Too early for Hurricanes fans to start panicking

16:00, Feb 24 2013
Hurricanes v Blues
Julian Savea dives over for try during the Hurricanes opening loss to the Blues.
Hurricanes v Blues
TJ Perenara gets caught in a tackle during the Hurricanes' Super Rugby opener against the Blues.
Hurricanes v Blues
Hurricanes players stand dejected after losing to the Blues in their season opener.
Hurricanes v Blues
Jeremy Thrush brings down a lineout ball during the loss to the Blues.
TJ Perenara
TJ Perenara gets a pass away against the Queensland Reds.
Andre Taylor
Andre Taylor attempts to make a tackle on a Queensland Reds player.
Julian Savea
Julian Savea kicks ahead against the Queensland Reds.
Conrad Smith
Conrad Smith (left) and Faifili Levave during the game against the Queensland Reds.
Julian Savea
Julian Savea breaks the tackle of Dan Carter.
Chris Smylie
Chris Smylie flings the ball wide for the Hurricanes.
TJ Perenara
TJ Perenara is taken in a tackle by a Crusaders player.
Conrad Smith
Conrad Smith (left) and James Marshall celebrate after the Hurricanes one-point win over the Crusaders.
Hurricanes v Highlanders
TJ Perenara tries to break through the Highlanders' tackle during his sides round five win.
Hurricanes v Highlanders
Beauden Barrett offloads to a teammate during the Hurricanes' win over the Highlanders.
Hurricanes v Highlanders
Tusi Pisi makes a break for the Hurricanes during their win over the Highlanders.
Hurricanes 2013 Season
Alapati Leiua scores for the Hurricanes during their victory over the Southern Kings in Wellington.
Hurricanes 2013 Season
Ben May scores scores for the Hurricanes during their victory over the Southern Kings in Wellington.
Hurricanes 2013 Season
Jeremy Thrush of the Hurricanes is tackled by Wimpie van der Walt of the Kings during the round seven Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Kings.
Hurricanes 2013 Season
Ben May of the Hurricanes tussles with David Bulbring of the Kings in a maul during the round seven Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Kings.
Hurricanes 2013 Season
Conrad Smith of the Hurricanes beats the tackle of Sergeal Petersen of the Kings to score a try during the round seven Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Kings.
Hurricanes 2013 season
Tim Bateman of the Hurricanes is tackled by Pat McCutcheon, left, and Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Waratahs during their round eight clash in Wellington.
Hurricanes season 2013
All Blacks wing Julian Savea is tackled by Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Waratahs.
Hurricanes season 2013
Julian Savea breaks the tackle of Sekope Kepu in the Hurricanes clash with the Waratahs in Wellington.
Hurricanes
Ardie Savea gets a real taste of Super Rugby against the Waratahs.
Hurricanes v Waratahs
Julian Savea breaks away for a try during the Hurricanes' win over the Waratahs.
Hurricanes v Waratahs
Reggie Goodes looks for the offload as he is tackled by a Waratahs player.
Hurricanes v Waratahs
Motu Matu'u dives over for a try against the Waratahs.
Hurricanes v Waratahs
TJ Perenara prepares to kick as the Hurricanes beat the Waratahs in Wellington.
Hurricanes v Blues
A dejected Hurricanes outfit walks off the field after their loss to the Blues at Eden Park.
Hurricanes v Blues
Julian (L) and Ardie Savea share a moment during the game against the Blues.
Hurricanes v Blues
Brad Shields tries to break through the Blues' defence.
Hurricanes v Blues
Motu Matu'u prepares to charge through Chris Noakes of the Blues.
Hurricanes gallery
Captain Hurricanes fires up the fans ahead of the home game against the Western Force.
Hurricanes gallery
Andre Taylor takes on the Force defence.
Hurricanes gallery
Julian Savea on the charge against the Western Force.
Hurricanes gallery
Jeremy Thrush (No 4) celebrates the victory over the Force at the final whistle.
Hurricanes v Stormers
Tusi Pisi tries to break through a Stormers tackle.
Hurricanes v Stormers
Matt Proctor scores on debut against the Stormers.
Hurricanes v Stormers
Victor Vito prepares for a tackle during the Hurricanes loss to the Stormers in Palmerston North.
Hurricanes v Stormers
Alapati Leiua in action against the Stormers.
Hurricanes v Stormers
TJ Perenara gets the offload away.
Hurricanes gallery
Ben May charges ahead against the Bulls in Pretoria.
Hurricanes gallery
Andre Taylor is wrapped up in the tackle.
Hurricanes gallery
TJ Perenara spins the ball wide.
Hurricanes gallery
Victor Vito (No 8) crunches Bulls opposite number Pierre Spies in a tackle.
Hurricanes v Cheetahs
Tim Bateman offloads during the Hurricanes win over the Cheetahs.
Hurricanes v Cheetahs
Try-scorer TJ Perenara makes a break against the Cheetahs.
Hurricanes v Cheetahs
Stand-in captain and try-scorer Victor Vito in action against the Cheetahs.
Hurricanes v Cheetahs
Beauden Barrett makes a pass as the Hurricanes beat the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Hurricanes gallery 2013
Hurricanes players (left) lament their loss to the Chiefs.
Hurricanes gallery 2013
Ray Lee-Lo is tackled Pauliasi Manu of the Chiefs.
Hurricanes gallery 2013
Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett lays down the law to his players ahead of the clash with the Chiefs.
Hurricanes gallery 2013
Jeffery Toomaga-Allen makes a break against the Chiefs.
Hurricanes season 2013
Faifili Levave of the Hurricanes makes little ground against the Brumbies' defence during their Round 16 Super Rugby clash.
Hurricanes season 2013
Alapati Leiua of the Hurricanes runs the ball against the Brumbies in Canberra.
Hurricanes season 2013
Hurricanes prop Ben Franks tackles Peter Kimlin of the Brumbies during their Round 16 Super Rugby clash in Canberra.
Hurricanes season 2013
Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg is swamped by the Hurricanes' defence.
Hurricanes gallery 2013
TJ Perenara dots down for the Hurricanes while Chiefs captain Craig Clarke protests.
Hurricanes gallery 2013
Beaudeb Barrett gets a pass away against the Chiefs.
Hurricanes gallery 2013
Jeremy Thrush climbs high to win a lineout against the Chiefs.
Hurricanes gallery 2013
The Hurricanes wait on Waikato Stadium for their opponents the Chiefs.
Hurricanes gallery 2013
Julian Savea of the Hurricanes runs the ball during the round 19 Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Highlanders.
Hurricanes gallery 2013
Victor Vito of the Hurricanes makes a break during the round 19 Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Highlanders.
Hurricanes gallery 2013
TJ Perenara of the Hurricanes passes during the round 19 Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Highlanders.
Hurricanes gallery 2013
Rey Lee-Lo of the Hurricanes fends Tamati Ellison of the Highlanders off during their round 19 Super Rugby match.
Hurricanes 2013
Julian Savea in action against the Crusaders.
Hurricanes 2013
Hurricanes players celebrate after scoring a try against the Crusaders.
Hurricanes 2013
Brad Shields goes in to score a try for the Hurricanes against the Crusaders.
Hurricanes 2013
Beauden Barrett gets a kick away against the Crusaders.

