Hurricanes are less 'naive'
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree revealed his side will be less naive and more tactical against the Crusaders on Saturday.
The last time the sides met Crusaders beat the Hurricanes 20-12 in Round 12 in Christchurch.
However this time around, there is a lot more at stake for the defending Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes. Currently ranked fifth on the overall log, a win would mean they meet Brumbies in Canberra, however, should they stumble they would have to travel to Cape Town to take on the Stormers.
"When we played in Christchurch last time, we were probably a bit naive with our tactics," Plumtree told the New Zealand Herald.
"The ground was really slippery and the ball was wet, and we tried to play in all areas of the park, which wasn't over-intelligent. The onus will be on our pack to step because we know how good their pack is," he explained.
Plumtree confirmed that All Black's rookies Jordie Barrett, Ngami Laumape, Vaea Fifita, plus the Savea brothers, TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett will be in the mix for the match this upcoming weekend.
"Our mindset will be doing our best to get a result this weekend, so the motivation is there," Plumtree said.
In the absence of regular captain Dane Coles, TJ Perenara will probably skipper the side. After the brutal British and Irish Lions tour, the scrumhalf relishes the chance to get back into Super Rugby action.
"I feel sweet and fresh and looking forward to getting back out there. I enjoy getting back, especially with the business end of the season coming out. We do need to switch on," Perenara said.
"The Crusaders defended very well against us last time. We have to trust our instinct a bit, and when we get opportunities, we have to take them.
"We'll play how the Hurricanes play. We aren't the All Blacks or Lions. We'll just be ourselves," he added.