The Hurricanes say that instead of lazing about waiting for better days, they’ve made good use of their time away from the field by taking stock of where they currently are vs. where they’d really like to be. Before the current Super Rugby Season was interrupted , the Hurricanes hadn’t exactly prospered at even as much as winning their matches, let alone rank a favourite. But now that the players have had some time to reflect and, in the words of halfback Aaron Smith, take a good look in the mirror, the team is more focused on what they’d really like to achieve than in a very long time.
Coach Aaron Mauger says he believes the new resolve to be the result of management having thrown the ball of responsibility back into the hands of the actual players, as it were. That a major shift in attitude and general feel had taken place was according to Mauger quite palpable upon the players’ return to camp.
But according to Smith, it’s also resolve born from more than just reflecting on failures and half-baked performances alone. Of immense value to him personally, says the star halfback, was to think back on a time in his own early career; a time that stood out as a really successful Hurricanes run; and to bring that time back to the table by emulating all the team had done right back then.
Jordie Barrett has in the meantime had his own concerns about his recently-healed shoulder injury put completely to rest. A smiling Barrett this week informed the media of his shoulder having passed a test-run against hard-hitters Dane Coles and Ben May. Barrett last month hurt his shoulder tackling a tackle bag at training.
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