Hurricanes building towards Blues clash

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Barrett said the third-round loss to the Chiefs had been frustrating because they felt they put a lot into the game and a couple of mental lapses late in the game had undone all the good work.

 

It had been good to get some reward in their fourth-round game in Dunedin and the players felt they were in a decent enough spot and were building nicely into Saturday's game against the Blues in Auckland.

 

The side had also enjoyed having Dane Coles' experience back in the side, not only for his performance on the field but also in assisting captain Ardie Savea with the preparation during the week.

 

He said they knew the Blues would be hurting after two losses but they were back at home and would be looking to cash in.

 

"We're not taking them lightly at all," Barrett said.

 

The side was heading in the right direction and still had a finals berth in its sights. Barrett said it would now be nice to build some momentum.

 

"We've shown glimpses, it would be nice to put it on for 80 [minutes]," he said.

 

Assistant coach Chris Gibbes said the pleasing aspect of the Dunedin win was the way they were able to close the game out after having let their previous game against the Chiefs slip.

That had been the focus of attention during the week of preparation.

 

"For us to be able to put stuff into the plan and for the boys to be able to execute it and grind it for 80 minutes was a pleasing outcome," he said.

 

The attitude within the team had been seen when reduced to 14 men but had upped their work rate to cope with the extra load.

 

"We're a team that works hard for each other and it was awesome to see that come out like that," he said.

 

Gibbes said he felt the Hurricanes were a better team than when they opened the season but added that every team in the competition had grown. The Hurricanes had suffered some injury reversals but as a group, they had got better.

 

"We're under no illusions about what's coming, but the boys are up for that. It's another good challenge for us to walk towards," he said.

 

The Blues would be hurting after consecutive losses and would be looking to get back on track with a good performance. That was the same for the Hurricanes but it would be the same as always, it would be who took their opportunities first, he said.

 

"They're going to be big, physical, they want to play hard at us and we've got to be ready to match that challenge. That's all we focus on. We get that, we get what we want," he said.

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