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'Felt like the old 1st XV days:' Hurricanes looking to shore up defence after conceding 48-points to Waratahs

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

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The Hurricanes got their Super Rugby Trans-Tasman campaign off to a winning start with a 64-48 victory over the Waratahs in Sydney, but while the result was what was desired the amount of points leaked were addressed at training this week.

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Speaking at the Captain’s run ahead of Friday night’s clash with the visiting Rebels, Dane Coles said that there was a big difference between the defence seen against the Waratahs compared to what had been in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

“I haven’t played in a game like that in a while,” co-captain Dane Coles told media.

“Felt like the old 1st XV days, I think the difference in that game [against the Waratahs] and the Aotearoa competition is you had to earn the right to score a few tries, put a few phases together.

“Sometimes it was like one pass and we’d score, and it was kinda the same with them and they scored. So we got to make sure that is shored up for tomorrow night.”

Coles said the focus has been on making sure that the ‘unrewarded’ aspects of defence are improved this week for the Rebels, with an emphasis on working hard off the line to stifle the Rebels’ attack.

“It’s all the unrewarded stuff that people don’t see that we need to put a big emphasis on. Just getting set, coming forward, and working really hard for each other.

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The announcement this week that the Hurricanes had signed former All Black prop Owen Franks for next season got Coles’ approval, as he said his experience and work ethic will shape the culture at the club.

“Massive advocate for Franksey. Played a lot of rugby with and against him,” he said.

“People have probably heard this a lot, but he’s the most professional player I’ve ever worked with. So his experience and work ethic will just be awesome to see in this franchise.

“I had a few chats with him but he had a desire to come back to New Zealand. We had a few conversations, I just said it would be awesome to have you, let the contract people do there thing and the next thing is he’s signed, so that’s awesome.

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“Really looking forward to him coming here and adding his bit to the team.”

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'Felt like the old 1st XV days:' Hurricanes looking to shore up defence after conceding 48-points to Waratahs

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