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Hurricanes eye crucial win over Rebels

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Coach Chris Boyd said that state of the competition was such that no side could afford to have hiccups and while it would be good to have a nice performance and play well, the key thing was winning.

QUICK TAP: HURRICANES v REBELS PREVIEW

It was important not just to look at the New Zealand Conference in assessing play-offs requirements, he said. The play-offs qualifiers would come out of the Australasian pool, not just New Zealand and that made games against Australian opposition 'really crucial', Boyd said.

The Rebels would be coming off a bye after beating the Waratahs in Sydney so they would be fresh and rightfully confident, he said.

"They're well-structured, well-organised, very accurate and reasonably predictable, unlike playing the Jaguares who were a bit of mixed bag, these guys do a small number of things but they do them really well.

"We need to get our roles right, get our breakdown right and be patient," he said.

Referring to the choice of Vince Aso and Matt Procter in the mid-field he said the side were lucky they had four or five players capable of playing in the mid-field but with 'slightly different attributes'.

"We felt where those individuals are and where the season is and for the opposition we are playing this was the combination we thought would be right to play against the Rebels this week.
"Matt Proctor is a very, very accurate player, he's got a high work rate and he's relentlessly accurate in the breakdown for a back…I think centre is a good spot for him," he said.

Second five-eighths Ngani Laumape had been starting to creak a little and a knee that had been causing some discomfort over the past two weeks so it was a chance to give Vince Aso some minutes in his favoured position, instead of on the wing where he had played in Auckland.

Aso said he was excited to have the chance at second five-eighths, he hadn't played there for a while but was looking forward to the opportunity.

"We're tracking on a good path but we're yet to show a full 80 [minutes]. We're getting there but the onus is on us to perform. Sometimes we have lacked concentration through the whole 80 and we slip off and let them [opponents] into the game.

"If we just focus on our roles and get switched in we'll show people a full 80. We've got a lot more to give. We've got potential throughout the team to perform well and get our accuracy right and our key roles and we can put on a performance we can be proud of," he said.