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Waratahs in firing line with Hurricanes eager to respond to Brumbies loss

By Ned Lester
Brayden Iose of the Hurricanes. Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

The Hurricanes’ losing streak against the Brumbies continued in round 10 of Super Rugby Pacific, ending the Wellington team’s unbeaten run in 2024.

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The Hurricanes had established themselves as the team to beat this season with their dominant form seeing them to convincing victories over fellow title contenders the Blues and Chiefs, but the Brumbies were out with a point to prove after a record loss to the Blues the week prior.

It was a historic run that came to an end in Canberra, and while the Hurricanes still boast the top spot on the Super Rugby table, the team emphasised the importance of feeling the disappointment of the loss.

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Hurricanes captain Brad Shields said there was a feeling of flatness in the locker room following the result.

“A few times in that game, we could have changed the momentum and how the game could have gone,” Shields said. “We didn’t capitalise in certain areas of the field, or we coughed up the pill too easily.

“It’s important that the boys are disappointed. They don’t like losing, but you’ve got to use that as motivation and drive to get things better.

“We have to make sure that we don’t think we turn into a poor team overnight, because we’ve done some really good things and still won snippets of that game, but we couldn’t quite string it together multiple times, and that’s what we’ve been good at all season.”

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The Brumbies broke through 42 Hurricanes tackles, including five of tackle machine Du’Plessis Kirifi, no mean feat in itself. Behind Kirifi, who also had a game-high 23 tackles made, winger Salesi Rayasi, hooker Raymond Tuputupu and centre Peter Umaga-Jensen each fell off four defensive attempts.

Hurricanes coach Clack Laidlaw said the Brumbies’ fast start was a huge factor in the game, also admitting his side weren’t able to reverse that momentum in a meaningful enough way.

Laidlaw added that he felt this game had a playoffs level of energy to it and the loss would serve the team well in the long run.
“I’m excited about what we can learn from this and what we take into the Waratahs game next week.”
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