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Reds chase gains, not statement win against Hurricanes

3 minute read

Queensland enter Sunday's Super Rugby Pacific clash with the Hurricanes off a strong win, but know better will be needed to seal back-to-back wins.

Queensland coach Les Kiss doesn't want his troops to put any extra emphasis on achieving an early Super Rugby Pacific win against a New Zealand side when they face the Hurricanes.

Instead, he simply wants them to tidy some loose ends from their impressive thumping of the NSW Waratahs last weekend when they battle their trans-Tasman foes in Melbourne on Sunday.

The Hurricanes hit Super Round fresh from delivering a thrashing of their own, easily accounting for the Western Force in a six-try 44-14 shellacking.

Quizzed about the psychology of beating a New Zealand team early in the season, Kiss implored the Reds not to look at the bigger picture.

"Psychologically, it's just important we do the right things this week," he said.

"There were some things to work on with the Waratahs. They troubled us a few times and a big focus is in making sure we get some of those things right.

"It's a dangerous 'Canes team coming to Melbourne that was impressive, massively impressive, against the Force.

"They were organised and deadly off the ball, turnovers were deadly."

But it won't be exactly the same Hurricanes side the Reds are dealing with.

Loose forwards Du'Plessis Kirifi and Devan Flanders are out injured, though star halfback Cam Roigard has been named for his first start of the season.

The Reds haven't beaten the Hurricanes in more than a decade, but skipper Liam Wright says his side's focus is strictly on improvement rather than being obsessed with busting any hoodoos.

"The Hurricanes are an impressive team. They keep building on their squad year in, year out," Wright said at Saturday's captain's run at AAMI Park.

"So I guess the focus for us this week is just building on ourselves.

"We thought we had a decent showing last week, but there's still a lot of room for improvement for us.

"We're still trying to figure out what type of team we're going to be and what our DNA is going to be.

"We're going to have some clunky moments but this week is really about trying to get a little bit better this week than last week."

Wright will be in the thick of the breakdown battle and knows the Reds can ill afford to gift the Hurricanes possession to launch their potent counter attacks.

"It goes without saying to give them less turnover ball," the flanker said.

"So treasuring the ball is something we worked on a lot in the pre-season and the breakdown will be pretty important this week."

Kiss has named in-form Jock Campbell on a wing in place of Mac Grealy, with the former down the pecking order for key spine positions behind five-eighth Tom Lynagh and fullback Jordan Petaia.

"In the friendlies, (Campbell) was going great guns. Been fantastic in training, is a leader in his own right," Kiss said.

"I just think his form has warranted a start.

"He missed out last week and was just a true professional, got his job done.

"(Grealy) doesn't like being dropped but I just needed to make sure that Jock got some game time as well while he's in this vein of form."

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