Hurricanes looking for strong performance in Canberra

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GIO Stadium has not been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Hurricanes through the years, and they know Saturday's challenge will be made all the more difficult because of the Brumbies' three losses on the road in New Zealand.

 

Back on their home ground, they will want to perform for their fans.

 

Hurricanes coach Jason Holland said his players knew they had to perform, or they wouldn't be in the side the following week. That reduced the chance of any complacency creeping into the side.

 

"We've had that in mind the last three weeks around giving guys opportunity. It's created what wanted it to create, but it's made it a little bit niggly to pick the team. But that's where we want to be," he said.

 

Having captain, and No8, Ardie Savea back was valuable, but they had several players returning, and some who had not been able to make the 23.

 

"It's great to be in this position at this time of year having so many bodies to choose from," he said.

 

The back three of both the backs and forwards had been especially tough decisions, while the choice at first five-eighths had also been hard because Orbyn Leger had been playing well in Ruben Love's absence through injury. But Love was the preferred option this week.

 

"We've got a pretty simple plan on how we need to play over there to win, and he's nailed on to it and led a pretty good meeting about what we're trying to do.

 

"It's important we don't go over there and overplay too early. We've got to be smart about getting into the game and make sure we're not too frivolous early, especially in our end. So, he's got a clear understanding of how we want to play.

 

"We just want him to free up and be able to do the simple things, but then when he sees an opportunity back him to have a crack," he said.

 

The Brumbies had always been a good side, with a good pack, making them tough to play home or away, Holland said.

 

"They're physical and they've got a pretty good No8 who carries a lot of their ball, and gets them over the gain line, and we expect Ards to do the same for us. We need to put a stop on their momentum," he said.

 

"It's been tough to win there because they've been a really good side," he said.

 

"We're looking forward to taking them on and making sure we take out some of their strengths which have been based around that pack."

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