Cape Town - The Chiefs will be hoping that home ground advantage will be one of their weapons to success when they take on the Hurricanes in the Vodacom Super 14 semi-final on Friday (09:35 SA time).
The hosts have lost only two matches in Hamilton during the past two Super 14 seasons. They will go into the semi-final having won their last five matches in Hamilton, their last defeat being against the Sharks in February. In 2008, they won six out of seven matches in the city.
Their recent form at home in matches against the Hurricanes also suggests that the Wellington side will have to be at their best to prevent the Chiefs from reaching their first-ever Super Rugby Final.
The teams have met four times in Hamilton since 2002 with the Chiefs winning on three occasions. The Hurricanes’ last win in Hamilton was a 39-32 triumph in 2007. Prior to 2002, however, the visitors tasted success on three consecutive visits to Hamilton.
The two have met on 14 previous occasions in Super Rugby with the Chiefs winning 6 and the Hurricanes 8. In their most recent meeting, the Chiefs defeated the Wellington side 16-8 at Hamilton.
The Chiefs have only reached the last four on 1 previous occasion, in 2004 when they were defeated lost to the Brumbies. The Hurricanes will be making their fifth semi-final appearance but have only managed to advance once to the final, in 2006, when they ultimately lost to the Crusaders.
The Chiefs have proven to be one of the most dangerous teams in the Super 14 with big, ball-carrying forwards and a set of skillful and talented backs. They can attack and defend well, scoring 43 tries in the league stage of the Super 14. They also boast the fifth best defensive record, conceding 33 tries.
The Hurricanes, who with 49 scored the most tries in the league phase and conceded 35, have excelled as the tournament progressed. They have hit a rich run of form in recent weeks and will come up against a Chiefs outfit that has been on-song for most of the competition.
Super Rugby History
Chiefs victories: 6
Hurricanes victories: 8
1996 Chiefs 15 Hurricanes 23 in Hamilton
1997 Hurricanes 18 Chiefs 23 in Wellington
1998 Chiefs 19 Hurricanes 22 in Hamilton
1999 Hurricanes 21 Chiefs 24 in Wellington
2000 Chiefs 19 Hurricanes 24 in Hamilton
2001 Hurricanes 27 Chiefs 51 in Wellington
2002 Chiefs 44 Hurricanes 20 in Hamilton
2003 Hurricanes 24 Chiefs 14 in Wellington
2004 Chiefs 19 Hurricanes 7 in Hamilton
2005 Hurricanes 28 Chiefs 16 in Wellington
2006 Hurricanes 35 Chiefs 10 in Wellington
2007 Chiefs 32 Hurricanes 39 in Hamilton
2008 Hurricanes 39 Chiefs 19 in Wellington
2009 Chiefs 16 Hurricanes 8 in Hamilton
Previous semi-final appearances:
Hurricanes: 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008.
Super Rugby Titles