Hurricanes

Jerry Collins plays the underdog card

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Jerry Collins says that if you look at the history books and current form its suggests that the Hurricanes face an uphill battle at Eden Park against the Blues tomorrow.


Hurricanes hardman Collins who has been Sidelined for three weeks with a rib injury returns to action tomorrow in a must win match for both teams. The result will have a knock on effect for other teams no matter what the result.


The Hurricanes are a lot better off than the Blues and as a win should secure them a financially lucrative home semi final and a loss could see them being knocked out altogether – highly unlikely but mathematically possible.


The Blues need a win a lot more and anything less than a draw will immediately rule them out.


Collins, known for his enthusiasm for action, is thriving on the thought of playoff rugby and said the last-round match at Eden Park will be “full-on”.


“Potentially it is the last game for one of the teams, that’s the way we’re treating it. If we lose and don’t get a bonus we’re gone,” he told NZPA.


“It’s pretty exciting, it should be pretty full-on playing against a team who have the potential to win the competition.”


Though the Blues won the first eight of their 12 Super matches, the Hurricanes have won the last three ‘ two at Eden Park (22-10 in 2005 and 37-19 in 2006) and one at home (23-22 in 2007) ‘ with the 2004 match drawn 26-26.


“Two weeks ago everyone was tipping them out of the competition, then they come back and win two games with 30-40 points,” Collins said of the Blues.


“It’s a different story now so, it’s going to be a very tough ask. We’ve won only (twice) in our history up there so the odds are very much in their favour.


“They’re playing pretty good football. They’ve got pretty good backs and a very good front row and loose forward unit.


“Just like us, on their day they can put it together. Let’s just hope Friday is not their day.”


Collins comes back to add experience and physical presence in the Hurricanes’ loose forward department alongside captain Rodney So’oialo and Chris Masoe against and an equally effective Blues trio ‘ Nick Williams, Daniel Braid and Jerome KaiNo


Collins said given the cut-throat nature of the match, the intensity level at training lifted naturally this week and he wasn’t feeling any ill effects from his injury.


“I haven’t been anywhere ‘ just been training here (with the Hurricanes) all the time but at times it was like trying to drive a car on three wheels,” he said referring to restrictions caused by his injury.


Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper said his team and the Blues had similar strengths.


“Doing the little details is going to be the key. The team that does the detail and controls its set pieces will have an advantage,” he said.


“The Blues are coming on really well. They’re similar to us, they have firepower everywhere.


“Their scrum and lineouts are really coming to their own and we’re the same. I think our stats are very similar, tries are very similar which brings it to a big game tomorrow.”

 

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