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Hurricanes duo still in doubt for Blues clash

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Hurricanes captain Dane Coles and Nehe Milner-Skudder both remain in doubt for this weekend’s Super Rugby match against the Blues in Auckland.

Regular team captain Coles missed the Hurricanes losses in Round One and Round Two having picked up a calf injury in training.

Milner-Skudder was forced to sit out last weekend’s loss to the Highlanders with a leg injury he sustained playing against the Brumbies in Round One.

Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree says that they are monitoring the duo closely and a decision on whether they will play against the Blues will only be made later this week.

The Hurricanes went through to the 10th round unbeaten in 2015 but are winless in 2016 and Plumtree says the team showed a big improvement in Round two compared to Round one but their skills let them down at crucial times.

“The intensity and commitment that we need to win at this level was there and that is a big plus for us,” he said.

The Blues will be coming off a loss as they were beaten 28-13 by the Crusaders in Christchurch which was a step backwards after they beat the Highlanders in Round One.

Plumtree is still however wary of the Blues as they beat the Hurricanes 40-12 in the pre-season at Eketahuna.

“They dusted us up in the pre-season game,” Plumtree told NZNewswire.

“They are big, really physical and they have game breakers and line breakers all over the park.”

Plumtree said that against the Blues their defence would have to up tight and they will also have to control possession more.

“If we want to build that pressure, we’re going to have to hold on to the ball for longer periods of time and take our opportunities,” Plumtree said.

“That’s probably what’s letting us down at this stage.”

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