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Hurricanes disappointed with Super Rugby start

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Hurricanes Super Rugby head coach Chris Boyd has admitted that his squad’s performance against the Bulls took him by surprise but that one loss is not the end of their season.

Boyd said he was surprised by the performance given the fact he felt the squad had prepared so well for the match.

However, he said the result was “not terminal” for their campaign and they would move quickly to make improvements.

“We will go back to the drawing board and go again.”

The Bulls under new coach John Mitchell were a determined side but while the Hurricanes struggled with a heat and altitude in Pretoria.

However, they still had a number of opportunities to win the match but were let down by their own execution.

“It was disappointing and it’s not the way you want to start the season,” Hurricanes captain Brad Shields said.

“It’s tough coming over here but we didn’t live up to expectations and we really battled to get into the game in the first half. We had opportunities but we gave them away.”

The Hurricanes struggled to get a lot of possession in the first half and were forced to defend for long periods.

That told early in the match when they fell 8-0 behind but they responded well with a try to hooker Ricky Riccitelli.

They then took the lead following an excellent try from wing Wes Goosen.

The advantage was lost by halftime, however, after the Bulls scored when they were down to 14 men and the home side went to the break 16-12 ahead following a late penalty.

The Hurricanes started the second half reasonably well and thought they had a try before the television match official ruled TJ Perenara lost the ball over the line.

They did take the lead when replacement Beauden Barrett scored to become just the fourth player to bring up 1000 points in Super Rugby but a late five pointer by the Bulls saw them edge it.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow and it’s pretty disappointing,” Shields added.

“If we nailed a couple of the opportunities the score would have been different. I think we have to work a little bit harder off the ball but it’s pretty disappointing to start the season like that.”

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