Gibbes confident breakdown officiating will be better this season

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The breakdown has been controversial during several recent seasons, and various remedies have been tried without success.


But Gibbes said part of the reason he is confident it will be better-controlled this year is a result of the new policy of embedding referees with each of the six franchises in New Zealand.


"I think us being able to share the game from both sides, both perspectives, is the key and is going to help our game grow.


"The breakdown area is one that we need to get right to make our game flow, but I think the game in general. You want a spectacle, you don't want to be all breakdown-focused.


“We want to get the ball away from that area as quick as we can and get that continuity of game going, so I'm confident they'll get it right at this stage.”

Chris Gibbes


It had been odd playing the Crusaders on the first of consecutive weekends on Saturday, but the Hurricanes were happy with how they came through their warm-up game at the weekend, claiming a win.


The only injury sustained had been a knock to wing Nehe Milner-Skudder after an aerial incident, while it had been good to see two combinations go about their work, he said.


It had been valuable to see how some players performed under the pressure the Crusaders brought.


"What that has given us is the chance to break our game down, to analyse some players and combinations, and then be able to build that into this working week," he said.


"We're in a pretty good space where we've reviewed that game and now we're looking forward to making the tweaks and putting our game plan together for Saturday.


"From a preparation perspective we think we're pretty much on point."


Changes to learning aspects had helped the players grasp the way the coaches wanted them to play this season.


"We're in a different place to where we were last year. We're a little more experienced and clearer in what we want to try and achieve," he said.


Both teams will face a three-and-a-half-hour bus trip from Queenstown to Dunedin on Saturday ahead of the game. The Hurricanes will be on the road by 10 am.


Gibbes said he has never done the drive before but has heard about it and expects it will be harder after the game when returning to Queenstown immediately.



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