Arriving at the halfway point of their DHL Super Rugby Pacific campaign, the Hurricanes face their co-leaders in the competition, the Chiefs, knowing it is their most defining game of the season.

The prize of a win would see them head to their bye week ready to face a daunting run home, with four of their last six games being against semifinalists from last season.

They include away games against the Chiefs and Blues and home games against the Brumbies and Crusaders.

Coach Jason Holland said: "We're under no illusions. But we're confident that if we do everything as well as we can and perform to a high standard, we can provide a real challenge.

"We don't want to wait and see what they've got. 

"We have got to make sure we're brave, and we attack, and we attack well. But that doesn't mean we're losing sight of things that won us games around our physicality and carry-clean especially. Our ability to win the gain line is massive when you play the Chiefs.


"You know when they get in behind you the Damian McKenzies and Shaun Stevensons have a bit of fun. We want to stop that gain line, and stop that momentum, and make them attack on our terms a little bit."

The Chiefs were playing special rugby at the moment and could play at the right end of the field and run when it was on to run, and their turnover attack was also effective.

They were expecting a physical game, and that was behind splitting their substitutes 6:2.

"They [the Chiefs] want to get dominance up front to base everything around their game and let their exciting backs do the job, so that's probably not a big reason around our 6:2. We just like the fact around our coverage, our ability to have an impact. 

"That's a big part of the game these days, how your bench goes, and our bench, generally, has gone pretty well. So that's the best way to impact the game in the second half.

Holland had no concerns with the changed kick-off to 2.35 pm, and with the prospect of a fine day, it was exciting.