Perenara praises dogged defence
REACTION: Hurricanes captain TJ Perenara praised his sides defensive effort, especially in the first half, that proved to be the catalyst to their 25-9 Super Rugby semifinal victory over the Chiefs in Wellington.
The Hurricanes' dominance the breakdowns and dogged defence has now ensured that they have not conceded a try in 200 minutes of play.
"I think that defending for a big part of the game, especially for about 15 minutes in the first half, set the standard for us and the boys will be pumped [sic] about not conceding any tries.
"They [Chiefs] threw a lot at us and for our boys to step up and make some tackles, really helped us. We knew we had to continue working hard [in the second half] because once they [Chiefs] get their hands on the ball, they can cut any team apart.
"So we knew that we had to work hard on defence, which is something I think we did for big parts of the game. I think most teams will view their defence as the backbone of the team and that's something we really want to pride ourselves on," Perenara said.
The scrumhalf was handed the captaincy after Dane Coles was forced to withdraw from the matchday squad and Perenara had special praise for Coles' replacement Ricky Riccitelli as well as Leni Apisai.
"Ricky [Riccitelli] has been playing well throughout the year, Leni [Apisai] as well. The impact he [Apisai] brings off the bench cannot go unrecognised. I'm sure both of them with stand up again if they get another opportunity.
"Dane [Coles] will have to be broken not to play [in the Final]. He is a tough man and it was hard for him to sit out [the semifinal] and it will take a big blow for him to sit out again but we will take it day by day," he added.