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'No guarantees': Jordie Barrett on the Hurricanes' playoff hopes

By Ben Smith
Jordie Barrett and Du’Plessis Kirifi of the Hurricanes take the field during the round 15 Super Rugby Pacific match between Hurricanes and Highlanders at Sky Stadium, on June 01, 2024, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Hurricanes captain Jordie Barrett was pleased with the 41-14 win over the Highlanders but all focus now turns to recovery for the Melbourne Rebels next weekend.

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After securing their first home playoff fixture in five years, the Hurricanes were handed an extra bonus later in the evening when the Blues failed to capture a bonus point win over the Chiefs. A late try to Josh Ioane handed the Hurricanes the number one seed ahead of the playoffs.

Barrett said that the focus all season has been on earning a home playoff after two consecutive defeats at the hands of the Brumbies in Canberra.

“The past few seasons all we have wanted is a home quarter-final, I guess the great thing was it was in our control tonight,” Barrett told Sky Sport NZ.

“We managed to get a bonus point win and it’s out of control now.

“We just want to control our own destiny and we’ll be looking no further than next week. The weeks ahead of next week are no guarantees so as long as we prepare well we will give ourselves the best chance possible.

“It wasn’t easy tonight, it was a tough and resilient, gritty Highlanders side as we expected. They’ve got themselves a quarter-final so they’ll be tough to beat as well.”

The road to the Super Rugby title runs through Wellington for the time being which could prove decisive.

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Conditions at Sky Stadium were a factor with Highlanders captain Billy Harmon calling Wellington “one of the hardest places to come play.”

“I’m not sure the camera will do it justice but it’s so blustery out here,” Barrett said.

“Kicking game is so tough, even playing with a bit of width, it’s windy Wellington alright.”

Harmon highlighted the strong wind and rain that disrupted their kicking game as a key reason for the loss, something that the Melbourne Rebels will have to content with next week.

“It’s tough to get your game plan going when you can’t nail the kicks in the wind,” he said.

“With a team like the Hurricanes, if you can’t put them down deep in their own half, they are going to play. And that’s what they did.

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“They’re a good team, they’ve got some unreal players so credit to them.”

The Hurricanes maiden Super Rugby title in 2016 came after securing home field advantage through the playoffs.

The 2016 team finished with the number one seed after a number of results fell their way in the final round like this year’s side.

They were able to defeat the Lions 20-3 to secure the championship and go one further than the 14-2 team from 2015 that lost the final.

 

Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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