Hurricanes look within for lift

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Lynn McConnell     01 Mar 2016     Getty Images

Coach Chris Boyd said there had been a realistic approach taken in the session and it had been tough, but necessary.

In his own assessment of the performance, he said, "We made too many mistakes and came under pressure at the breakdown and didn't handle it so there's been some big lessons for us.

"It's not often that the opposition that wins comfortably makes more tackles. We conceded points way too softly and we're aware of that," he said.

"Any time you have a sub-par performance you have got to take it on the chin and accept that it didn't go well, try and pick out why that was and correct it but the finger got pointed fairly strongly.

"They're all hurting around their performance. The new guys are adapting to the pace of the game, the expectation and stuff like that and the older guys are disappointing they didn't perform where they felt they needed to," he said.

And being the Investec Super Rugby championship there was only one week in which to turn things around. In this case it is against their rival from last year's final, the Highlanders who have the home advantage on Saturday.

Boyd said the southerners offered a different challenge to the Brumbies.

"The Highlanders are a different beast. We need to flush a poor performance against the Brumbies and look at what the Highlanders will bring to us and do what we need to do to negate their strengths.

"They're the playing through champions, they've only lost a couple of players and they are clearly a good side and I think we'll have to play well to get ourselves on the right side of the scoreboard."

Boyd didn't think last season's grand final loss to the Highlanders would be talked about at all. They hadn't talked about it so far and it was unlikely it would be this week.

"For some guys the final is probably a bit disappointing but we won't talk about that in-house at all.

"It's 2016, it's a different year, and the Highlanders are like us where we are in a position where we need to accumulate points in the very strong New Zealand conference so that is really about motivation.

"I don't think anybody who does anything competitively likes to get a whipping and I'm sure that some individuals in parts of the game will want to right their wrongs from the weekend so I think that's good pressure.

All Blacks hooker, and Hurricanes captain, Dane Coles, who withdrew before the Brumbies game, was a 50-50 proposition for Dunedin but Boyd said in the context of a long season he wasn't sure that he would make the game.