Hurricanes set for fight to stay in the top four




The Hurricanes vs the Sharks sees both teams under pressure. The Hurricanes will be under pressure to remain in the top four while the Sharks will be under pressure to maintain their unbeaten record.

“I’d say it’s a must-win game for both teams, which will make it very interesting,” Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper told NZPA.

Sharks captain Johann Muller says that his team does not want to compromise the standard they set last season when they finished the round-robin on top and claimed home advantage in the playoffs.

With a game in hand, the Sharks are eight points behind the only other unbeaten team in the Crusaders, who beat the Hurricanes 20-13 last weekend.

“We’ve targeted some games on this tour (away games) so we have to start it (tour) on the right foot this weekend,” Muller said.

“But who’s under more pressure?

“I don’t know. We’ve got an unbeaten record and the Hurricanes lost last week. I heard they have not lost two (games) in a row at home – it’s not a good omen for us.”

Hurricanes coach Cooper made just one change to last week’s starting team, bringing in the tougher Tane Tu’ipulotu for Tamati Ellison at second five-eighth while Piri Weepu (pictured) will be battling to keep his halfback’s role in the Hurricanes.

Hurricanes assistant coach Aussie McLean said they’re looking for improvement from the former All Black.

“We all know what his potential is, and hopefully he starts reaching his potential soon,” McLean said.

“He’s not playing as well as he can, but he’s not far off.”

McLean said that he wants to see his Weepu’s distribution work picked up and also for the halfback to be more of a threat with ball in hand.   


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