The Hurricanes are through to the Super Rugby semi-finals but they’re far from satisfied with a win over the Brumbies.
Coach Chris Boyd said the 35-16 win, in which they trailed 16-15 at half-time, was among their worst outings in recent weeks.
While it was enough against the Aussies, Boyd said they couldn’t count on scraping through to a third straight Super Rugby final
“I think it’s our poorest performance in the last three games we’ve played and we can’t walk away being happy from that performance,” he said.
“At times we were terrible, at times we were okay and we won ugly.
“The nice thing for us is we’ve had a few of those games this year where we’ve managed to get ourselves across the line winning ugly but we can’t keep doing that otherwise we’re going to run out of favours really.”
Whichever of the Lions or Sharks the Hurricanes face next weekend, it will be a side they haven’t played this season, one of the quirks of Super Rugby’s conference system.
Last year it was the Chiefs who faced off against the Stormers, their first clash in that season, with the Kiwis piling on the points in a 60-21 win.
If it’s the Lions the Wellington side has to visit, things surely won’t be that easy but Boyd said his team would have to be up for it.
“The Stormers lamented last year that they played the Chiefs in a quarter-final in Cape Town and it was the first time they’d played a New Zealand team and they got 60 points put on them,” he said.
“I certainly wouldn’t be stupid enough to suggest that’s going to happen if we play the Lions but either way the Lions and the Sharks haven’t played any New Zealand sides this year.
“It’s a massive challenge if we go to Ellis Park around the crowd, the physicality, the altitude but as rugby players for these guys, if they can’t get up in front of 55,000 Dutchmen at Ellis Park, that’s a pretty special occasion.”
Hurricanes captain TJ Perenara praised the Brumbies, whose pressure stopped the Hurricanes being able to get on top early, but said they knew their second-half dominance would pay off.
“I reckon you’ve got to credit the Brumbies for a percentage of it,” he said.
“They played very well, I thought they launched well off set piece and I thought they put under pressure offensively as well.
“We’re a team that believes in building pressure and regardless of whether you come away with points or not, you come away with a different mind frame and I think you put yourselves in a good mind frame as well.
“We thought we were defending well early on and when you get camped on your line for a little while one team creates a try so we knew if we could continue to build pressure in that 22, we’d either come away with the points or we’d come away with a mental edge which is good.”
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