The Chiefs are hell-bent on fixing their misfiring forward pack this evening as another chance to snatch an elusive victory beckons.
In a battle of Super Rugby Aotearoa's early strugglers, the Hurricanes host the Chiefs in Wellington.
While tonight's hosts come off a needed bye to work through their issues that have seen them thoroughly outplayed in their first two matches, the Chiefs are still patching up the damage of last weekend's gut-wrenching loss to the Crusaders.
Officiating issues aside, the Chiefs let slip an early 10-0 advantage to go down by 22 points in Christchurch.
In the second half, the Chiefs were exposed at the scrum by a superior Crusaders pack, and the team ended up on the wrong side of a 15-10 penalty count that hurt their chances.
Prop Aidan Ross, who gets his first start of the year tonight, is blunt in his assessment of their performance.
"Especially in the tight five, we took some learnings, some real deep learnings. We don't want to feel that hurt again this week, because it was pretty embarrassing and disappointing," he says.
"It's never nice going backwards; there's a couple of areas in the game where it hits your pride."
Loose forward Luke Jacobson says there's no hiding from how the pack performed. "The set piece wasn't what we'd like — we missed a lot of opportunity to attack but I think that's going to be a huge focus for us around our scrum and lineout.
"Nailing that so we can get good ball to attack with — once we do have ball in hand, we're a dangerous team."
Jacobson knows they're up against a forward pack with plenty of versatility, including a starting loose forward trio of Reed Prinsep, Du'Plessis Kirifi and Ardie Savea.
"I think loosies and even tight forwards ... everybody's trying to get over the ball nowadays.
"We're all hunting those sorts of opportunities and we realise that Ardie and Dups [Kirifi] are pretty good over the ball as well, so we got to try to beat them to those opportunities."
The Chiefs are riding an 11-game losing streak in Super Rugby — the equal-longest by a New Zealand franchise — and if there was a side to end that against, one also struggling for form is the best bet.
The Hurricanes have failed to get off the ground in 2021 after a promising 2020 campaign.
Savea said discipline, in particular, had let his side down.
"When we're giving away yellow cards, including myself, it's harder to be a better team.
"It's just the little things that we can avoid and we have control over. We've looked at our game ... but when you're in the game it's a totally different story, so it's about reacting in those moments.
"[We've] had a week off, the boys are refreshed mentally. It's a massive week, circumstances we've been in, so the boys are really looking forward to getting out there."
Hurricanes: Jordie Barrett, Julian Savea, Billy Proctor, Ngani Laumape, Salesi Rayasi, Orbyn Leger, Luke Campbell, Ardie Savea (c), Du'Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Isaia Walker-Leawere, James Blackwell, Tyrel Lomax, Ricky Riccitelli, Xavier Numia.
Reserves: James O'Reilly, Fraser Armstrong, Tevita Mafileo, Liam Mitchell, Devan Flanders, Jonathan Taumateine, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Wes Goosen.
Chiefs: Damian McKenzie, Jonah Lowe, Anton Lienert-Brown, Quinn Tupaea, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Kaleb Trask, Brad Weber (cc), Luke Jacobson, Sam Cane (cc), Mitchell Brown, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Tupou Vaa'i, Angus Ta'avao, Samisoni Taukei'aho, Aidan Ross.
Reserves: Bradley Slater, Ollie Norris, Joe Apikotoa, Samipeni Finau, Simon Parker, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Alex Nankivell, Chase Tiatia.