Boyd: Hurricanes must be 'squeaky' clean

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 23:34

SUPER RUGBY SEMIFINAL: Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd pinpointed discipline as one of the key factors in his team's encounter with the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The defending Super Rugby champions have scored 93 tries this year, thw most in the comp[etition, while the Lions are not far behind with 84 tries.

However, it is penalties that could utlimately decide the outcome and that is why disciplie is such a big factor.

Even though Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies had an off day with the boot during the Lions' 23-21 Super Rugby quarterfinal victory over the Sharks at Ellis Park last weekend, Boyd knows the hosts have other deadly weapons.

Speingbok wing Ruan Combrinck knocked over the match-winning penalty from 58 meters out in the 78th minute.

The Lions are not short of kicking options, with fullback Andries Coetzee also capable of landing long-range penalty goals.

Boyd said both teams will have to be on their best behaviour, as a lack of discipline will be punished.

"I think both sides will be looking to not give away penalties," the Hurricanes mentor said.

"You give away a penalty and it's either going to cost you three or it's going to cost you a large chunk of field possession.

"When they [the Lions] kick to the corner, we will expect a drive, so we want to be squeaky clean," Boyd added.

The Hurricanes have All Black flyhalf Beauden Barrett, his brother Jordie Barrett (at fullback) and scrumhalf Thomas Perenara - who are just as accurate with the boot.

Perenara landed a kick from 69 meters out at training this week.

"I think he [Perenara] nailed one at the high school yesterday [Wednesday] from around 69 or 70 meters,"Boyd said, adding: "I'm not sure he will be able to do it again at the weekend, but it certainly was a good kick."

Hurricanes captain and hooker Dane Coles, who will earn his 100th Super Rugby cap for the Wellington-based team on Saturday, said he is expecting both teams to put in a committed effort on both attack and defence.

"I think there will be the same intentions from both sides to have a go,"the veteran hooker said.

"I think both attack and defence will be a factor and both teams are good at defence, but I'm sure there will be a few line-breaks."

The Hurricanes have played the Lions 20 times previously, winning 17 of those matches and losing three.

The two teams last played in the 2016 Super Rugby Final in Wellington, where the Hurricanes won 20-3 for the franchises' first title.

By Josh Isaacson
@isaacson_j
@rugby365com

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