Stormers, Hurricanes fuelled by desperation

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iol spt feb27 Stormers Gallo Images Both the Stormers and the Hurricanes will essentially be fuelled by desperation in their Super Rugby fixture at Newlands. Photo by: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Cape Town – Both the Stormers and the Hurricanes will essentially be fuelled by desperation in their Super Rugby fixture at Newlands.

The two teams will run out on the backs of defeats in their opening matches last weekend.

Stormers' coach Allister Coetzee said some of his players came away from last week's game against the Lions, admitting that they delivered their “personal worst individual performance” and he was heartened that they were so forthright.

“So that is encouraging as it should mean they all come out in a very angry mood and determined to put it right against the Hurricanes,” said Coetzee.

“We need to respond to that performance by playing like a team that is angry at itself.”

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett was expecting a Stormers backlash but felt his side would be equally desperate to rake up their first win of the season.

“We're expecting them to be fired up, but we're no different,” Hammett said.

“We're very proud of how hard we've worked to get to the starting point of our season and we lost by 18 points, so we are no different, I assure you.”

Wing Cory Jane, one of four All Blacks in the Hurricanes backline, also spoke about the teams' desperation.

“It should be an interesting game where both teams are desperate to get a win, but more so us,” said Jane.

“We're at their home ground, we're in South Africa and we definitely want to come away with some points.”

Stormers captain Jean de Villiers said the challenge facing his team was to focus on the match, rather than reflect on last week's outing.

“I think every team, after a loss, will feel that they need to bounce back,” said De Villiers.

“The key is not to look at the end result 1/8of the season 3/8 and semi-final spots and things like that.

“It is about focusing on the game at hand. The fact is that the performance last weekend was well below par for us and concerns us we felt we prepared really well and that the guys were up for it.”

De Villiers has also spoken about the need for the team to start well, so that they don't end up chasing the game if the opposition are able to score prolifically early in the match.

The Stormers have brought in fullback Jaco Taute and his performance will be crucial in the opening minutes. It will be his first taste of competitive rugby in a year and there will be concerns about his match fitness.

The Hurricanes have made two changes to their tight five after they were out muscled by the Sharks last week. They have brought in John Schwalger and Mark Reddish for tighthead prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen and lock Mark Abbott respectively.

Their loosehead Ben Franks will run out for his 100th Super Rugby game, although most of these have been for his former team, the Crusaders. – Sapa


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