Daniel Richardson is a Wellington-based sports journalist for NZME. News Service.

Rugby: We are better than we look - Barrett

Hurricanes pivot Beau Barrett is in front of a home crowd for the first time this season. Photo / Getty Images
Hurricanes pivot Beau Barrett is in front of a home crowd for the first time this season. Photo / Getty Images

Aside from a five-minute burst against the Stormers last weekend, the Hurricanes' attack has barely flirted with excitement this season.

Usually a team associated with piling on points and having little regard for how many tries the opposition score, the latest feature of the Mark Hammett revolution at the Hurricanes is a side who can be proud of their defence.

They have looked organised without the ball, but the problem is scoring point.

They were held tryless in a 27-9 loss to the Sharks and their 19-18 loss to the Stormers last weekend featured two thrilling five-pointers in a matter of minutes, but little else.

Handling errors in humid conditions have hurt the side and they have also struggled at scrum time, meaning they have been going backwards regularly, putting pivot Beauden Barrett under pressure.

The 22-year-old is the catalyst who could spark the Hurricanes to life and he's banking on firing when they host the Brumbies at Westpac Stadium in Wellington tonight.

"Our shape is pretty good from an attack perspective," Barrett said. "We've got good systems so we've got a lot more to offer than what we've showed and hopefully the weather's fine for us to show that."

Barrett said the ever-changing scrum laws had put extra heat on teams feeding the ball, meaning attacking from a lineout would give sides better service.

"The lineout has been a strength of ours," Barrett said. "It's operating pretty well so that's going to be where we look to strike a little bit more and step up our game to build phases and also just build pressure."

Hammett's decision to select James Marshall at fullback ahead of the long-punting Marty Banks could be a sign the side will look to keep the ball in hand against a Brumbies team without bruising openside flanker David Pocock, who is out with a season-ending knee injury.

Tearaway loose forward Ardie Savea will again be on the bench but his x-factor could help boot the Hurricanes into life as they search for their first win.

"I don't think the two recent games have reflected how well we have been going off the field," Barrett, who toyed with leaving the Hurricanes last year, said. "We've been building a lot off the field and we've definitely got the week structured how we want it and as players we are responsible for our own roles."

- NZ Herald

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