29 Jun 2015

Smith trying not to dwell on end of era

6:48 am on 29 June 2015
The Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith celebrates scoring a try.

Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith will bring the curtain down on his Super Rugby career after this weekend's final against the Highlanders, but the All Blacks veteran is trying not to let the emotion of the occasion overwhelm him.

After 12 seasons playing in a side that has frustrated fans with their inconsistency, the stalwart centre hopes to go out on the ultimate high.

The Hurricanes, despite being heavy on All Blacks and imbued with an all-out attacking mentality, have never won a Super Rugby title in 20 seasons, their only previous championship match being the 2006 'Fog Final' when they lost to the Crusaders.

However, Smith played no part in that final after breaking his leg earlier in the year and the 33-year-old says he's doing his best to ignore the fast approaching end of an era.

"If you focus on that stuff you don't always play well so it's a matter of just making sure you think about what you're going to do in the game and doing your job. That's going to be the same case again [this week] because there'll be a great buzz around the place as there was before the [semi-final] game and we'll just focus on what we're going to do."

The Hurricanes are sweating on the fitness of wing Nehe Milner-Skudder and flanker Ardie Savea, who have hamstring and knee injuries respectively.

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