The Hurricanes may not have the most highly touted tight five in Super Rugby, but they are going alright in the crucial set-piece stakes.
So says scrum coach and technical analyst Dan Cron.
"We've got a good young roster here... we probably don't want too many more injuries or I'll be putting on the boots. We've had one scrum we've lost this year, that was the seven-man scrum against the Chiefs," Cron says.
The bye came at just the right time for the Hurricanes, who needed to get skipper Dane Coles right from a niggle, and give more time for the likes of Vaea Fifita and Cory Jane to clear their injuries. Reg Goodes is still a day-to-day proposition with concussion symptoms, while Loni Uhila's calf is proving troublesome. Happily, the likes of new North Harbour signing Chris Eves and former All Black Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, with Ben May offering his versatile experience off the pine, are doing the job in the front-row.
The Hurricanes have nine props in the squad and wider training group, including young Wellington and former NZ Schools bookend Alex Fidow.
The franchise is eyeing up an ailing Queensland Reds side fresh off a 22-8 defeat by the Jaguares in Buenos Aires. The Reds have a cyclone bearing down on the state, have lost captain and tighthead prop James Slipper to a season-ending Achilles tendon injury and Quade Cooper to suspension. That means Taniela 'The Tongan Thor' Tupou, the former Sacred Heart College First XV prop, is firming to start this weekend.
Centre Matt Proctor is the unsung hero of this Hurricanes backline.
Once touted as a future All Black by former Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett, Proctor has gone about his business in accurate and effective fashion in 2017. His attacking numbers may not compare to Ngani Laumape inside him or Julian Savea and Vince Aso outside, but Proctor is giving full value to the Hurricanes in both defence and offence. He had a slow start to 2016, but started 11 of the last 13 games and impressed in the playoffs.
"I just look up and try and call what I see. I give TJ and Beaudy a bit of voice as to where we can go in attack," says the 27-year-old Wellingtonian. "Ngani is unique. It's good because I get to run off him when he makes those breaks. He's a hard man to tackle."
Proctor will be tasked with keeping Queensland Reds centre Samu Kerevi quiet in their midfield match-up in Brisbane on Saturday night.