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Savea ready to run riot against the Bulls

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/05/2017
Julian Savea © Getty Images Julian Savea

Hurricanes winger Julian Savea has been happy enough watching his midfield rack up the tries this season, but he'd be happier still to score a few himself against the Bulls in Pretoria early on Sunday.

The defending champions are coming off last week's nine-try 61-7 blitz of the Cheetahs in Wellington, where centre Vince Aso and second five-eighth Ngani Laumape ran riot.

Aso scored a hat-trick, breaking Hurricanes and All Blacks legend Tana Umaga's old record of 12 in bringing his season's tally to 13.

Laumape has 11 himself, and while Savea's total is a more modest six for the season, the 26-year-old All Black has few complaints.

"I'd like a bit more ball, who wouldn't? But I'm happy with the way they're going - they're playing amazing and creating havoc for other teams," Savea said.

"Sooner or later it's going to create more space for me."

Savea says the Hurricanes were happy to rediscover their try-scoring form after a tryless 80 minutes against the Crusaders the week before resulted in a disappointing 20-12 loss.

Especially pleasing was an improved defensive effort which restricted the South Africans to just the one try.

"We've just to keep trying to improve our attacks and our skill sets, also with our D which is going good at the moment," he said.

"We're proud of the performance we put in against the Cheetahs, but knowing the history at Loftus, we can't turn up to this game lightly."

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd says there's little chance of that, especially with Bulls skipper Adriaan Strauss returning to bolster their scrum at hooker after two weeks off with a foot injury.

The South Africans have won just three games this season and, coming off a 51-14 thumping by the Lions last week, are clearly out of play-offs contention.

Nonetheless, Boyd expects them to present a stern challenge on home soil.

"They're a big side, they're a physical side, and they'll be angry with their season," he said.

"They've got nothing to lose so we'd be massively stupid to think we're not going to get anything but a very angry Bulls team at the weekend."

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