Super Rugby 2019: Hurricanes coach John Plumtree left frustrated at poor performance

Hurricanes coach John Plumtree is refusing to hit the panic button yet, despite a frustrating 38-8 hammering from the Crusaders in Wellington.

In a top-of-the-table clash, the southerners outscored their opponents four tries to one, with fullback David Havili grabbing a brace for the visitors.

The loss is the Hurricanes' second to their rivals this season, after suffering a 38-22 rout in Christchurch last month.

Three of the Crusaders four tries were scored off Hurricanes mistakes and Plumtree feels that was his side's downfall.

"The soft tries, that put scoreboard pressure on us and probably made us play a little bit differently. There was probably a little bit of desperation in our play that led to some of those turnovers.

"We got frustrated, because we made a couple of mistakes when we did get that territory.

"The possession and territory in the past when we've played these guys, was a bit of a problem for us, but it wasn't a problem for us tonight - we had ball. The credit has to go to them around their defence."

Jordie Barrett opened the scoring for the Hurricanes with a penalty goal, but a minute later Will Jordan scored the game's opening try for the Crusaders, pouncing on a Ben Lam's mistake close to his try-line.

The visitors extended the lead, when Havili capitalised on a mistake from Chase Tiatia, who failed to catch the ball just outside the Hurricanes 22.

Havili crossed for his second try from an intercept shortly after the restart, then Braydon Ennor got his name onto the scoresheet, cantering in for his side’s bonus-point try in the 51st minute.

"If we hadn't conceded a couple of those soft tries early on and got that scoreboard pressure, it could have been closer," Plumtree added.

"Maybe the result might not have been different, but those little things are hurting us."

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson knows how crucial the bonus-point win is for his side with the midway point of the season fast approaching.

"To hold them out and get that bonus point is pretty critical," Robertson said.

"We've given away, in three matches this year, a bonus point through switching off at the end of a game. That's going to be critical at the end of the season."

The Hurricanes face the Highlanders next week, before their scheduled bye week, while the Crusaders will play in Christchurch for the first time since the terror attacks earlier this month, against the Brumbies.


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