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Go the 'Canes

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Author Topic: Go the 'Canes  (Read 2152 times)
« on: May 20, 2009, 05:08:23 pm »

Tried and tested Hurricanes to face Chiefs

By MARC HINTON - Stuff.co.nz | 11:16AM - Wednesday, 20 May 2009

TRIED AND TESTED: Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper has named an unchanged starting XV for the third straight week.  Photosport.

TRIED AND TESTED: Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper
has named an unchanged starting XV for the third
straight week. Photosport.

Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper has named an unchanged starting XV for the third straight week ahead of Friday night's Super 14 semifinal against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

It's the exact same 22 that took care of business last week against the Queensland Reds, and 21 of the 22 who battled the Chiefs a fortnight ago, also at Waikato Stadium.

That shows there's an immense amount of faith that the Canes have the team to turn around that 8-16 defeat at Waikato Stadium in the penultimate week of round-robin play. As far as they're concerned, it's more about the method, than any need to tweak personnel.

The only doubt had been over a foot injury to flanker Scott Waldrom which forced him to sit out training yesterday.

However, the openside flanker has been cleared to take his place in a team that will very much be motivated by the memories of that disappointing night in Hamilton a fortnight ago.

"We went through a stage where there was competition. We went through a stage of continuing to create that competition," said Cooper of his selection philosophy at this stage of proceedings. "Now it's momentum and I guess you're seeing that in our selections in the last three to four games."

The match will be the 200th first-class game for hooker Andrew Hore.

Friday's semifinal also continues a strong run of semifinal appearances by the Hurricanes in recent years.

This is their fifth semifinal in the last seven seasons, though they have only managed to win one of those playoff matches, back in 2006 when they got past the Waratahs in Wellington before losing the famous fog final to the Crusaders in Christchurch.

On the positive side of the ledger, their previous three semifinal defeats (as well as 2006's final) have come at the hands of the Crusaders - a team for now out of the picture as they confront their own issues in the other semi against the Bulls in Pretoria.

HURRICANES: 15 Cory Jane, 14 Tamati Ellison, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 David Smith, 10 Willie Ripia, 9 Piri Weepu; 8 Rodney So'oialo (capt), 7 Scott Waldrom, 6 Victor Vito, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 John Schwalger.

Reserves: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Bryn Evans, 19 Karl Lowe, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Jason Kawau, 22 Zac Guilford.

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