Highlanders confident of covering Smith
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Lynn McConnell Getty Images
QUICK TAP: TEVITA LI LOOKING TO 'PULL THE TRIGGER'
Buckman had returned from overseas and was ready for consideration at fullback. Hammett said he was a favourite in the region and a favourite amongst the playing group as well so it was good having him back.
The Crusaders would be similarly affected with the loss of first five-eighths Richie Mo'unga but the same applied to both sides when injuries occured – they would have someone who was able to slip into the position, he said.
Italy's tactic of not joining rucks in their Six Nations Test against England at the weekend was noted by Hammett and the Highlanders' management. He thought it was a good strategy that had caught England out.
A lot of teams would look at that to work out how they would cope with an opponent taking that approach.
"There's advantages to that too, if you get your strategy right," he said.
So far as using the tactic themselves, he said against the right team it was an option.
"Teams have used it in Super Rugby not as the Italians used it at the weekend, but it has been used at times," he said.
Hammett said there had been some good aspects around the opening game, in spite of the loss.
"We played with speed, we probably under-kicked to a degree but I feel we are a team that in the past has played best with less possession. We had a heck of a lot more than we've ever had so we've just got to be smarter around that and make sure that we play the game we want," he said.
The side had been rusty and some of that was due to half the squad having only had about 40 minutes rugby. A lot was expected of the returning All Blacks when they joined the side but it would take a couple of weeks for them to get up to the speed of Super Rugby intensity, he said.
Hammett said he was pleased with the effort of the pack against the Chiefs and especially their effort through the mid-field. There had not been a lot of set-piece play with only seven lineouts.
The scrum had been solid after some initial adjustments but they had been able to produce good ball.
It’s time to show your @SuperRugbyNZ colours and #UnleashDefeat.
Visit the Official All Blacks Online Store https://t.co/kHnJiTXerL pic.twitter.com/9u7tr8TcTr— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) February 28, 2017
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