Wernham admits Hurricanes are still hurting
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
Give it some Welly: Sam Tufuga (l).