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The Hurricanes say they're facing a 'different' Chiefs beast in semi-final

By Ned Lester
Wallace Sititi of the Chiefs. Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

A Kiwi derby takes Wellington by storm on Saturday as the Super Rugby Pacific season gets set to name its second finalists.


Either the Hurricanes or Chiefs will meet the Blues in the 2024 final, and while both matchups between the remaining semi-finalists this season have gone the way of the Hurricanes, the playoffs pose a very different threat in the minds of the Wellintonians.

Assistant Hurricanes coach and former All Black Jamie Mackintosh said while there were of course key takeaways from the two recent wins over their semi-final opponent, the Chiefs’ quarter-final demolition of the Reds made it apparent this game would be a little different.

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“With your history of playing the teams, you certainly get a feel, and through analysis, there’s certainly some DNA things that the Chiefs are renowned for, which we’ve seen and felt throughout the season,” Mackintosh told SENZ The Run Home.

“But, evidently, you look at that Chiefs team in that quarter-final last week and they seem to be a different team with (Samipeni) Finau and (Wallace) Sititi at No. 8.

“Those two add a lot more power to their carry and a lot more physicality around the ruck than the two teams we played earlier; I think they were a mixture due to injuries and rotation and what have you.

“I’ve got no doubt in my mind that the Chiefs team that we’re playing in the semi-final will be picked around a big, hard, physical pack.


“It’s going to be a real challenge for our boys because I think both teams’ games rely on speed of ruck ball and getting the ball to the right areas of the field to create opportunities.

“Look, we’re under no illusion how tough it’s going to be and I think the Chiefs have managed to get their best team fit at the right end of the season which is a big part of winning finals footy.”


Last 5 Meetings

Average Points scored
First try wins
Home team wins

The Chiefs, unlike the Hurricanes, have named the same starting XV for the semi-final as they did for the quarter, although they face the steep challenge of winning a playoff game on the road.

Very rarely do visiting teams claim victory in the Super Rugby playoffs, with the Chiefs being the last team to suffer a home loss in the 2023 final against the Crusaders.


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