18 Feb 2012

Blues finish pre-season unbeaten as Canes pip Chiefs

12:14 pm on 18 February 2012

The Chiefs finished their Super Rugby pre-season with a 23-19 loss to the Hurricanes in horrendous conditions in Taupo.

In a match that could have gone either way, it was the weather that stole the show with the thunder, rain and lightning enough to close the Auckland and Taupo airports.

The Blues however went three from three and consigned the Highlanders to a winless pre-season but Blues coach Pat Lam wasn't happy with his star recruit Piri Weepu's fitness.

The All Black played the second half of the 29-12 victory in Auckland at halfback but was well off the pace, thanks to the extra long layoff for the All Blacks, and an injury setback.

Lam says there's no favouritism for the big names and regardless of reputation, the players who are ready will play the season opener against the Crusaders Friday night at Eden Park.

So it seems likely Michael Hobbs will start at first five next weekend and Weepu could well be on the bench.