Hurricanes chase crucial Super Rugby win

Jul 14, 2017 - 8:16 AM It's just as well Hurricanes skipper TJ Perenara isn't a huge believer in momentum.

After a month's break from Super Rugby, his team need to hit full stride straight away against the Crusaders in Saturday's last-round match in Wellington.

The match is a crucial one for the defending champions: a win results in a trip to Canberra to play the Brumbies in the quarter-finals, while a loss means they will fly to Cape Town to meet the Stormers.

Unbeaten all season, the Crusaders are out to ensure they finish top of the ladder, giving them home advantage throughout the playoffs.

A loss could open the door for the second-placed Lions, who meet the Sharks in Durban, to grab top billing.

"Getting in the playoffs, it doesn't matter whether you've won the week before or not - it doesn't matter how your season's gone," Perenara said on Friday.

"You could go through the season and just scrape into the playoffs or you could go through undefeated and it's whoever turns up on the day for that first quarter-final - eight can knock out one, seven can knock out two.

"It doesn't matter."

The two teams last met in mid-May, the Crusaders keeping the Canes tryless in Christchurch for a 20-12 win in slippery conditions.

This time, they'll be without front-rowers Joe Moody, Owen Franks and Codie Taylor, while All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock will make his impact from the bench.

Perenara says those absences will make little difference to the Hurricanes' approach.

"We'll focus on dominance in the collision, dominance at the breakdown, week to week - personnel doesn't change our focus in that area," he said.

"Our boys know the Crusaders had a very good scrum against us last time and we've got a point to prove when we go out there."

The Hurricanes will take a do-or-die approach into the game, he added.

"It's finals footy for us. We put ourselves in the best position if we win tomorrow night," Perenara said.

"Our season's not on the line tomorrow, but the road to where we want to go is definitely on the line."

Source: AAP

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!