Having almost a full complement of players to choose from ahead of their Investec Super Rugby game with the Brumbies, the Hurricanes are looking for an improved performance at CET Arena, Palmerston North on Friday night.
Assistant coach Jason Holland said while fullback Jordie Barrett would be on his stand down week first five-eighths Beauden Barrett would be back and was very keen to be involved.
“Beaudy [Barrett] will bring leadership, he’s experienced, a calm head and he’s bossed things already really well this week. Apart from the exciting stuff that Beaudy can bring we’ve got to do the simple things around him, give him a bit of space and let him and the other boys have a bit of fun.
“Every time you get an experienced All Black back it’s a bit of a lift for the boys and that’s what’s happened this week,” he said.
Adjusting to the requirements to have stand down time for the All Blacks was not hard because it had been known for a long time that was going to happen. They had put plans in place and there was room to tweak them depending on circumstances, Holland said.
The loss at the weekend to the Crusaders had reinforced how the Hurricanes had to be switched on mentally while understanding their game plan and sticking to it.
“We were disappointed with ourselves. There were a lot of things, especially in that first half which we can’t continue to do otherwise we won’t win games.
“Things around discipline, things around turning over ball. It didn’t really matter who that side was in that first half, if you give them the ball in those parts of the field, turn the ball over or give away stupid penalties, then we’re going to battle,” he said.
“It’s been a big learning for us and hopefully we don’t see those pictures again.
“In the second half we started to do things really well. We held onto the ball, we put teams under pressure.
“We know when do things we are trying to do as the Hurricanes, and play the Hurricanes game, we’ll put teams under pressure,” he said.
While there had been a lift in performance when the more experienced substitutes came off the bench, Holland felt they had turned the performance around before that but it had been good to have the energy come on from the bench.
“It’s a collective thing, we’ve just got to hold onto the ball and put teams under pressure,” he said.
Facing the Brumbies on Friday they were playing a team who showed similar traits to what the Crusaders had demonstrated in their impressive win over the Chiefs, he said.
“They’ve got a really well drilled and pretty sizeable pack and they’ll put pressure on us there again and we’ll look to counter that. We’ve just got to play our game and play with a bit of tempo and move those boys around.”
The Hurricanes have played the Brumbies 25 times in Super rugby since 1996 and in those 25 matches the Hurricanes have won 11 and lost 14.
That gives the Hurricanes a record of winning just 44% of their matches regardless of where the match was played.
This weekend the match will be play in Palmerston North and this will be the first time that these teams will have met in the city.
The Hurricanes have hosted the Brumbies 11 times since 1997 and they have won 6 matches and lost 5.
The average score when the Hurricanes host the Brumbies is : Hurricanes 32 Brumbies 34.
Average score: Hurricanes 27 Brumbies 26
Last five results
Sat, 30 Jun 2018 Hurricanes v Brumbies 12-24 Canberra
Fri, 21 Jul 2017 Elim Hurricanes v Brumbies 35-16 Canberra
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 Hurricanes v Brumbies 56-21 Napier
Fri, 26 Feb 2016 Hurricanes v Brumbies 10-52 Canberra
Sat, 27 Jun 2015 Semi Hurricanes v Brumbies 29-9 Wellington
Hurricanes overall record against the Brumbies
Played 25,Wins 11, Losses 14 , Draws 0
15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Vince Aso, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Liam Mitchell, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Ben May, 2 Dane Coles (c), 1 Chris
Replacements : 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Wes Goosen
15 Tom Banks, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 David Pocock, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements : 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 James Slipper, 18 Leslie Leauluaialii-Makin, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Tom Cusack, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Tom Wright
Match Officials and details
Date : Friday 1 March
Venue : Central Energy Trust Arena, Palmerston North
Kick Off local: 19:35
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 1:Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 2:Nick Hogan
TMO : Aaron Paterson