Motivation no issue for Hurricanes

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Friday, March 2, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Coach Chris Boyd said motivation had not been an issue since the loss as the players had responded in their own way to the disappointment suffered in the 19-21 loss. It will be the first time the Hurricanes have played in South America, the two sides only having met once before, in Wellington in 2016 when the Hurricanes won 40-22.


"I didn't really need to say much. The boys were furious in their performance, really. We just have to separate the irrational parts out and get to the real bits, and things right and focus on the Jaguares," Boyd said.

Having attempted to come up with a better way of coping with the altitude in Pretoria, Boyd felt the side were undone as a result of the game being their first-up effort in the competition.

"Until the guys get used to that real 80-minute load through their legs, it's difficult. We had six or seven guys going down with cramp and fatigue in their legs at about that 70-minute mark, so we have to balance what's right," he said.

Wanting to ensure as many players as possible who made the trip got good time was the reason behind Jackson Garden-Bachop being included for Ihaia West as first five-eighths back-up to Beauden Barrett, in the substitutes.

Boyd believed the Jaguares might revert to type and play a more Argentinian style of game with more kicking and a more conservative, and direct, approach.

The return of Jordie Barrett for his first outing of the season after recovering from shoulder surgery would be a point of interest for many in the game and Boyd was confident Barrett could handle a start in spite of the fact that he had been targeted to return next week.
"He has been reminding us for the last couple of months that he is well ahead of schedule. He is naturally athletic and fit, and he was always, in his mind, in a good space," he said.

Barrett said he was feeling good about getting back into top level action following the 20 minutes of an appetiser he had with the Hurricanes development side last weekend.

"I'm just trying to tick boxes again this week and put in another performance.

"It's about getting back with the team and running with them, as opposed to doing individual stuff. That's the main thing," he said.

Just how long he would be able to play he was going to 'play by ear'.

"There is, of course, going to be some doubts in the mind, but for me, it's just about having confidence and trust in the rehab. I think it's just business as usual and I want to get into that space and I'll be fine," he said.

The Hurricanes side for the game is:

1.Chris Eves, 2.Ricky Riccitelli, 3.Ben May, 4.Vaea Fifita, 5.Sam Lousi, 6.Brad Shields (captain), 7.Ardie Savea, 8.Gareth Evans, 9.TJ Perenara, 10.Beauden Barrett, 11.Ben Lam, 12.Ngani Laumape, 13.Matt Proctor, 14.Julian Savea, 15.Jordie Barrett.

Substitutes: 16.James O'Reilly, 17.Fraser Armstrong, 18.Alex Fidow, 19.Michael Fatialofa, 20.Blade Thomson, 21.Jamie Booth, 22.Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23.Vince Aso.