Tomorrow night's showdown in Wellington between New Zealand's best two sides is building up with test-match intensity.

The Hurricanes and Chiefs come into the clash with four wins from their last five games, the Chiefs having an advantage from resting up last round with a bye.

But the Chiefs will need to reverse a damning statistic of losing eight of their last nine matches away to the Hurricanes.

Statistics overall favour the Hurricanes. They have scored the most tries this season (3.5 per game) and made the most attacking metres (543.2 per game) and with 48 points have a 10-point buffer over the Chiefs (38) in the New Zealand conference.


Bay of Plenty and All Blacks openside flanker Sam Cane said he and the rest of the Chiefs had been eagerly awaiting this opportunity to take on the Hurricanes.

"We have seen how they have been tracking and obviously they have been playing some pretty impressive footy," Cane said.

"We are ready for it and there has been an edge about training this week which is exciting. It is the best type of challenge you can get, going down there and playing the in-form team on their home ground.

"We are a team that has expectations of winning the title. We realise you put yourself in a hell of a lot better position if you can finish in the top two to give yourself that home advantage. To do that we have to win week in and week out, and that starts this weekend with a big one against the Hurricanes obviously because they have a bit of a jump on us in the New Zealand conference."

Cane is part of the brains trust at the Chiefs that has devised their highly successful defensive systems over the last few seasons.

"You will put yourself in a better position if you can minimise the amounts they score. That is obviously one side of it but we have to get the other side right, too, and get our attack going so we can get points on the board."

With Tanerau Latimer plying his trade in France, Cane has started every game this campaign and played 80 minutes in most. That is just how the Reporoa-raised flanker likes it.

"I have enjoyed it massively. It has been exciting to go out to do it every week and you see those improvements, so that is pleasing.


"The body is good so, touch wood, it continues that way."

Chiefs v Hurricanes
Westpac Stadium, tomorrow, 7.35pm

•Chiefs team: 1. Pauliasi Manu, 2. Hika Elliot, 3. Ben Tameifuna, 4. Michael Allardice, 5. Michael Fitzgerald, 6. Liam Messam (c), 7. Sam Cane, 8. Michael Leitch, 9. Brad Weber, 10. Damian McKenzie, 11. James Lowe, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 13. Charlie Ngatai, 14. Hosea Gear, 15. Tom Marshall. Reserves: 16. Quentin MacDonald, 17. Siate Tokolahi, 18. Mitchell Graham, 19. Liam Squire, 20. Maama Vaipulu, 21. Augustine Pulu, 22. Andrew Horrell, 23. Bryce Heem.