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'That's not an excuse for us': Hurricanes left disappointed as Brumbies quarterfinal awaits

By Ben Smith
(Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

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The Hurricanes came into the final round of Super Rugby Pacific with a chance to push into fourth place after the Brumbies lost to Moana Pasifika, but a resurgent Force side spoiled the visitors’ ambitions with 27-22 upset win.

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With head coach Tim Sampson moving on and three ex-test players retiring, the Force were able to muster up a performance that pipped the Hurricanes after a see-saw battle.

With just minutes remaining the Force built through the phases before flyhalf Reesjan Pasitoa found a hole for centre Byron Ralston to crash through and score to take the lead. The Hurricanes could not return serve with their last possession and the Force secured a win by forcing a knock-on.

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Hurricanes captain TJ Perenara said his side made too many errors, particularly handling the ball and were way too ill-disciplined.

“No definitely not [the result we wanted]. We are disappointed with the result and the performance but credit to the Force and how they went out there and played,” Perenara told Stan Sport.

“We made a bunch of errors, handling errors, we gave away a lot of penalties that kept the Force in the game.

“They actually played some really good footy, they put us under pressure for long parts of the game and they executed when they were down our end of the field.

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“We have got to be better on our end but credit to the Force for what they did out there.”

The match kicked off at midnight NZT which was one obstacle for the Hurricanes to overcome but Perenara wasn’t prepared to use that as an excuse for his side’s performance.

“We were here long enough to climatise and make sure we were ready for it,” he said.

“We got here on Wednesday, so that’s not an excuse for us.”

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The Hurricanes will finish fifth on the Super Rugby Pacific ladder after the Brumbies and Waratahs also lost their final round games, and will travel to Canberra to take on the Brumbies.

Earlier in the season the Hurricanes were handily beaten 42-25 by the in-form Australian franchise and will have to reverse that result at the same ground if they are to advance.

Perenara highlighted his side’s discipline as one major focus area, as they have been poor when playing in Australia.

“Discipline is going to be a massive one. We’ve been penalised a bit, especially over here,” he said.

“So we need to take that out of our game and make sure for us, we can control what we can control and make sure we can take that part out of the referee’s hands.”

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