Pressure on Hurricanes for strong finish

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Monday, May 28, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Assistant coach John Plumtree said it was important to regain the accuracy from the 10-win streak that ended on Friday heading into the last part of the season, especially when it came to playoffs time.

"We know that conditions down in Dunedin are going to be faster and how we go about playing will be totally different," he said.

Plumtree said they had looked at their tactics in the Crusaders' wash-up and they had possibly not got them right by not bringing their forwards into play enough which had put too much pressure on the backs while, at times, they had played a little too much in their own half.

"We probably didn't help ourselves a lot but at the same time we have to give the Crusaders some credit, they played really well and to the conditions and conditions were difficult.

"Our strength has been the amount of tries we have scored with the use of our backs this year and possibly we should have given the forwards more work," he said.

The more sodden conditions than what the Hurricanes have been used to meant they had to play a different style of rugby and they hadn't adapted well enough for that requirement.

"If we get another opportunity down there it will be a fair bit different I would say," he said.

Being able to cope in wintry conditions would be important as the competition heads into July for its final stages.

They had been disappointed with their discipline which allowed the Crusaders to dominate territory which had been important in the conditions. The 6-14 penalty count had not been good enough and coupled with a 60 percent territory statistic that showed how tough it had been.

In regard to some of the rulings from match referee Angus Gardner which they felt had gone against them, Plumtree said the referees were doing their best but there were other situations the Hurricanes could have controlled themselves and they hadn't.

"We've got to look at ourselves more than we look at the officials," he said.

Among injury concerns was lock Michael Fatialofa who took a knock and he would be assessed again on Wednesday while Vaea Fifita, who has been with the All Blacks at their Christchurch camp, was said to be improving.