Hurricanes look to build momentum in Perth

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With the Force's win in midweek over Moana Pasifika giving them a chance of making the playoffs at the Highlanders' expense, the Hurricanes know there will be plenty of edge from the Perth side.


But they are determined to put together a top display of Hurricanes-style rugby.


However, the 'flu has struck the Hurricanes with coach Jason Holland and fullback Jordie Barrett left in Wellington when the side travelled to Perth.


Gibbes said having to step in for Holland was something they had been planned for when dealing with Covid, so it was a case of everyone stepping up in their roles.


"It's affecting people in different ways, but what we're finding, is four or five days, and the guys are through it.


"There's still a bit of coughing and spluttering going on once the boys get a bit of oxygen into their lungs, but we've actually come through it pretty well, and we're tracking in a pretty good space," Gibbes said.


"It knocks the hell out of you, it goes through you pretty bad and because its all chest and throat, the respiratory system is under the pump," he said.

The illness contributed to making 14 changes to the 23 that started their last game.


Captain and flanker Ardie Savea is on the bench for the game leaving the side to be led by halfback TJ Perenara.


"We're managing Ardie and doing what's best for the team, and what's best for Ardie. It's important he plays, but we think the role he's going to bring off the bench, bringing energy and impact in that second half, is where we think we can best utilise him," he said.


Caleb Delany had earned his chance on the blindside of the scrum as a player who had been accurate during his earlier opportunities, while Blake Gibson had played a lot of minutes but would add something from the bench in Perth.


"It gives us versatility in the back row with him and Ardie coming off the bench," he said.


No8 Brayden Iose said when he broke his wrist he was told he would be out for five months, but it had been eight weeks only. He said he felt an ultrasound unit he had used on his wrist had helped his speedy recovery.


Good work from the side's medical unit had been a big help, and he was keen to build on the opportunities he had earlier in the campaign.


There was such competition among the loose forwards for the side that he was determined to make the most of his chance in Perth.


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