Canes going back to Napier

first_imgPhoto by: GETTY IMAGE (Caption: First five-eighth Beauden Barrett put on an absolute clinic when the Hurricanes thrashed the Brumbies at McLean Park in April) Drainage issues have seen the Napier venue lose hosting rights for three New Zealand one-day international cricket matches, but it will continue to successfully stage Super Rugby games.The Hurricanes will come to McLean Park for their eleventh time, on April 6, when they meet the Sharks in a Friday-night round-eight clash. The team have won seven of their previous 10 games in Napier, including April’s 56-21 win over the Brumbies. That followed the previous season’s 56-20 thrashing of the Highlanders.”Over the past two years Hawke’s Bay has run a fantastic match-day experience at McLean Park and I know our players and coaches are already looking forward to returning in 2018. The Hurricanes will continue to take big matches to the regions and we are already in discussions with Manawatu about hosting a match in Palmerston North in 2019,” Hurricanes chief executive Avan Lee said in a statement.More than 13,000 fans attended this year’s clash with the Brumbies and Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union chief executive Mike Bishop was confident of a similar turnout against the Sharks.”The Hurricanes have a strong history of success at McLean Park with successive wins over the Bulls, Highlanders and Brumbies since 2014 and will be looking to build on that in front of their Hawke’s Bay fans in 2018,” Bishop said. “The game will be of special significance for the Magpies quartet of Ihaia West, Gareth Evans, Ben May and Jonah Lowe who will want to add to the rich history of Hawke’s Bay players making a big contribution to the Hurricanes brand.” The connection between the Hurricanes and Sharks is well known. Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree is a former Sharks player and head coach and he was assisted during that coaching tenure by Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd.The Sharks soundly beat the Hurricanes in Durban, during the 2016 regular season, before the tables were turned in the quarterfinals. On a wet and windy night in Wellington the Hurricanes won 41-0 and the two teams have yet to meet since.They came within a whisker of a clash this year, but the Lions just pipped the Sharks in their quarterfinal. A Sharks win would’ve set up a semifinal in Wellington but the Hurricanes instead went to Johannesburg, where their title defence came to an end.last_img

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