Hickey thrives as Auckland develop

Getty Images     27 Sep 2013     Getty Images

Hickey, demonstrated the sort of attacking play he is capable of when running in a superb individual try against Northland last week, and has his sights set on a game that will be much tougher at the weekend against Canterbury.

"I like to take the ball to the line and I was just lucky the gap opened up for me," he said.

He knows a little of what to expect of the champions who have carried the competition over each of the past five years.

He got onto the field for 20 minutes in last year's final in Christchurch and said he was excited by the prospect ahead of the side at Eden Park on Saturday.

"I think you can tell this week, just from the intensity of the training, that all the boys are up for it," he said.

Hickey said he was still growing into his game and he had a lot of work ahead of him to play in the manner, and with the control, he wanted.

"Hopefully I can keep building and cut out a few of the mistakes I've been making," he said.

The mistakes were not specific. He said while he had done some good things in games he had also made some mistakes and it was a case of attempting to cut those out."

The team itself had made a slow start to the ITM Cup with new faces in the side but he felt they were slowly getting into their work and they would be looking to build on some good performances of recent times.

Having let their guard down against Waikato when they were beaten 24-42, he said the players were aware they hadn't turned up on that occasion and it was a case of putting that in the back of their minds but remembering the hurt to make sure it didn't happen again.

However, with Canterbury having lost so many first five-eighths during the season to injury and All Blacks duty, he is not sure what to expect from his likely opposite Richie Mo'unga, 19, who celebrated his first-class debut with a 27 point haul in the 72-7 win over Manawatu.

"I've never played against him before but I watched him last night and he looks like a pretty decent player. I've been lucky enough to come up against a lot of good first fives this year so I'm always excited to try and outplay them," he said.