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Little time for Hurricanes to dwell

Published: 7:01AM Tuesday April 16, 2013 Source: Fairfax

  • Beauden Barrett in action for Hurricanes (Source: Photosport)
    Beauden Barrett in action for Hurricanes - Source: Photosport

Winning starts Monday, rugby league master coach Jack Gibson used to say.

So at 8am sharp yesterday, all the Hurricanes were present and correct at their Newtown headquarters.

Saturday's 28-6 loss to the Blues didn't paint the team in a particularly flattering light, leaving everyone wanting to make amends as quickly as possible.

Everyone had to sit through the Blues' review first, before a preview of what the team can expect when they meet the Western Force at Westpac Stadium on Friday.

With just a six-day turnaround, it was then into a more exacting training session than is customary for a Monday.

That was fine by Ben Franks. He was one of the few Hurricanes to shine at Eden Park, but also one of the more eager to rip back into things.

The Hurricanes weren't good against the Blues and Franks said yesterday's debrief only emphasised that. Not that he's panicking.

"If we're talking in a couple of weeks and we've lost three in a row, yeah I'll start to question some things. But last week everyone was singing our praises - we were singing our own a bit too - and everything was fine," Franks said.

"You don't become a bad team in a week and all we need to do is find out as individuals what we didn't do last week that we'd been doing in the weeks before.

"Stats-wise, it was pretty even across the board. It was just the little things, like their body height was a little lower, their desire was a little more, they just worked that little bit harder.

"A lot of little things can lead into a big thing and become 20-something points."

If the way the loosehead prop ran down try-bound Blues wing Frank Halai in the 38th minute of Saturday's match is anything to go by, then he can be exempt from the questions about desire.

Despite giving Halai a head start, Franks somehow caught the speedster and hauled him down just before the corner flag.

It was some show of speed from a man famed more for lifting weights than having lightning levels of toe.

It certainly made you wonder how truly quick Franks might be and how much of a lead he could have conceded to Halai?

"I don't know, I wouldn't want to give him too much room. About what it was. I think I got got him by a finger, so not too much more," an amused Franks said.

"I do a bit of stuff with weights, but I've always said the gym's to make me a better athlete and the field's to make me a better rugby player. As much as I enjoy lifting weights I'm no Olympic strongman or anything.

"It is actually all for rugby and every now and then it helps."

The Hurricanes' tactics on Saturday and the switch that saw Beauden Barrett pushed to fullback and Tusi Pisi installed at first five-eighth have been talking points.

Coach Mark Hammett said both Barrett and Pisi played well and neither were responsible for the defeat. As for whether they'd be retained in those spots for Friday, he wasn't saying.

"You'll find out when we name the team on Wednesday," Hammett said. No 8 Victor Vito and lock Jeremy Thrush should be available for selection, after getting through yesterday's session.

Prop Ben May, who seemed in jovial spirits at training, has had his injured elbow X-rayed, with the prognosis to be confirmed today.