Hurricanes are confident they will have a better season

2014-02-22 00:00

THE Sharks have been touted as one of the early season favourites to win this year’s Super Rugby title due to the wealth of talent in their squad and being under the tutelage of World Cup winning former Springbok coach Jake White.

After convincingly beating the Bulls at King’s Park last week, the Sharks will once again have their home crowd behind them as they take on the Hurricanes tonight.

To one man, the Sharks’ “favourites” tag did not matter. That man of course being Hurricanes and All Blacks’ giant winger Julian Savea who, despite his team’s poor season last year, still managed to score seven tries.

“I’m not really concerned about that. That’s pretty much it,” Savea said matter of factly.

Like the Sharks, the Hurricanes felt they had a good enough squad to go for the Super Rugby championship, with Savea on Thursday telling Weekend Witness as much. To do that, he said they had to win games away from home and the Sharks were first up on their radar.

“One of our goals is to actually win the championship and not just to make the play-offs. We do have the players to do it and the boys are heading in the right direction. We all have the same goal and we really want to strive to be great this year,” said Savea.

Last year, Savea had a storming Super Rugby season despite the Hurricanes finishing fourth in the New Zealand conference and 11th overall. But the 23-year-old was confident he and his side would give a better account of themselves in this campaign.

“I’m trying to get better, and, hopefully, you’ll see a new attacking side of the Hurricanes and also our defence will be telling in the season,” he said as he prepared for his first game at Kings Park.

According to Cory Jane, who missed last season due to injury and was a spectator, the Hurricanes put their supporters through a tough time last year by playing “boring rugby”.

“Every year, every team comes into the competition saying they want to win it [Super Rugby]. Last year with the Hurricanes, I was a spectator because I was out with a knee injury. They played some boring rugby, and I can imagine what all the spectators and the fans were thinking — that this is terrible,” Jane told Weekend Witness.

“We knew that we took a massive step back last year. This year, everyone’s looking at their own individual play. We’re just going to go out there and do that, and, hopefully, we can push forward. We have got the team to do it, but it’s a tough competition.

“We have our work cut out for us, but our attitude’s right,” Jane said.

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