No victories? No worries for the Hurricanes

Getty Images

James Mortimer     04 Mar 2014     Getty Images

Yet this was a match which was there for the taking for the Hurricanes, even if critics will suggest that championship potentials win those sort of fixtures, but few sides have put in such a performance in Cape Town in what was ultimately a failed effort.

A strong lineout and a near 99% ruck percentage gave Hammett enough to be happy about, although a high number of turnovers wouldn’t have excited the coaching staff, although the delight of the double whammy by Julian Savea and Cory Jane within five minutes showed the awesome attacking potential of the team.

Captain Conrad Smith looks to be hitting his straps early, while the likes of Victor Vito and Brad Shields were not part of what was a very competitive Hurricanes back row against a heavyweight home forward unit.

There were other factors to work off for Canes, such as the team giving away a low number of penalties for the second week in a row, an important point which the coaching team noted, while the pack put in a performance spearheaded by the efforts of newly minted centurion Ben Franks.

Returning to New Zealand for their first home match of the Investec Super Rugby season, the Hurricanes will come up against the 2013 runners-up in the Brumbies.

The Canberra based franchise will present a difficult template for the hosts, as so far they haven’t deviated this season from the heavily structured system laid in principle by Jake White, and now continued by head coach Stephen Larkham.

Such regimented tactics have upset the Hurricanes in the past, who are on a three-match losing streak against their incoming visitors.

However the New Zealand outfit has played a tighter game so far this year, likely part of Hammett’s overall schedule to mix the team’s inherent flamboyance with the required solidity up front.

Whatever the view on the team’s tour of the Republic, they have put behind them arguably the toughest start of any team in 2014 Super Rugby behind them, and will now look ahead to the Australian Brumbies – with the Canes still to play a local 'derby' match.