Super Rugby playoff clarity a weekend away
Fri, 13 Jul 2012 6:42p.m.
The Hurricanes are hoping their playoff dream is still alive even if skipper Conrad Smith knows theirs is a complicated path to knockout rugby.
“Get a victory and then from there just watch some games and hope for a couple of upsets in South Africa and they're like New Zealand they're derby games so anything can happen. We've just got to put ourselves in a position with a good chance and then just hope for the best,” Smith says.
The best is that either, or both, of the Bulls and Sharks lose to the Lions and Cheetahs - games that ensure the top six won't be known till Sunday.
If the Hurricanes do get four points tonight they move to fourth but that's likely to change during the weekend.
A Brumbies bonus point win moves them to second a weekend off and a home semifinal but they need the Stormers to lose to the Rebels in Cape Town to stay there.
While a Crusaders win against the Force will see them finish at least fourth and secure a home quarterfinal next weekend.
And coach Todd Blackadder's tinkered with his team to keep them mentally sharp.
“This is a must win game for the Crusaders there's been no more important fixture this year than this one it's a huge challenge. We've been here before and we've copped a pretty big banana skin so they'll be no letting off,” says Blackadder.
Sitting at the top the Chiefs goal is a home semifinal.
“It is important to us, just not having to travel's a big thing [it’s] good to be at home, good to be in front of the fans. Guys being in their own beds, it's spot on for us,” says Chiefs coach Dave Rennie.
They're at the Caketin tonight where the Hurricanes hope that - in what is already been a surprising season - they can rise again.
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