TJ Perenara says the Hurricanes feel like they have a point to prove to themselves and their fans against the Reds in Brisbane tomorrow night.
The halfback said there was a lingering sense of disappointment at the poor skill level they displayed during their loss to the Blues last weekend.
"We know we have to look at ourselves in the mirror. We can't blame game plans or anyone else. It falls on our shoulders," the 21-year-old said yesterday.
"This week in preparation we've had a real onus in training of really trying to not just be good, but to excel in our skills and get the level right up.
"We know we can pass, we know we can catch. We just let ourselves down, got a little lazy I guess on game day. I can't put my finger on what caused that . . .
"But I'm not a person to make excuses though. We know it was our fault. We know our game plan but it won't work if we don't get our standards up."
Perenara accepted the criticism he and first five-eighth Beauden Barrett received for their efforts.
However, he was quick to defend Barrett, who he said had been playing to the game plan by standing deep against the Blues.
"We thought out-flanking them and beating them out wide would be a strength and it did work," he said.
"When I looked at the game with Beaudy we thought what we were doing was right but when we made those breaks out wide we let ourselves down with poor execution of skills.
"He might not have attacked the line as much as usual, but what he did for the team, as a pivot in terms of distributing the ball wide, was good for us and worked in our favour. It was what happened after that we let ourselves down."
Perenara blamed mainly himself, saying he needed to make better decisions and be more clinical and patient when on attack.
"I made a few bad passes, went the wrong way in the heat of the moment.
"It was poor decision making and the big thing was it was deflating for the team.
"You do all that good work and one bad decision you don't get any points, three points or five points. When we get in that zone we have to score some points, that's a boost to the team's morale."
The Reds have made two changes to the side that beat the Waratahs 25-17, with Aidan Toua at fullback in place of Mike Harris and Radike Samo coming into the reserves for injured back rower Jarrad Butler.
HOW THEY LINE UP
Hurricanes: Andre Taylor, Alapati Leiua, Conrad Smith (c), Tim Bateman, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Brad Shields, Victor Vito, Karl Lowe, Jason Eaton, Jeremy Thrush, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Dane Coles, Ben Franks. Reserves: Motu Matu'u, Reg Goodes, James Broadhurst, Faifili Levave, Chris Smylie, James Marshall, Reynold Lee-Lo.
Reds: Aidan Toua, Dom Shipperley, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Ben Tapuai, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas, Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Eddie Quirk, Ed O'Donoghue, Rob Simmons, James Slipper (c), Saia Faingaa, Greg Holmes. Reserves: James Hanson, Albert Anae, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Radike Samo, Nick Frisby, Mike Harris, Luke Morahan.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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