SEEKING INTENSITY: Dane Coles of the Hurricanes tries to hold off a Chiefs defender.
SEEKING INTENSITY: Dane Coles of the Hurricanes tries to hold off a Chiefs defender. ROSS SETFORD

Hurricanes starting their All Blacks

RUGBY: The Hurricanes have not lain awake at night doing mathematical sums to determine their chances in the Super Rugby playoffs.

They know three wins from the final three regular season games will be enough to get them into the finals, and they know they could probably afford to drop one game and still make it.

Any more, however, and the noose will tighten, so tomorrow’s home match against the Blues is of vital importance. A loss would mean the Hurricanes need to lower the colours of both the Waratahs and Crusaders away to guarantee a spot in the playoffs.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has included all five of his All Blacks in the starting XV.

As is often the case in the week following the June window, media attention has turned to the schedule and the draw, with the general agreement that playing New Zealand sides twice is physically sapping, albeit enjoyable.

Boyd said: “There’s possibly a bigger picture with the conference system. My personal preference would be to play everyone once, but we all know what it is and all just get on with it.”

The Hurricanes beat the Blues 23-19 at Eden Park on March 11.

The Blues have had their issues, but showed their mettle in a narrow loss to the Crusaders on May 28.

“Their defence against the Crusaders was awesome ... we will have to match their pack and intensity,” Blues captain Dane Coles (pictured) said.

– APNZ



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