Hurricanes final hopes on the line against the Crusaders

GettyImages 1310580530

The visitors were unable to fire shots when it mattered most in the game as their attacking sting was denied by solid Blues' defence.


Coach Jason Holland said: "It was a pretty frustrating 80 minutes of footy. We came with the intention to play with tempo, and we didn't get to do that.


"A lot of that was through our inability to hold on to the ball at times, and we just didn't get to play the way we wanted to play. We knew if it was stop-start, and there wasn't much ball in play, the Blues would win," he said.


It didn't help that they were ruled to have conceded a penalty try at a vital stage of the first half when skipper and No8 Ardie Savea was ruled to have infringed by collapsing the Blues' rolling lineout maul short of the goal line.


Savea struggled with referee Brendon Pickerill's decision.


"I thought I was just stopping Ofa [Tuungafasi] scoring the try, but, at the end of the day it's the ref's call, and when they make the call you can't argue. I tried to, but you have just got to go and sit down," he said.


Holland said: "They've got to make sure they get those big ones right…When there are big calls like that, they've got to be bang on. It was a tough one, but you get those, they go both ways. It's just unfortunate that they're big swings in the game."



It was the second of two first-half yellow cards, the first was when flanker Du'Plessis Kirifi was binned for a reckless charge on Blues first five-eighths Otere Black off the side of a ruck.


But Holland felt the decision, in that instance, was fair.


"Dups [Kirifi] was just a bit reckless there. Ots [Black] wasn't close enough to the ball, and I think he slipped over his shoulder and onto the back of his head," he said.


Yet, for the 20 minutes they played reduced to 14 men, Holland was pleased with the way the side reacted and their mental toughness to keep the Blues out in that time had been impressive.


Now the task ahead of the Hurricanes, who have only one win from five appearances, was to lift to take on the Crusaders, also smarting from a loss to the Highlanders at the weekend.


Holland said the Highlanders' win had only reinforced what he always felt and that was that any team that got it right, when the other was slightly off their game, could win, no matter who they were playing.


"We can't do anything about the Blues, so now we'll look at the Crusaders and make sure we attack with the same vigour we saw from the Highlanders," he said.


Despite the reduced numbers in the first half, Savea said the Hurricanes felt like they were on top of the Blues in the first half.


"We had a lot of possession and just couldn't nail that last pass or that last moment. It's probably come down to individual errors," he said.


The Hurricanes take on the Crusaders in a must-win match at Sky Stadium on Sunday 11 April at 3.35pm. 


View all