Early Hurricanes momentum did damage - Boyd

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Saturday, March 10, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

The 29-19 win for the Hurricanes in their first game in Wellington, and after a tough travel schedule, was an impressive statement.

Coach Chris Boyd said on SKY Sport after the game, "We had a lot of emotion in the first 40 minutes, we managed to sneak away and get some tries."

The Crusaders' loss of Ryan Crotty and Sam Whitelock to head injuries was probably a blow to their game plan and leadership, he said.

"We were pathetic against the Bulls, scratchy against the Jaguares and we weren't really sure where we were at. Hurricanes-Crusaders games are pretty intense anyway and we had some extra motivation being at home and [the 100th games] for Beaudy [Barrett] and Bams [Ben May] and we started well. But we didn't get much possession or territory in the second half," he said.

"I think the momentum in these games that are really tight, the team that controls the breakdown, whether it's with ruck speed or gain line, if you can control that area then I think it gives you a pretty good head start.

"For periods of time in the first half we did that then in the second half once they got their maul going, and we started giving some penalties away, we battled to get territory and possession together which was a bit of a problem for us," he said.

The Hurricanes' game management had not been too bad and they tried to deny the Crusaders set-piece opportunities in their half so the Hurricanes didn't kick the ball out which had worked some times but not others, he said.

Boyd talked of the contribution of his second five-eighths Ngani Laumape by saying that in the modern game unless your forward pack was dominant it was impossible to play without a bully in the midfield and he fitted that bill.

"Your pack's not getting you across the line and you've got fast line speed and you can't get your ball to the edge, you've got to be able to go through the middle. Ngani's been a great find for us and he will continue to be a really important part of our machine," he said.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said the Hurricanes had started really well and had taken their opportunities off the Crusaders' mistakes.

"Their line speed was great and they won a lot of breakdowns then we found a way to get ourselves back into it and we made a lot of errors again so it was a bit of a game of errors for us," he said.

At one stage the Crusaders made seven mistakes in a row and you couldn't afford to do that against a side of quality like the Hurricanes, he said.

"I'm really proud for a lot of it because we showed how much we cared, we fought hard right to the last moment, we kept them off the goalline. There's lots to improve on, it just shows you how brutal these games are," he said.