Hurricanes preparing for a physical encounter with Reds in Melbourne

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Starting against the Queenslanders in the Super Round in Melbourne on Saturday, they expected to feel the pressure from the Australian sides after last year's dominance of New Zealand teams.


Assistant coach Cory Jane said having experienced the tempo, and line speed, New Zealand teams used last year, the Australians will have prepared for a repeat.


"They'll try and match that with us and that is exciting," he said.


The Reds would bring a physical approach before attempting to get their fast outside backs into the game.


He said, "Their loose trio are dangerous, they can get on the ball, defensively they love their tackling and also with the ball in hand they are strong so we are going to have our hands full trying to stop them."



Jane said hooker Asafo Aumua's loss due to his three-week suspension would be felt, especially in Dane Coles' absence. He joked they had almost rung former Hurricanes hooker Norm Hewitt to see if he might be available.


Wing Julian Savea said they felt the Australians had a chip on their shoulder after the New Zealand dominance of recent seasons and would be looking to bring their physicality to the contest.


They would be different propositions than last season. Having been written off, they had more motivation for them to perform.


The Hurricanes were feeling more confident after consecutive wins, while the loss to the Crusaders also had benefits for the side, and they were close to reaching their optimal levels each week.


He said he was enjoying his rugby and felt in a better mental space with the side and in a good position with his fitness. It hadn't happened by accident, he said. It had taken a lot of hard work. But he was enjoying the benefits of that work.


Playing for the All Blacks again remained a goal, but he said there was competition for places on the wings. He wasn't focusing on making the All Blacks, he wanted to produce consistent performances weekly.


"I'm an older player now, I just go through my process each week whatever happens after the season will take care of itself," he said.


Jane said he believed Savea was capable of resuming Test rugby, and his attitude was evident in his play this year.


"There's not too many people who spring to mind that are doing what Jules is doing when he gets the ball in hand and when he backs himself," he said.



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