Hurricanes' attention turns to strong Trans-Tasman campaign

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Coach Jason Holland said players carrying a few niggles would not be concerned about them as they prepared for their opening game against the Waratahs in Sydney.

 

They would also get a boost from injured players like halfback Jonathan Taumateine and loose forwards, Gareth Evans and Vaea Fifita, being close to returning to play.

 

Holland said Friday's 41-22 win over the Highlanders was important, at home in front of their fans.

 

They had missed opportunities in the first half, but they had talked about trying to nail the little parts, hold onto the ball and then allow their X factor players to let loose.

 

"We were way better in the second half, we didn't force things, we made sure we were patient, we got our breakdown going and created opportunities. It's a bit of a blueprint for us. We want to play and back ourselves to have a crack, but we've got to be smart around it," he said.

 

 

First five-eighths Reuben Love had made the most of his chance, and Holland said for the 19-year-old to be thrown into three big games in the way he had, and to perform as he had, was special.

 

Captain Dane Coles said the win didn't change anything about the disappointment of their campaign, but it was a reward for the side's perseverance under the circumstances.

 

It had been pleasing to continue attacking throughout, and the final 20 minutes had been satisfying, with the bench making a good contribution.

 

"It doesn't fix the season, but it's a good way to end it knowing that if we do what we do, and believe in ourselves, we can get results and push teams," he said.

 

One of the season's benefits was the introduction of younger players who could have an impact in the future.

 

"It's really good they've been chucked in the thick of it, it's just important that they know what it means to be a professional, and that they turn up every day and work hard, and that what they put in is what they get out of game day," he said.