SAM Cane's outstanding season is set to enter uncharted territory against the Blues at Waikato Stadium on Saturday night.

The openside flanker will be starting a sixth straight game for the first time in his Super Rugby career.

That Cane has not already achieved several such streaks during his five seasons with the Chiefs, is because he was eased into Super Rugby by splitting time with Tanerau Latimer.

Cane began Dave Rennie's tenure in Hamilton by mixing six starts with 12 cameos off the bench. The following campaign saw the balance at nine starts and eight appearances as a sub, while an injury-hit 2014 brought eight starts and two runs with the reserves.


This year, though, with Latimer in Japan, Cane has worn the No7 jersey in six of the Chiefs' first seven matches. His five-game starting streak matches his career-best, set in the middle of the last campaign.

"The good thing about sharing it with Lats was the body was always feeling pretty good - it wasn't until last year, when I started quite a few on the trot, that I realised how much of an impact it had on the body," he laughed.

"But, at the same time, you always wanted to be starting every game, and I've really been enjoying it. [Fellow flanker] Sean Polwart hasn't played a lot but he's pushing me hard at training. The body's feeling good - touch wood - and I just want to keep getting out there and enjoying it."

Cane has been arguably the Chiefs' best player this season and a true mark of consistency in a campaign that has been lacking that quality.

Despite their fluctuating form, the Chiefs sit safely inside the playoff picture and will be confident of earning a sixth victory from eight games on Saturday.

But, as Cane warned, the winless Blues have been better than their record would indicate, losing all six games by 12 points or fewer.

"We're expecting a desperate team and desperate teams can be dangerous," he said.

"Not many teams have put them away, so they're there or thereabouts ... "


In a sign of his all-round impact, Cane is lying third in the competition for turnovers won and offloads, sharing the team lead in the offload category with Sonny Bill Williams.

"I'm not sure how to sum it up but I'm just happy with how things are going and want to keep improving," Cane said.