'Unlucky' Canes staying positive

Sat, 01 Mar 2014 08:49
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Despite the heartbreaking nature of their loss to the Stormers at Newlands, the Hurricanes took heart from what was an encouraging performance.

Despite the heartbreaking nature of their loss to the Stormers at Newlands, the Hurricanes took heart from what was an encouraging performance.

A late driving maul saw Stormers flank Deon Fourie go over for his team's only try which secured an unconvincing 19-18 victory on Friday, leaving the Hurricanes with just a single bonus point from their South African tour.

The visitors scored two good tries late in the first half to take control of the game, and almost pulled off what would have been a valuable win, but were ultimately denied at the death by a desperate Stormers side.

Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith was visibly disappointed after the match, but said that his team's fighting display away from home bodes well for the rest of the season.

"I think we were pretty unlucky tonight, but we can't expect that to happen every night. It is a long old season and we will have plenty of opportunities to set that right.

"We created a couple of opportunities and we always want to create more. It was a game we could have easily won and if we just keep preparing the way we did and play the way we did we will win more than we lose," he said.

Coach Mark Hammett said that he was particularly impressed by the performance of his forward pack, who had been blown off the park by the Sharks the week before.

"I thought we certainly created plenty of chances, I thought our forwards played particularly well. We put a lot of work into our scrum and line-out and I thought our defensive line-outs were outstanding," he said.

The Hurricanes boss said that while they were gutted to go down the way they did, they are certainly not unhappy with what they achieved on their South African tour which he believes has set them up nicely for the rest of the season.

"The game is a bit cruel sometimes isn't it? You love the game but it doesn't always love you back.

"There are some positives, the guys are fresh and really enjoy travelling here. We set down some really good and challenging habits, so while we have only come away with a point we have actually come away with a lot more than that.

"It could so easily have been four points and then back home for two games, but it is what it is and we will take confidence out of this trip," he said.

One area that the Hurricanes can definitely improve on is protecting the ball in contact, which Hammett said they will address before their upcoming home games against the Brumbies and Cheetahs.

"We mixed our game up in terms of playing behind the space and playing the edges, but we didn't get it all right. If we look back at the game ultimately it will be turnovers that cost us.

"The turnovers were mainly knock-ons so we have got to look at how we are holding the ball and taking it into contact because we just lost too many.

"We will have a look at that and see if it was conditions, but we have to get better there," he said.

By Michael de Vries

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Fri, 09 October 2015
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
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France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Griquas v Sharks 20 | 45
Pumas v Free State Cheetahs 37 | 37
Fri, 02 October 2015
New Zealand v Georgia 43 | 10
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26