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New Zealand teams battle

Friday, May 16, 2014

WELLINGTON - The cannibalising of New Zealand's Super Rugby conference accelerates this week when two teams sitting either side of the playoff divide meet in Wellington.

Points differential separates the sixth-placed Hurricanes and seventh-placed Highlanders ahead of their today's showdown, with both sides expecting another down-to-the-wire outcome.

In their past 11 meetings, the losing team has picked up a bonus point for finishing within seven points.

A repeat wouldn't surprise Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett, who said the pragmatic approach employed this year by counterpart Jamie Joseph had turned the southerners into a team based around a strong kicking game.

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