Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

‘Be very, very careful’: Former Wallaby’s warning for Hurricanes

By Finn Morton
Cortez Ratima of the Chiefs breaks away for a try during the round eight Super Rugby Pacific match between Hurricanes and Chiefs at Sky Stadium, on April 13, 2024, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Former Wallaby Cameron Shepherd believes the Hurricanes need to “be very, very careful” when they take on a determined Chiefs outfit in Hamilton in a blockbuster round 14 derby.

ADVERTISEMENT

Coach Clark Laidlaw led the Hurricanes to the top of the Super Rugby Pacific ladder earlier this season and the men from New Zealand’s capital stayed there until they lost to the Blues.

Now, with just two regular season matches to go, the Hurricanes are at risk of falling out of the top two should they lose to the Chiefs and the ACT Brumbies get the better of the Melbourne Rebels.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

But the Hurricanes are one of the teams to beat this season for a reason, with the competition heavyweights overcoming some tough tests to date including a win over the Chiefs at Wellington’s Sky Stadium in mid-April.

That was a statement win, and the Hurricanes have replicated that sense of heroism on the rugby field in other tough fixtures, but if all roads lead to Rome then this week’s ‘Rome’ is none other than Hamilton.

“The last game was a beauty and I actually think the Chiefs should’ve won (against the Hurricanes earlier this season),” Shepherd said on Stan Sports’ Rugby Heaven.

“It’s an interesting matchup as well because the Chiefs throw the ball around so much, they’re so expansive and I don’t think the Hurricanes like that, especially when you throw in the (Damian) McKenzie’s and (Shaun) Stevenson’s of the world that can just flash out of anywhere.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The Hurricanes are going to have to be very, very careful. But once that juggernaut starts going for the Hurricanes… the Canes are going to come ready to play but it should be a cracker nonetheless.”

The Chiefs host the Hurricanes in the opening match of the round on Friday night which will only add to the drama throughout the weekend. With the Brumbies also in the hunt for a top-two finish, the maths could be very simple.

Head-to-Head

Last 5 Meetings

Wins
3
Draws
0
Wins
2
Average Points scored
25
21
First try wins
100%
Home team wins
40%

While the Hamilton-based Chiefs would leapfrog both the Brumbies and Hurricanes into second with a bonus point win, the Australian juggernaut from the ACT could still rise up into second place with a win of their own.

Playing at the fortress that is Canberra’s GIO Stadium, the Rebels would need to achieve something quite spectacular to get the better of the Brumbies – but weird things have happened in Super Rugby Pacific.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s gonna be great to watch the last two games for the Chiefs (are) against the Hurricanes, they’ll play in Hamilton, then they’ll go away to the Blues,” Wallabies legend Tim Horan had said moments earlier on the Stan Sport show.

“Really important for the ramifications for below, you know around that top two, top three.

“Of course, the Brumbies are sitting third at the moment. The Brumbies will be cheering the (Chiefs) to try and beat (the Hurricanes).”

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

1 Comment
L
Liam 29 days ago

Who is sheperd… ex what?

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

F
Flankly 15 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

29 Go to comments
FEATURE
FEATURE Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it
Search