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Coles looks to maintain Test intensity

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/07/2016

Dane Coles. © Getty Dane Coles. Skipper Dane Coles says there'll be no drop in intensity for the Hurricanes' All Blacks as they resume their Super Rugby campaign against the Blues in Wellington on Saturday.

Battered and bruised after New Zealand's three-Test series against Wales, Coles admits to being a bit flat at Hurricanes training this week.

But a day off has rejuvenated him as the Hurricanes prepare for yet another draining local Super Rugby derby.

"I love playing the New Zealand teams, but the New Zealand derbies are bloody tough," Coles said.

"They're like Test matches - New Zealand teams want to go out and kill each other.

"You've got to prepare very, very well - if you're five per cent off, you could lose to anyone."

The Hurricanes sit third in the New Zealand conference, two points behind the Chiefs' second-placed and five astray of the Crusaders table-topping.

Coach Chris Boyd says the equation is simple for the Hurricanes, with games against the Blues, Waratahs and Crusaders remaining.

"All I know is that if we get three wins out of three, we'll get into the playoffs and if we drop more than one we probably won't.

"We haven't done the higher mathematics because there's so many games, particularly in the New Zealand conference that are pretty hard to pick, so we just take it week by week."

Last time the Blues and Hurricanes did battle, at Eden Park back in early March, the visitors edged out 23-19 winners.

Boyd is expecting more of the same on Saturday, despite the Blues position at the bottom of the New Zealand conference table.

"They're chock-full of quality players," he said.

"I think they're more than capable both as a team and as individuals, and and we certainly won't be taking them lightly."

Coles says the Blues showed just what they were capable of in their last Super Rugby outing, a 26-21 loss to the Crusaders at the end of May.

"I think their defence was awesome, and they really had good intensity. As a pack, we've definitely got to match that.

"If we don't, they've got some lethal backs - their back three have scored some very good tries."

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