Wern­ham ad­mits Hur­ri­canes are still hurt­ing

Sport360 - - Regional Rugby - By Matthew Jones @Mat­tJones360 mat­tjones@sport360.com

Mike Wern­ham con­cedes there’s been a bit of soul-search­ing done within his Dubai Hur­ri­canes camp over the last two weeks fol­low­ing a hum­bling 45-7 de­feat last time out against Dubai ri­vals Ex­iles.

Canes were put to the sword by resur­gent Ex­iles and direc­tor of rugby Wern­ham ad­mits the whole squad is hurt­ing fol­low­ing the de­weeks moral­is­ing de­feat – but he’s ex­pect­ing a re­sponse when they take on Dubai Ea­gles tonight.

“We’re a team that’s hurt­ing this week,” said Wern­ham. “We know we’re 10 times bet­ter than the dis­play we put on against Ex­iles. They com­pletely dom­i­nated us. That’s hard to take.

“What I’m ex­pect­ing to see this week is a team look­ing to re­store a bit of pride, se­ri­ously an­noyed from the re­sult. There’s been some home truths and we’ve made a few changes to the team and struc­ture.”

With that said, in this week at tight-head prop comes New Zealand prop Sam Tufuga – one of two play­ers spend­ing the sea­son at Hur­ri­canes from Welling­ton-based Su­per Rugby fran­chise as part of a deal be­tween the two clubs. He is joined by loose-head Ger­ard Faito­toa, who will be on the bench against Ea­gles.

“Sam will start at tight-head with Ger­ard on the bench to hope­fully make an im­pact,” added Wern­ham.

“We’re one of the big­gest and old­est clubs out here and we need to get a bit of self-re­spect back.”

For Ea­gles coach Pat Ben­son, he and his squad are just happy to be in a po­si­tion of gain­ing valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence ev­ery week and ev­ery game they play.

He said: “Morale is high which hope­fully means we’re not as ner­vous to try play­ing more and can piece more to­gether.

“Hur­ri­canes have some very good play­ers and with their new in­flux from New Zealand, it will be a great chal­lenge for our lads.”

I’m ex­pect­ing to see a team look­ing to re­store a bit of pride

– Wern­ham

Give it some Welly: Sam Tufuga (l).

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