Hurricanes are wary of Brumbies line out drive

The Hurricanes brains trust will spend much of this week trying to work out a way to stop the Brumbies’ lineout drive ahead of their Super Rugby Semi-final in Wellington.

The Brumbies have been almost unstoppable at close range to the tryline with their rolling maul from the line out.

It was expected that the Brumbies would use this extensively in Cape Town against the Stormers but their tries other sources with three coming from winger Joe Tomane.

In the Semi-final the Brumbies might not be able to move the ball around as much as they did in Cape Town and Boyd is wary of them going back to the maul for points.

“I think out of 51 tries they’ve scored about 36 from lineouts and out of that 36, something like 26 from drives. It’s a huge number,” he told Rugby Heaven.

“There are a number of opportunities for us to try and prevent that from happening and we’ve discussed plenty of those this morning.”

The travel factor is expected to work against the Brumbies this weekend as they had to fly from Canberra to Cape Town last week and this week they have flown back to Canberra and still have to make the trip to Wellington.

Boyd is still wary of the Brumbies as they have conceded the least number of points per match even though the Hurricanes have conceded the second lowest.

“If you look at the stats they are the most accurate team in the competition. They have the stingiest defence, they give up the smallest number of line breaks, the least number of tries, the smallest number of points.

“They are an interesting combination of what you would see in an Australian side with perhaps a tinge of the African mentality that’s a hangover from when (former coach) Jake White was there and they’ve maintained some of that.”

Boyd’s concern about the Brumbies line out precision is amplified by his own team’s line out deficiencies of late so the coach revealed that they have given that set piece some extra attention on the training ground since their final regular season match against the Chiefs in New Plymouth.

The Brumbies line out success is at 92 per cent this season and they have options with with Scott Fardy, Sam Carter and Rory Arnold winning ball for Pocock to drive over the line.

Boyd also revealed that hamstring injuries to outside backs Cory Jane and Nehe Milner-Skudder are concerns for the Hurricanes.

“Cory’s not 100 per cent yet, but he’s getting pretty close. He and Nehe both still have that little niggle in the hamstring. I’m sure that picture will become clearer in the next couple of days, but we won’t name that until later in the week,” Boyd said.

“We have plenty of options. There is Julian [Savea] and Jimmy Marshall, Matt Proctor is available for selection after his head knock and Rey Lee-Lo can do a job there for us, so I’m not too worried in that space.”

The Brumbies are expected to lose winger Henry Speight for this week after he tip tackled on Stormers centre Juan de Jongh and will face Sanzar judicial hearing on Tuesday. Boyd says the Brumbies will miss the Fijian winger.

“They will lose Henry Speight if the edict they’ve been talking about [around tip tackles] continues. “

“He’s a quality player Henry and they’ll miss him, but they have some quality players there. You never want to lose a quality player, particularly at playoff time. “

“He’s a good player, but he’s replaceable like all of them.”

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