Hurricanes assistant coach Chris Gibbes said while Moana Pasifika lost to the Chiefs last weekend, they have shown they can compete with the best teams in Super Rugby as they did for 70 minutes against the Crusaders.
"That's not only physically but from a game perspective. You can see they've got variation, they want to play at you. They're well-coached, we know that, so it's just a matter of making sure that we're accurate. and we get our physical parts [together] and we meet them toe-to-toe," he said.
The late postponement of the Hurricanes' game against the Chiefs allowed them to have a weekend off, and they returned to their base on Monday in good shape to prepare to play Moana Pasifika.
"The guys are fit and healthy and we have some guys coming back from long-term injuries too, so, we're in a pretty good space," he said.
There had been a concentration on their approach to Covid, and, being the third season they had dealt with the pandemic, Gibbes felt it had been the most effective they had been in coping.
"The whole world has got to cope with it and it is just a small part for us, so we've got our mindset around getting back into it, and making sure we nail down when we get the opportunity," he said.
Returning to play after two weeks without a game made the side's contact progression important in attempting to align aspects of their game to be ready for Friday.
"It's business as usual and our expectation is as a Hurricane they'll come out, they'll be physical and there'll be a massive effort and, again, our accuracy around our game plan is going to be key for us," he said.
Halfback TJ Perenara is close to returning to play.
"It's exciting for him to be back in the group and he has his part to play this weekend at some point," he said.
Hooker Dane Coles was still at least two weeks away, and he was working quietly towards a return.
"It's an injury you can't push too hard. He's got to take it day-to-day, week-to-week," he said.