James Mortimer 04.Apr.2012Getty Images
Senior Hurricanes in captain Conrad Smith and Cory Jane identified different areas where the team failed, with the All Blacks incumbent centre saying inexperience was a factor, while Jane said that lack of intensity at training spilled onto the field.
It is in fact an element of the All Blacks that the Hurricanes are seeking to filter onto their own game, looking at the often unseen match winning component of reorganising and aligning off the ball – a hallmark of the World Champions under Sir Graham Henry.
While Smith and Jane were direct in their assessments, coach Mark Hammett said that while both facets mentioned by his backline leaders were issues, he said that the performance of the team off the field was what needed to be maintained.
Hammett has spoken highly of his player’s attitude at training and their commitment when preparing for a weekend’s match, and said to the Dominion Post that he wasn’t too worried about the basic skills of the players despite some poor showings as the Cheetahs ramped up their attack.
"It's the step before that, the urgency to reload and organise the attack when you are not going forward. That's an area we can fix,” Hammett said.
"Maybe we've fallen into a bad habit in the games from our good habits in training."
What will assist the Hurricanes is that senior forwards in number eight Victor Vito and Jason Eaton will be available to play, with both returning to training as the team looks to head up north to one of their grounds outside of the capital.
Brad Shield might miss the match with his shoulder injury, a big blow considering he was one of the better performed Hurricanes forwards, and Hammett said he would take care with his blockbusting forward considering he had essentially aggravated an existing injury.