Hurricanes after better start against Rebels

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Fuelling their effort will be the continuing quest to get better starts to their game allowing them to set the tone rather than having to respond.


Assistant coach Chris Gibbes said that was especially important against a team like the Rebels.


"The Rebels are pretty physical, pretty direct. They play pretty hard off nine [halfback], and they've got a big carry-clean game. Physically, they like to get in and impose themselves on you," he said.


"The key thing for us is if you're inaccurate against teams like the Rebels and let them have possession for long periods of time, they will hurt you. They've got some massive guys there, and they're utilising them from a tactical perspective pretty well.


"So, we've got to be able to stop that, and it starts up front," he said.


Memories of their start against the Waratahs last weekend had driven their preparation this week.


"We definitely didn't start the way we wanted to. There were seven rucks in that first 30 minutes, and we didn't have any possession.

"We knew it was going to be a tough fight…the key thing for us was the boys really stuck to it and got the job done in the end," he said.


It would also be important to perform well for what is potentially their last home game against the Rebels on Saturday.


While the ability to get the starts they wanted has been an Achilles heel, there was no doubt about the side's intent - it was more about accuracy and role clarity.


"When we built into the game and held our ball we were able to play our game and be able to put pressure on the Waratahs and that told in the end," he said.


Gibbes said the decision to change their props in the first half came down to a practical choice for the team's benefit. They were in a position where another infringement may have cost a yellow card, and they couldn't afford that.


"You never want to see the boys come off the field like they did and having to make those subs so early but at the end of the day it's a team and that's what comes first here," he said.


Lock Justin Sangster said the Waratahs surprised them with a 'punch on the nose' with their start, but some talk at halftime had provided a turnaround in the second half.


Sangster said one of the biggest lessons he had learned in his first year was the amount of work done in the background and wasn't seen on the field, and he was hard at it looking to learn more about the lineout side of the game.


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