Hurricanes brace for Fijian Drua onslaught

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The Fijian Drua were playing well and appeared to be 'pumped up' to be coming to Wellington, Hurricanes assistant coach Chris Gibbes said.


"They're physical, they are big up front, so we've got to make sure we get parity up there or else we're going to be chasing the game for long periods of time.


"We know what's coming. They play with a lot of passion and a lot of physicality. We've got to match that. They're making a lot of line-breaks, and if you get sloppy on a tackle or on a pass, they turn over ball, and they're gone.


"The key thing for us is making sure we play our game and we're structured around what we want to do.


"We've got some good stuff going on in our game, we've just got to nail it for longer. If we can do that against the Drua, we're going to be right there," he said.

"You've got to expect the unexpected with the Drua. Our thing around the forward pack this week is how relentless we can be for how long. That's what we want to challenge the Drua around."


"They've got massive speed out wide so we've got to make sure we're clinical around what we're doing, protecting the ball when we've got it, making sure we're playing at the right end of the field," he said.


Gibbes said against the Brumbies at the weekend the Hurricanes were guilty of 'killing themselves', especially around individual responsibility for skill-sets and decision-making areas of their game.


"We know we were poor in parts of that game and we need to be better, it's as simple as that," he said.


Individuals, as professional players, had to nail their core skills, while as a team, they had to be better and hold each other more accountable.

"There were periods in that first-half when we had them under the pump and we didn't execute and at this level, against a team like that, you can't do it," he said.


"We can't have guys going into their shells around pulling the trigger, and using their skills and expressing themselves. That's what Hurricanes rugby is built around.


"We want guys to be showing us the skills that they've got. We just need to be better at executing them. It is a balancing act to ensure guys don't go into their shells and too afraid to make mistakes because that's not how we want to play," he said.


Indiscipline was still giving opponents easy outs, especially in off-side play and in lineout defence.


"We've got to be better in that space. It's cheap ways out for teams," he said.


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