Toomaga-Allen pays price for poor scrum

Last updated 05:00 27/02/2014

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Closer and lower will be the instructions to veteran prop John Schwalger as the Hurricanes look to put their embarrassing firstup scrummaging performance behind them.

All Black tighthead Jeffery Toomaga-Allen has paid the price for the Durban debacle that saw the Sharks shunt the Hurricanes around Kings Park during a 27-9 loss.

"We think it's very important we select on form and Jeff was probably just off his best and he admits that himself," Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett said last night after making just two changes to his starting side.

"We wanted to take the starting position away so he can get himself firing this week. He'll still get lots of game time and we know what a good player he is."

In the other change, lock Mark Reddish comes in for Mark Abbott in what Hammett said was a close call.

Clearly an honest appraisal of the set piece's effort at Kings Park has taken place with Toomaga-Allen fingered for being too slow to adjust as the Sharks cleverly stood high and far away at the engagement.

"It was actually something we'd identified before the game, but probably hadn't seen it in real life and in terms of implementing it it took us a while to get on top of that," Hammett said.

"I'm happy with the effort and the preparation, so the majority of the group get a second chance. But there were some performances that weren't at the level we need them to be and we aren't hiding from that.

"Those players have been spoken to and they're pretty clear on what they need to do around their preparation and going into this weekend."

There are a further two changes in the Hurricanes reserves where lock James Broadhurst takes Reddish's place and openside Ardie Savea replaces Adam Hill.


Hurricanes: Marty Banks, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith (c), Hadleigh Parkes, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Blade Thomson, Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, Mark Reddish, Jeremy Thrush, John Schwalger, Dane Coles, Ben Franks. Reserves: Motu Matu'u, Chris Eves, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, James Broadhurst, Ardie Savea, Chris Smylie, Alapati Leiua, James Marshall. Stormers: Jaco Taute, Kobus van Wyk, Jean de Villiers (c), Damian de Allende, Gio Aplon, Demetri Catrakilis, Louis Schreuder, Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger, Siya Kolisi, Manuel Carizza, Rynhardt Elstadt, Frans Malherbe, Scarra Ntubeni, Steven Kitshoff. Reserves: Deon Fourie, Oliver Kebble, Pat Cilliers, Michael Rhodes, Nizaam Carr, Nic Groom, Kurt Coleman, Ryno Eksteen 

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- Fairfax Media

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