You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Hurricanes says Sunwolves will get better

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/02/2017

TJ Perenara #09 of the Hurricanes passes the ball during the Super Rugby Rd 1 game between Sunwolves and Hurricanes at Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground on February 25 in Tokyo, Japan. © Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images TJ Perenara #09 of the Hurricanes passes the ball during the Super Rugby Rd 1 game between Sunwolves and Hurricanes at Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground on February 25 in Tokyo, Japan. Teams eyeing their match against Sunwolves as a chance for easy Super Rugby points should think again, warn the Hurricanes.

Last year's champions thrashed the side who finished last 83-17 in Tokyo in an opening-round blow-out which has raised questions about the merits of the Japanese side.

Hurricanes assistant coach Jason Holland says suggestions their inclusion is damaging the integrity of Super Rugby are wide of the mark.

He expects a rapid improvement under the coaching of former Wellington-based All Black Filo Tiatia.

"It's easy to look at game one. Filo told me it'd been 17 days since they'd come together," Holland said.

"They're going to get better and better. We got them at their worst and I'm sure there won't be too many teams who put 80 points on them this year.

"I reckon they'll be competitive in a few weeks' time."

The Sunwolves even showed signs of in-game improvement, winning the final quarter 12-0, preventing the Hurricanes from reaching the competition's match record of 96 points.

Despite its lop-sided nature, Holland says the champions took plenty from the game.

Their standards and skill level didn't drop until late as they powered over for 13 tries.

"Obviously the Japanese boys were a little bit under-prepared with their D, which made things a little bit easier for us. By the same token, we executed things really well in that first 60.

"But you don't get carried away."

Holland confirmed they would be without Cory Jane for Saturday's home game against the Melbourne Rebels. The veteran winger may also be sidelined for a further couple of weeks after that, having damaged his neck in a Tokyo training session.

The availability of Blade Thomson is unclear. The No.8 dislocated his shoulder late in the Sunwolves game and was still to undergo scans.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon