Larkham suggests Hurricanes could be rusty

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has questioned whether the Hurricanes will suffer from having a week off ahead of their Super Rugby Semi-final against his team.

Larkham’s Brumbies outclassed the Stormers 19-39 in their Super Rugby qualifier and they too had a week off before the play off and were unable to match the Brumbies so Larkham is hoping the same will happen with the Hurricanes.

The Brumbies flew straight back to Canberra after their Cape Town match and on Tuesday held a light training session.

The Brumbies face a Hurricanes side that has only lost one match at home this year – to the Waratahs.

The Hurricanes have been the form side all season and easily clinched the number one spot while the Brumbies were the last placed qualifier.

Larkham’s comments is the beginning of the mind games between the sides who missed each other in the regular system as part of the quirks of the conference system.

“They’ve had the week off, they’ll be nice and fresh, but maybe their combinations will be lacking,” Larkham said.

“They’ve had a number of injuries over the last couple rounds and a lot of those players are potentially coming back this week.

“We’ll see if that affects their combinations, ” Larkham told the Canberra Times.

“For us, it’s about continuing the momentum that we’ve had.”

While the Brumbies have won four of their last five Super Rugby matches Larkham said that it is hard to find a weakness in the Hurricanes game.

“They’ve been quite physical and their unstructured attack is good,” Larkham said.

“You could say their backline is where their biggest threat is, but their forward pack has been playing exceptionally well.

“That’s the reason they’re on top … they’ve got a really good all-round game.”

Brumbies captain Stephen Moore says his team-mates have recovered well from their hit and run trip to South Africa and that they are in good shape before Thursday when they will fly out to Wellington.

“That South African trip is done now and we just look to this weekend,” Moore said.

“In terms of history and stuff like that, we haven’t talked about it and we’re thinking pretty short term and trying to get our preparation right.

“It’s a tough challenge and it’s a pretty special opportunity to still be in the competition at this stage.

“We haven’t taken the mentality that we’ve got nothing to lose, we want to win the competition, so we’re not trying to play second fiddle.”

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