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Vito leads Canes into Bloem battle

Thu, 09 May 2013 08:48
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It was our worst performance of the year
Quote-end

Victor Vito will lead the Hurricanes into battle when they play the final match of their South African tour, taking on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday before heading back to New Zealand.

The side shows four changes from that which suffered a humiliating 14-48 loss to the Bulls last week, with two players bracketed.

Ben May (tighthead prop), Faifili Levave (blindside flank) and Tim Bateman (inside centre) all come into the starting line-up.

Reynold Lee-Lo will make his first start after six appearances off the bench.

Jack Lam has been bracketed with Karl Lowe for the No.7 jersey and Andre Taylor has been bracketed with James Marshall at fullback.

On the bench, James Broadhurst takes the No.18 jersey.

The embarrassment of last week's loss to the Bulls in Pretoria means the Hurricanes aren't lacking in motivation.

"It was probably our worst performance of the year in terms of execution, in terms of sticking to the game and our discipline," assistant coach Alama Ieremia said from South Africa on Thursday.

"There were certain areas we were pretty embarrassed about."

After losing 18-16 to the Stormers the week before, the 11th-placed Hurricanes desperately need a win to have any chance of making the play-offs.

They'll have to do it without skipper Conrad Smith, sidelined with concussion, but Ieremia has no doubts his team can step up.

"Losing that amount of experience is a bit of a blow, but we're pretty confident with the leadership we have and we've addressed that in terms of the voices that need to be heard around the team."

Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor / James Marshall, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Reynold Lee-Lo, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito (captain), 7 Jack Lam/Karl Lowe, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben May, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Reggie Goodes, 17 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Brad Shields, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Tusi Pisi, 22 James Marshall/Karl Lowe.

Date: Friday, May 10
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT; 05.00, Saturday, May 11 NZ time)
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), Francois de Bruin (South Africa)
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)

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