Don't panic, it's only week one.

That's the comfort blanket the Hurricanes have wrapped themselves in as they digest their deflating first-up 34-20 Super Rugby loss to the Blues at Westpac Stadium on Saturday night.

Today, though, will be anything but comfortable as the squad reviews a performance that, for many fans, has dredged up familiar feelings of frustration and disappointment.

Hurricanes
STUNNED: New Hurricanes player Ben Franks looks shell-shocked after the 34-20 loss to the Blues in their opening Super Rugby match at Westpac Stadium on Saturday night.

If he's looking for positive reinforcement, coach Mark Hammett might want to stop the tape at halftime. It would save several players' blushes after some mistook the second spell for a game of rippa rugby.

It will, of course, fall to the senior players to restore confidence and perspective and loosehead prop Ben Franks is well placed after being the pick of the Hurricanes' losing effort.

"I'm not going to be too judgmental in round one," he said.

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"Look, I've lost one or two games at the start of the season before with the Crusaders. That doesn't make a season. It's how we progress from what we did this week to next week against the Reds.

"We did a lot of things good, but you only have to be off five or 10 per cent, especially against the other New Zealand teams because it's so intense . . .

"A lot of it is just mental switches. I don't want to sound blase about it, but it's only the first game. If we make the same mistakes next week and the week after then frustration will come out.

"It's hard to be too reactive to how you feel right now. You have to marry that up to what you see on the video."

What the squad will see is a decent first half effort that lacked finish, followed by a second half riddled with poor handling and missed tackles.

Wing Alapati Leiua can rest easy. He was the Hurricanes' best back, while wing partner Julian Savea and Victor Vito, once he'd moved to No 8, where he should have started, gain pass marks too.

But others must improve drastically and particularly young inside backs TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett.

Barrett played uncharacteristically deep at first receiver, shuffling the ball wide without taking on the line, a trait that usually sets him apart on attack.

Perenara's running game was strangely absent and some of his passing was not of its normally high standard.

The game plan looked sound, if a little prescriptive, and for 40 minutes the Hurricanes laid a decent platform.

The lineout was accurate, the scrum solid and they dominated possession and territory.

But for poor decision-making at crucial times they would have had more than one try to Savea to show.

Perhaps the wide game would have got them home in the second half, but they will never know because the attack was continuously sawn off by poor handling.

It is that and the missed tackles which will eat away at the players. There were 17 one-on-one misses, with lock Jeremy Thrush and Barrett repeat offenders, plus one bad defensive read from Brad Shields for good measure.

There were 14 knock-ons, fullback Andre Taylor spilling the ball cold on three occasions.

Vito, who may well be captain by the end of the week, said the work-ons this week were fairly obvious, but there was no value in dwelling.

"We have to quickly take our learnings from this game. It's a short turnaround this week to the Reds on Friday, so we haven't got much time to lick our wounds . . .

"Creating is one thing, but finishing off is what the classy teams do and I think that's something we need to get right."

The Dominion Post