Hurricanes loose forwards to lift in absence of Savea

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Coach Jason Holland said, "When you lose an All Black and one who's an awesome part of our side, it is a blow.

"But we've got some pretty awesome loosies, and there'll be a combination of guys off our bench, and young guys with a little bit of something to prove in there which hopefully makes up for what Ardie would have offered."

Holland said Savea had accepted after the game he had done something wrong, apologized to the Hurricanes and the Rebels players involved and accepted the one-week sanction, so it was a case of getting on with their preparation.

The side also needed to be smarter when incidents occurred with referees looking for whoever had done something a little different.

"I don't think it was any one thing. It was just a combination of how everything unfolded there. People running in from both sides and a bit of adrenaline running there. As we've said there was no excuse for what we got to at the end of it."

The one-week standdown would not be part of his All Blacks' rest requirements. However, Savea wanted to be part of having the Hurricanes at the right pitch to meet the Blues, and he intended to do everything possible to achieve that.

All Blacks' rest required the players to get away from rugby for a week, but Savea wasn't doing that this week. He would have that rest later in the round.

Holland said injured halfback TJ Perenara was working well through rehabilitation from his Achilles tendon injury suffered last year. He expected he would be back playing before the end of the campaign.

But in his absence, Cam Roigard and Jamie Booth responded well, so would be some healthy competition in the role when he returned.

The Hurricanes take on the Blues at 7.05pm on Saturday 11 March at Sky Stadium. 


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