You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Clash of styles in Super Rugby showstopper

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/03/2017 Daniel Gilhooly
All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick (R) © Getty All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick (R)

More match-hardened or burned out?

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd isn't sure how the Chiefs will front up for the table-topping Super Rugby match in Hamilton on Friday.

But he knows the home team can feel good about one thing.

"The Chiefs will be happier with their 10 points, having played the Highlanders and the Blues, than our 10 points."

The competition leaders have both gained maximum points over the first fortnight but done it vastly different ways.

While the Chiefs have been all muscle and grit in seeing off the Highlanders (24-15) and Blues (41-26), the Hurricanes are yet to play one of the blood-curdling Kiwi derbies.

The defending champions have strolled past the Sunwolves (83-17) and Rebels (71-6) in virtual training runs under sunny skies.

Boyd knows a drenched Hamilton and a Chiefs team still smarting from their semi-final exit in Wellington last July provides a potent mix.

"But you take your positives from your past performances and you move on," he said.

"I actually don't know which is the best preparation."

Lock Mark Abbott is one of two new faces in the Hurricanes tight five, along with prop Loni Uhila.

Neither have started this year and know a test of mettle awaits against a tight five featuring four tough All Blacks.

"Obviously the last two games haven't been massively physical and forward-dominated," Abbott said.

"There's been plenty of edge in the forward pack at training. We get enough out of that."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon