Super Rugby Aotearoa Week 9: Hurricanes vs Chiefs

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Game:

This Saturday, we are set for another epic New Zealander rivalry. The Waikato Chiefs take a trip to Wellington with a victory on their minds, as this is their last game of the inaugural Super Rugby Aotearoa tournament and they remain winless in the tournament so far. It begs the question; can The Chiefs end their series of defeats this Saturday?

The Hurricanes go into this encounter as heavy favourites, with every rugby enthusiast backing the home side to easily overcome Warren Gatland’s Chiefs. What may seem like a simple task ahead could potentially lead to a mountain climb, as the side from Waikato has all but pride to play for.

Match Day Milestones:

Wellington’s faithful home crowd will welcome one of their key backline players, Wes Goosen, as the South Africa-born speedster is set to earn his 50th cap in front of a packed Sky Stadium. Goosen is renowned for his exciting running flair and will be looking to make his night a memorable one; seeking to put his name on the scoresheet for his Hurricane jersey.

While the visitors have made a few changes from last weekend’s defeat against the table-topping Crusaders, Warren Gatland has turned to his youth for this game. Two debutants will be receiving their first Super Rugby caps off the bench this Saturday; Rob Cobb will be eager to make an impact in the front row, as the 21-year-old, loose-head prop is highly rated in the Waikato youth set up. 

On the other hand, the second debutant, Kini Naholo, comes from a family with existing rugby success. The Fijian-born brings plenty of excitement off the bench, following in the footsteps of his elder brother, Waisake Naholo, who scored 16 times for The All Blacks between the years of 2015 and 2018.

The Last Encounter:

The last time these two giants locked horns was on July 5th 2020 at the Waikato Stadium where John Plumtree’s Hurricanes dug deep for their away win. Back then, The Hurricanes had to endure a mammoth final quarter, as their lock Scott Scrafton received a second yellow card and the referee awarded The Chiefs a penalty try. Despite this, The Hurricanes kept their rivals at bay only conceding one additional try, ultimately walking away as 25-18 victors.

The Teams’ Forwards:

As all eyes focus on Wellington this weekend, a few key battles in the forwards and backs are due to bring around plenty of debate. The New Zealand squad selectors will seek out which players will be their respective favourites in the national squad. 

The Chiefs eighth-man, Pita Gus Sowakula, will strongly contest against All Blacks favourite, Ardie Savea, for team selection. Sowakula, who aside from rugby, has also achieved success in Fijian colours on the basketball court. He has yet to be capped in professional rugby at national level, though he may have a career boost if he makes a great impression against his opponent. Many rugby enthusiasts are thoroughly impressed with the over-six-foot Fijian for his mobility and ball-carrying ability. 

Can Sowukula get the upper hand over Savea?

The Teams’ Backline:

Also Read:  Super Rugby Aotearoa: The Crusaders Are Crowned Champions

The other key matchup in the backline we eagerly await is at fullback, between Jordie Barrett and Damian McKenzie. McKenzie’s Rugby World Cup 2019 dreams were shattered due to a severe ACL injury, yet the current form of the Waikato favourite has received plenty of high praise upon his return in 2020.

Meanwhile, opposing Barrett knows that camaraderie is more than just a weekend rugby fixture, and will want to prove himself once again, as selectors will measure which No. 15 is due to be favoured, following this weekend’s encounter. 

Asides from the unfortunate performances of the Waikato Chiefs this season, Damian McKenzie’s form should prove him a clear favourite between the two. However, we all know Jordie is seeking to make a huge impression and not play in the shadow of his older brother, Beuden, so this remains to be seen.

Does Jordie Barrett have that big match temperament to outclass arch-rival Damian McKenzie in front of his home crowd?

Writer’s Predictions:

With a few individuals from the visiting side carrying a heavy workload for The Chiefs, Warren Gatland’s side has simply not found their stride in the inaugural Super Rugby Aotearoa tournament. Whereas their opponents, The Hurricanes, will have fresh legs following their bye last weekend, heading into Saturday as heavy favourites.

The Hurricanes will make full use of their home advantage, and I predict: The Hurricanes to be victorious by 10 points.

What are your predictions for this up and coming match this weekend? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow us on @worldinsport for more rugby-related news!

Image Credit: Rugby Addict

MRS6 scaled
Barry Scharneck
Die-hard South African Rugby supporter, writer, coach and the very occasional, player! Love talking all things sport and beating the odds, as well as running Mzansi's Rugby Academy, my non-profit rugby academy here in South Africa.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

2020 NBA Western Conference Finals: A Victor Emerges

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets will meet for the second time in the NBA Western Conference Finals. The Lakers managed to breeze through Portland and Houston in the first two rounds, while Denver has proven themselves to be true underdogs, coming back from a 3-1 deficit against Utah and the L.A. Clippers. Will the Lakers blow past the Nuggets, or will Denver pull off another unimaginable moment in the playoffs?
Also Read:  Super Rugby Aotearoa: Chiefs vs Crusaders
  Point Guard:...

Why Did the Clippers Fail in the NBA Playoffs?

Lets make one thing clear; the Nuggets won that series because they were a better team than the Clippers. They outplayed the Clippers in the NBA playoffs, plain and simple. Yes the Clippers did underperform, it was due to the Nuggets were elite. They were one of the hottest teams in the bubble and they've gotten it done. Jamal Murray has developed into an elite scorer, the Joker has kept up his elite play, and...

Leinster VS Ulster: Pro 14 Champions Final 2020

The annual Pro 14 tournament was wrapped up as the final whistle blew at The Aviva Stadium in Dublin this past weekend. Leinster reigned in as the Pro 14 Champions 2020 against an enthusiastic Ulster team, winning 27-5, to become the first side ever to win three consecutive Pro 14 titles. The Dublin side held their remarkable reputation as the most successful provincial Irish rugby sides following their victory on Saturday, and have once again...

Premier League Opening Week Wrap Up: Rodriguez, Leeds impress; Vardy picks up from last season

A thrilling opening weekend clash between defending champions Liverpool and the newly promoted side Leeds United reminded the world what it was missing as the coronavirus disappointment continued all across the globe. Packed inside the house due to safety concerns, the return of Premier League after 47 days brought huge cheers to the face of the fans. It was not just the return of the league, but the manner in which it returned, that had...

MLB Recap: 2nd No-Hitter, Rising Stars and Legends make History

The 13th of September was a busy day in the MLB. There are young players who are turning heads, records being broken and history being made. There were a total of 17 games played today across the league, so we have a lot to unpack. The Giants and Padres played a doubleheader today, because they had to make up a game from September 11th due to a false positive COVID-19 test. The Padres took game...

2020 NBA Playoff Preview: A Winner Will Emerge In The Eastern Conference Finals

The Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics are set to clash for the second time in the Eastern Conference Finals. The path for both teams reaching this stage in the playoffs are very different. Miami has blazed through the postseason, having swept the Indiana Pacers in the first round and knocking off the number one seed in the East in the Milwaukee Bucks in five games. The Boston Celtics also dominated in the first round...

The Luisito Impact: How The Suarez Saga Is Shaking Up The Transfer Market

While Juventus are hoping to secure the services of Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, a whole host of top European clubs are eagerly awaiting to find out whether this deal will go through or not, as the speculation surrounding the Uruguayan Legend's future has shook up the entire transfer market.  So how is Luis Suarez holding the key for several other strikers transfer deals? And who are the clubs involved in this game of Domino?  A Golden...

Is This the Year of the Lakers? Three Reasons Why

When the NBA Western Conference Finals commence next week, the Los Angeles Lakers are likely to face their crosstown rivals the Clippers.  While both teams share their regular-season home arena the Staples Center, this potential series will have a similar feel since both the Lakers and Clippers will be sharing an arena in Orlando as the site for this series. Many NBA pundits had accurately predicted a Lakers-Clippers conference final as early as July 2019,...

Tuscan GP: Previewing F1 Mugello

Race preview  This week its the 1000 race for Ferrari its a big week for the Italian team. So they changed the car's livery and the driver's suits. It has also been proving to be a fast circuit with many flat corners.  With only one DRS zone, this track is going to be hard to overtake other drivers. But with people who love fast cars and fast racing, this circuit is perfect for us.  Biggest Surprise  I think...

Who In The World Is Arnold Cream?

"Who in The World Is Arnold Cream?" Arnold Raymond Cream. Say that name in a room full of casual boxing fans and it probably wouldn't cause so much as a ripple. But mention that same name in a group of vested fans and pundits alike, and you'll hear at least a half dozen voices yell out appreciatively, "Jersey Joe Walcott" while the rest of the heads nod up and down with quiet admiration; perhaps tinged...

Social Connect


Recent Comments

Trending Now

Why Did the Clippers Fail in the NBA Playoffs?

Lets make one thing clear; the Nuggets won that series because they were a better team than the Clippers. They outplayed the Clippers in the...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x