A familiar ingredient to many Hurricanes victories could again be pivotal when they meet the Chiefs at Westpac Stadium on Saturday night.
The inside pairing of halfback TJ Perenara and first five-eighth Beauden Barrett has rapidly become one of the most effective combinations in world rugby.
The pair have together started for the Hurricanes 96 times.
Having each played 119 times for the Hurricanes as they track to overtake Ma’a Nonu (126 appearances) as the most capped players the club has produced, their experience would be the envy of many Super Rugby clubs.
Their leadership, decision making and sheer ability will again be significant assets against the Chiefs.
The two sides have already met once this season, a match which ended in a 23-23 draw in Hamilton.
Those close matches a familiar theme when it comes to recent encounters between these two sides with nine of the last 11 matches being decided by eight points or less.
Despite their contrasting places on the overall Investec Super Rugby table, Hurricanes fans will know that the Chiefs are capable of upsetting the home side, especially with the calibre of players they head south with.
While the Hurricanes have only lost twice in 2019, assistant coach Jason Holland said this week that they were well aware of the need to improve aspects of their play.
“Obviously we are not playing as we would like to at times but it is big ups that we are finishing games off and coming from positions where we think we might be gone. So it’s awesome for our character.”
Not surprisingly, Holland expected the return of Barrett and younger brother Jordie, as well as in-form Ardie Savea, would have a really positive impact on the starting side.
The coaching staff want the team to be more accurate this week while bringing the requisite energy and intensity – two elements that are fast becoming compulsory in an unpredictable competition.
“We can all see how tight it is – Aussie teams are beating each other, the South African teams are beating each other and everyone is congested around the middle of the table.
“You just have to worry about what you can control and your performance and getting the four points each week and that’s what we will continue to do, starting with the Chiefs.”
*Join the Hurricanes at Our House, Westpac Stadium for Deby Night on Saturday April 27 against the Chiefs. Use code DERBY to secure a $30 Platinum Uncovered Adult ticket (usually $43.50). Click HERE to purcahse tickets!
300 Adult fans (over 18 years) receive a complimentary Tui / Hurricanes bucket hat from the yellow booth at 6.30pm on game night.