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Hurricanes remember Brumbies hammering

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/02/2017

At least one Hurricanes player won't be forgetting their dismal opening to last Super Rugby season, wary that a repeat will mean another boot up the backside.

The 15-a-side format takes a back seat this weekend to the inaugural Brisbane Tens but one-Test All Black Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, wanting to focus on his technique, will be sitting it out.

"I want to focus on my scrummaging really and the 10s won't really provide that for me," the 125kg prop told reporters on Tuesday.

Other sides might be fielding flankers in their front rows, which wouldn't give him the preparation he needed for their final warm-up match, against the Crusaders, in Waverley, South Taranaki.

Toomaga-Allen didn't need to be reminded of last year.

The defending champions lost their opening match last year, thumped 52-10 by the Brumbies in Canberra, before going on to take the title for the first time.

"I have not forgotten, hence why I have trained so hard," Toomaga-Allen said.

"I felt like I let the team down, first round, I'm not scared to say I got called into the office and got a kick up the arse.

"It was a real eye-opener for me and I don't want that to happen this year."

Meanwhile, assistant coach Jason Holland was happy with the Hurricanes' 38-33 pre-season win over the Blues in Auckland at the weekend.

Fans were happy to see the return from injury of All Blacks wing Nehe Milner-Skudder.

"Skuds has been amping and ready to go since November so it be good to get him out there," Holland said.

With new signing Jordie Barrett, the Hurricanes have real firepower in the backs, but still need to do the simple things well, he said.

"We've definitely got a bit of x-factor to hopefully break some teams down.

"In attack we showed some good glimpses but we're really aware of our breakdown and how we get our carry and our clean is a massive part of getting the rest our attack going."

The Hurricanes opening match is against the Sunwolves in Tokyo on February 25.

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