Super Rugby
Tough start key to Hurricanes' season of success
ESPN Staff
June 30, 2015
Hurricanes 29-9 Brumbies (Australia only)

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd believes a tough opening to the Super Rugby season helped drive his team's success, resulting in a first ever home final against the Highlanders this weekend.

Tickets to Saturday night's decider were snapped up in under a minute as the opening issue of tickets went on sale on Monday afternoon. However it was confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that a further 5000 tickets would go on sale on Wednesday morning, 2000 of which will be available at a pop-up site in Te Papa in the Kiwi capital.

Hurricanes fans had been bemoaning the on-selling of tickets via the Trade Me website, meaning at least some of those supporters will have a further opportunity to secure a seat for the city's first ever Super Rugby final. Needless to say the "house full" signs will be up at Westpac Stadium come Saturday night where the Hurricanes will look to follow in the footsteps of the Waratahs last year by converting a first ever home final into a maiden Super Rugby title.

The Wellington side will go into the match as heavy favourites having been the form team throughout the regular season, before comfortably dispatching of the Brumbies 29-9 in last week's semi-final. It was a three-week road-trip to start the season where Boyd believes the foundations were laid however, a journey the Hurricanes turned into three straight wins.

"I think there's been a steady improvement but I think the fact that we started really well has probably given us the right to be here," Boyd said. "What we earned at the very start of the season was the ability to be at home for a semi and a final. "It's always tough with a group to persuade them that a game in round one or two or three might make the difference at the back-end of a competition; but it does."

The Hurricanes routed an under-strength Highlanders outfit in Round 17 © Getty Images

Three straight wins quickly became seven before the Hurricanes were eventually beaten at home by the Waratahs in one of just two defeats for the regular season. They also swept this week's final opponents, the Highlanders, in matches in Dunedin and Napier; but Boyd believes there was little relevance in the Round 17 result due to a host of Highlanders omissions.

"I think if you remember the last game in Napier they rested their three All Blacks…and Patrick Osborne didn't play and Nasi Manu didn't play. So that's five key players for them, so we'll take absolutely no energy from that performance at all."

They will glean plenty of energy from a capacity Westpac Stadium however, despite the anger of many fans who missed out on purchasing tickets on Monday afternoon. Resale values are coming in hundreds of dollars above the original price online, but Trade Me will not be stepping in and prohibiting the on-selling of tickets.

"For the vast majority of events, people are allowed to on-sell legitimate tickets, so Trade Me's position is that we have always allowed them to be sold," spokesman Paul Ford said. "It is not our job to enforce the terms and conditions of a third party like a ticketing agency, for example, as we don't have oversight of how the tickets were originally acquired."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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