46-31 last Saturday in Hamilton. There’s one change to the forwards with Michael Allardice replacing the injured Brodie Retallick. The remaining two changes affect the backline with midfield sensation Charlie Ngatai to start at second five-eighth and exciting young utility back Solomon Alaimalo to don jersey 14.

    The Gallagher Chiefs team to play the Hurricanes this Friday in Wellington is:

    1 Kane Hames (21)
    2 Nathan Harris (27)
    3 Nepo Laulala (10)
    4 Dominic Bird (24)
    5 Michael Allardice (19)
    6 Mitchell Brown (13)
    7 Sam Cane (co-captain) (92)
    8 Liam Messam (158)
    9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow (79)
    10 Aaron Cruden (co-captain) (85)
    11 James Lowe (49)
    12 Charlie Ngatai (40)
    13 Anton Lienert-Brown (37)
    14 Solomon Alaimalo (5)
    15 Damian McKenzie (46)

    RESERVES:

    16 Liam Polwart (1)
    17 Siegfried Fisi’ihoi (23)
    18 Atu Moli (23)
    19 Tom Sanders (18)
    20 Lachlan Boshier (14)
    21 Finlay Christie (5)
    22 Alex Nankivell (2)
    23 Shaun Stevenson (20)

    () = Gallagher Chiefs caps in brackets

    **denotes Investec Super Rugby debut

    Unavailable for selection: Brad Weber, Mitchell Graham, Glen Fisiiahi, Sam McNicol, Brodie Retallick, Taleni Seu, Stephen Donald, Sosefo Kautai, Tim Nanai-Williams and Toni Pulu.



  • It's great to see Charlie back. Hopefully he can play the full 80 mins and then get a game for the Maori or Chiefs vs the Lions.

    A predictable team otherwise, although Stevenson might have been choosen on the right wing. At least there is a specialist midfielder on the bench with Nankivell selected ahead of Nonu Jr.

    Beaver plays his 100th game and then gets put in cotton wool for the Lions. 🙂

    This is a huge game for both teams, probably the difference between a trip to Canberra or SA.



  • Hika a thing of the past it seems



  • @Hooroo So it seems. He'll be involved for the Chiefs' next game, assuming Cooper doesn't pick him in the Maori squad.



  • Must have been a frustrating season for Tom Sanders. Has he been injured or just not picked?



  • @Hooroo Ignored because he's going overseas?



  • @Tim He just hasn't been picked. I've seen Sanders name mentioned in Waikato club rugby reports so he has been playing.

    It could be worse, he could be James Tucker.



  • fingers crossed for Ngatai that his headaches are behind him now!

    Interesting Alaimalo getting a start in this game!



  • JULIAN SAVEA SET TO JOIN CANES 100 CLUB AGAINST CHIEFS

    Hurricanes wing Julian Savea will start in his 100th Investec Super Rugby match against the Chiefs in front of his home fans at Westpac Stadium on Friday.

    Savea returns to the left wing in place of Ben Lam in one of six changes to the team that played the Western Force in Perth.
    The team for Friday's match also features the return of wing Nehe Milner-Skudder and loose forward Ardie Savea to the starting team, as well as an all new front row of Chris Eves, Leni Apisai and Jeffery To'omaga-Allen.

    Julian Savea will become the tenth player to reach 100 caps for the Hurricanes after Tana Umaga, Rodney So'oialo, Andrew Hore, Neemia Tialata, Jeremy Thrush, Ma'a Nonu, Victor Vito, Conrad Smith and Cory Jane.

    Otherwise known as The Bus, Savea made his Hurricanes debut against the Highlanders in Wellington in 2009 and has been a fixture on the wing ever since.

    Though it took him 16 matches to score his first Super Rugby try, Savea has been a try-scoring machine during his seven seasons in the Hurricanes.

    He has crossed the try line 45 times in 99 matches, the same number of tries he has scored for the All Blacks.
    Savea said it had always been a privilege to represent the club and it would be a proud moment to bring up his 100th match in front of friends and family at Westpac Stadium.

    "This team means a lot to me and I've always felt privileged and proud to represent the club. I'm really looking forward to running out against the Chiefs and hopefully we can get the right result."

    Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said it was a significant achievement for any player to reach 100 Super Rugby matches.
    "To play 100 matches at this level shows a high level of commitment and professionalism and for Julian to do it in the Hurricanes jersey is a great story.

