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Canes calm ahead of Chiefs clash

Friday, July 04, 2014

WELLINGTON - Hooker crisis over, the Hurricanes can switch their attention to booking a first Super Rugby playoffs appearance for five seasons.

Coach Mark Hammett was relieved after Dane Coles came through the team's main training run without further damage to his bruised calf, confirming the All Blacks' hooker will start Friday's climactic game against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

Ash Dixon was also passed fit to take his place on the bench, while a third hooker Motu Matu'u was ruled out by a shoulder injury.

The season of both teams effectively rests on the result.

A draw or loss will leave the fifth-placed Hurricanes vulnerable next week when they sit out a final-round bye.

Similarly, defeat for the ninth-placed Chiefs at Waikato Stadium will virtually ensure they won't win a third successive title.

Hammett says the fact the game could be the last of their season - and of his tenure before he leaves for Cardiff - hasn't been a factor in their preparation.

He has urged his players not to get carried away by what is at stake and focus on the adherence to basics which carried them to a 16-9 defeat of the Crusaders last weekend.

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