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Hurricanes sort issues and prepare for Chiefs

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Monday, April 9, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

The Chiefs got home for a win with a late penalty try against the Blues on Saturday, while on Friday, the Hurricanes went deep into injury time to score their win over the Sharks.

Hurricanes assistant coach Jason Holland said the side's weekly review highlighted areas where the Hurricanes had been good in previous weeks but had been 'pretty average' against the Sharks, including getting out of their own half, some skills and being dominated at times defensively.

"I thought there were three or four key areas in the game where we couldn't get the rest of our game going so we've reviewed all that and hopefully we'll get a better performance on Friday night," he said.

On top of that it had still been satisfying to show enough composure through the final stages of the game to put several phases together and claim an injury-time win.

Having to play much of the game without their key halfback-first five-eighths combination of TJ Perenara (injured during the game) and Beauden Barrett (injured before) and still get the win had been invaluable for those players, replacement halfback Jamie Booth and first five-eighths Ihaia West, entrusted with running the game.

Perenara suffered a knee injury and had turned up to training on Monday in better shape than anticipated and a decision would be made later in the week over whether he would play against the Chiefs on Friday.

One of the highlights of the game for the Hurricanes was the execution of a planned set-piece move which created an impressive try for fullback Jordie Barrett. Holland said they had a few moves in their tactical bank and it was a case of deciding which might work against particular opposition. The coaches suggested what might work and the players then tweaked it to suit.

Sometimes it might be two or three weeks before the move was unleashed.

It was good to be able to put the training ground moves into action and have them come off like they did on that occasion, he said.

It had also been 'pretty special' for West to land the match-winning conversion, not the easiest of kicks, in front of his home crowd in Napier.

"For him to win the game in the last minute in front of that McLean Park crowd was pretty nice for him," he said.

Holland said the more halfbacks and first five-eighths played together the better they got and Booth and West would get better and better as a result of that performance.