    "He's a local guy who has been in the Wellington and Hurricanes system since he was at Rongotai College and come through the Oriental Rongotai club, so I think a lot of people will be very proud on Friday night."

    The other changes for the Chiefs match see Eves and To'omaga-Allen replace Loni Uhila and Ben May respectively as the props with Apisai getting his first start of the season at hooker in place of Ricky Riccitelli.

    Riccitelli is bracketed in the reserves with Bay of Plenty's James O'Reilly, who would make his Super Rugby debut should he take the field.

    Ardie Savea comes back in at No.8 with Brad Shields reverting to blindside and Reed Prinsep to the reserves.
    After returning from a broken foot in Perth via the bench, Milner-Skudder returns to the starting side on the right wing in place of Cory Jane.

    The reserves bench features the return of Matt Proctor, who has been out for seven weeks recovering from concussion.
    Proctor made a successful return to the field on Monday with a 20 minute appearance for the Hurricanes Development side against Wanganui.

    The Hurricanes Team to play the Chiefs at Westpac Stadium on Friday is:

    1 Chris Eves
    2 Leni Apisai
    3 Jeff To'omaga-Allen
    4 Sam Lousi
    5 Vaea Fifita
    6 Brad Shields
    7 Callum Gibbins
    8 Ardie Savea
    9 TJ Perenara
    10 Beauden Barrett
    11 Julian Savea
    12 Ngani Laumape
    13 Vince Aso
    14 Nehe Milner-Skudder
    15 Jordie Barrett

    Reserves
    16 Ricky Riccitelli/James O'Reilly
    17 Loni Uhila
    18 Mike Kainga
    19 Mark Abbott
    20 Reed Prinsep
    21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
    22 Matt Proctor
    23 Wes Goosen



  • Well on paper, you'd have to say chiefs right?

    Sensational hurricanes backline, but not exactly a wow forward pack. Aso and his shifty defence up against some smart operators with Cruden, Ngatai, ALB and McKenzie all very adept at creating and utilising the kind of space he creates - Procter sorely missed.



  • @Bones Interesting you say that because Chiefs are actually heavy underdogs at the TAB:

    Hurricanes 1.33
    Chiefs 3.10



  • That's some pretty good money on the Chiefs given they beat the Canes earlier in the season, and the two matches the Canes forwards have played against strong packs they've had their collective heads shoved up their asses.

    If the Canes win this it will be via the backs living off scraps and creating magic. When you've got Beauden, Jordie, Laumape and NMS that's not completely beyond the realms of possibility, but it'll be a tough ask.



  • A bit early, but have the AB selectors given any indication as to which if any of Chief's ABs will be released for Lions match?



  • @pakman I doubt any will be released from the ABs as that is in test week.

    The bigger question is, will any of the Chiefs' Maori contingent backup only a few days later?



  • So the Chiefs Facebook page made this:
    alt text

    I changed it for accuracy purposes...
    alt text



  • @antipodean haha I was just looking at that on FB too and thinking the same thing (with the heights)

    Lucky you didn't add in Ardie, be no room for those 2 in that pic!



  • So Jordie's tackle rate has improved - it's over 50% now. 🙂



  • I hate that these 2 are being compared because Jordie is a 12 or 13 not a fullback. A bit like comparing Ben Smith and Konrad Smith as 13s.

    Hopefully these 2 will play many test together, not compete for a position because it's convenient for the Canes to have Jordie at 15. Then again their bloody 12 is an Allblack now!



  • @Rancid-Schnitzel said in Hurricanes v Chiefs:

    I hate that these 2 are being compared because Jordie is a 12 or 13 not a fullback. A bit like comparing Ben Smith and Konrad Smith as 13s.

    Hopefully these 2 will play many test together, not compete for a position because it's convenient for the Canes to have Jordie at 15. Then again their bloody 12 is an Allblack now!

    The way I look at it, the stats make sense in how the relative teams play. For instance the number of carries and metres, Beauden drops back to take a lot of ball and then runs and beats defenders. DMac is the main weapon used by the Chiefs. Hence the higher numbers in those categories, but also a factor in why the higher number of handling errors for DMac. More ball in his hands.



  • @ACT-Crusader similarly people using stats of Cane, Todd & Ardie to say one is better...they play different roles in their teams.