Hurricanes wary of Blues attack

Date published: April 14 2017

Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree believes a strong defensive effort will be needed when the champions face the Blues in Auckland on Saturday.

The Blues are languishing at the bottom of the New Zealand Conference but are dangerous on attack and have already scored 25 tries from seven matches played this year.

"They can play an exciting brand of rugby, they can play all over the park and give the ball a bit of width but they've also got some really big carriers who can give them go-forward so defensively we're going to have to be on the job," said Plumtree.

"It's probably going to be our toughest defensive assignment to date. They've got so many big threats in the mid-field with Sonny Bill [Williams] back and Rieko [Ioane] there so it's going to be a big task looking after their big ball carriers."

Wes Goosen had been preferred to Cory Jane on the right wing for Saturday's clash and Plumtree believes the youngster's selection is fitting reward after he impressed in the Hurricanes' 38-28 win over the Waratahs in Wellington last week.

"We were really happy with Wes' game last week and felt he played really well," added Plumtree.

"Obviously, we've got a bit of choice there with CJ and Julian [Savea] so it was a pretty tough call to make."

Having lost to the Chiefs in Hamilton in wet weather the need to be more accurate in kicking, and more aggressive in defence, had been good lessons.

Goosen is delighted to be given the opportunity of a start and was looking to 'have some fun' out on the field.

"There's heaps of competition so it brings the best out of everyone, there's pressure to perform it makes you want to perform at your highest level," he said.

Playing on the right wing wasn't a concern, he was just happy to have the chance and he felt there was little difference – 'catch the ball, run fast, it's all the same."

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