Happy Hurricanes only worry about themselves

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James Mortimer     28 Apr 2014     Getty Images

For the Hurricanes, a significant factor in their recent rise has been a mandate to bring the enjoyment back, while focusing on how to get the best out of each individual.

On current evidence, it is working a treat.

The team is clearly playing with freedom and expression, but there are some clever drapes in the background that are pushing the Hurricanes towards the tag as legitimate title contenders.

If they are not already.

Four straight wins has Mark Hammett’s team at the top of the New Zealand Conference, while their bonus point triumph over the Reds came with the extra cherry of seeing no players enter the casualty ward.

Few franchises have a fully fit, and firing, squad at this stage of Investec Super Rugby.

Halfback TJ Perenara told Fairfax Media it was due to increased internal preparation.

"For a majority of my time with the Hurricanes, we have focused on what other teams did well and tried to exploit their weaknesses," he said.

"We still do that but this year we've put an onus on knowing what we do well, knowing our game and how we feel most comfortable playing the game. That's what I feel has really helped.

"Our preparation week to week is about us a lot of the time and how we can play the game, and how we enjoy playing the game and what we can do well, and I think that's been a big difference for us."

Hurricanes wing Cory Jane said that enjoyment and a policy of reward and acknowledging plays was given the team a real tight feel.

Which in turn was creating a vibe that even the crowds were beginning to pick up.

"If we do something good, instead of just walking back to the next thing, we acknowledge it,” Jane said.

“So the boys are getting out and starting to pat people on the back, the high fives are going around, they're having a bit of fun and at the end of the day that's what rugby is about.”

"If you aren't enjoying it, it can be a bit painful and it gets the crowd involved as well."

With thanks to Fairfax Media for the quotes.