Super Rugby

Hurricanes hurting after loss to Brumbies

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Last year’s Super Rugby final hosts the Hurricanes have been challenged to make up for their loss to the Brumbies by beating the Highlanders this weekend.

Hurricanes captain Victor Vito says that they were “embarrassed” with their performance against the Brumbies in the opening round.

The Hurricanes were beaten 52-10 and Vito said that losing in that was “like we lost the final all over again.”

Hurricanes captain Victor Vito has revealed that he gathered his players on Monday and looked them all in the eye and told them straight about how they were outclassed.

Vito admits that the Hurricanes didn’t just lose to the Brumbies they got hammered.

“It hurts having to say that,” Vito told the Dominion Post.

Many put the Hurricanes as their picks to improve on last year by reaching the final and then winning it but if their performance on Friday was anything to go by they have a mountain to climb if they are to be crowned champions.

“For the team we want to be, I think personally that we were (embarrassed). At the time I didn’t want to see anyone, but we’ve got over it and you’ve got to make sure you lick your wounds in this competition.

“It’s only week one (but) the way it was feeling it was almost like we lost the final all over again.”

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd says that the test will be to see how the players respond this weekend when they face a Highlanders team smarting from losing to the Blues in their opener.

“It will be interesting to see (how the players react),” Boyd said.

“I don’t think anyone who does anything competitive likes to get a whipping and so I’m sure that some individuals and parts of the game will want to right their wrongs from the weekend.”

Boyd says that he has been battling with whether to give the tight-five another go or whether to drop them and bring in new players.

“We have grappled with long and hard…and all will be revealed later in the week,” he said.

Boyd said that there was “probably not” anyone that he would be getting back from injury in the immediate future.

“Dane Coles is maybe 50-50 but I think, in terms of a long season, I’m not sure he’ll make it.”

Given the the way the Hurricanes played in Canberra questions have been raised about whether the Hurricanes are fit enough but tighthead prop Jeff To’omaga-Allen is adamant that fitness was not a factor in the loss.

“Of course we are (fit enough). We don’t do all that work and go through all that pain for nothing, so we’re fit enough,” he said.

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