Hurricanes aim for hat-trick before bye

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Lynn McConnell     22 Mar 2016     Getty Images

Having lost heavily to the Brumbies in the opening round and then gone down by one point to the Highlanders, both away games, the Hurricanes have beaten the Blues and the Force to get back on the winning road.


Assistant coach John Plumtree said the side appeared to have come through the win over the Force in Palmerston North in good shape with the only real concern a calf strain for Victor Vito but which was expected to be recovered by the weekend.

But more importantly the signs of continuing improvement were there.

"Our stats tell us that we have been a bit more accurate, particularly in the second half against the Force, in the first half we created plenty of opportunities but we didn't quite finish them off, but we've been really happy with our set piece," Plumtree said.

"Our defence was right up there in the weekend as well which was great, not conceding a try, the tackle accuracy was really good and we finished off some tries which was really pleasing."

Preparation for the Kings this week would be focused on the attitude and ensuring everyone was aware of the strategy and to maintain the teamwork.

"Really, it's for them to focus and making sure the leaders are pumping the rest of the team up and we're into it.

"We know the Kings will be excited about playing us and we've just got to make sure we're excited about playing them," he said.

The evidence showed the Kings were a good first half side and would come out hard at the Hurricanes so it was a case of absorbing that and also coping with the usual physicality expected of a South African side.

Plumtree said he was pleased with the leadership exhibited by the side in Palmerston North and having captain and hooker Dane Coles back was of benefit in that regard.

"We were defending really well and we got three tries from turnovers from our good work at the breakdown so once we absorbed that pressure and put a couple of tries on the board you could see that confidence coming and our bench did a really great job – all the guys put in the hits," he said.

There were likely to be one or two changes in the side for the game because some players were deserving of a starting opportunity.

"They won't be whole sale changes, we want to keep the momentum. We're happy with some of the combinations we want to keep growing but there are one or two guys who deserve an opportunity," Plumtree said.