Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper is sweating on the fitness of captain Andrew Hore who is a doubtful starter for the side's must-win Super 14 rugby match against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday.
Highlanders prop Chris King will chalk up his 50th appearance for the side this afternoon, and says it has all gone in a blur.
As the Highlanders reflect on their seventh loss of the year, coach Glenn Moore will have to face his bosses in the next 10 days to review what is shaping up to be a forgettable season.
Times are tough for the Highlanders but North Otago Rugby Football Union chief executive Colin Jackson says it is too easy to blame the coach.
All Black and Highlanders loose forward Adam Thomson admits he will be looking at his options when his Otago contract comes up for renewal at the end of the season, although any move north could be scuttled by a change in the way contracts are handled.
The Highlanders have made just one change to the starting team to play the Force in Queenstown tomorrow, as the side looks forward to a rare day game.
The Chiefs took their time but rumbled back to winning rugby ways in the Super 14 with a slightly fortunate 27-21 defeat of the Highlanders in Mt Maunganui tonight.
Highlanders lock Tom Donnelly may have played his last game in the Super 14 this season and is not optimistic he will get the chance to play for the All Blacks again until the end of the year.
A prominent voice in the heartland has deflected blame for the Highlanders' woes from the coaching staff and called for a radical change in administration to revive the franchise.
The Highlanders are starting to come apart in a season which promised much and has delivered very little.
Force captain Nathan Sharpe admits his side was slow out of the blocks this season but is starting to show a bit of consistency.
The Highlanders will be hoping it is third time lucky when they run out at the Queenstown Events Centre tomorrow.
The Highlanders team to play the Western Force in a Super 14 rugby match in Queenstown on Saturday is:
Highlanders' wing Fetu'u Vainikolo has at least one thing in common with fellow Tongan Jonah Lomu - he wants to make the No 11 jersey his own.
Highlanders captain Jimmy Cowan will not use the word "desperate" in describing both teams' desire for a win tonight in Mt Maunganui, but he admits plenty is riding on the game.
Highlanders prop Jamie Mackintosh is targeting a match on his home ground to make a comeback from a toe injury.
Desperate times have arrived early for most of New Zealand's Super 14 rugby hopefuls.
The Highlanders' hopes of resurrecting their Super 14 rugby season were hit today with the news that vice captain Jamie Mackintosh has been ruled out for at least six weeks with a foot injury.
The Chiefs today made four changes to their starting 15 to play the Highlanders in a Super 14 rugby match in Mt Maunganui on Saturday night.
People often ask us how we fill in the day leading up to a 7.35pm game.