Hurricanes assistant coach Jason Holland has admitted several players broke a curfew in South Africa before their big defeat to the Sharks, and that, now they have returned to Wellington, there will be consequences for the transgressors.
The number of players alleged to have broken the curfew is unknown – it has been suggested there could be five – and it’s possible that some could miss the next match against the Reds at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.
The “indiscretion”, as Holland called it, came early last week ahead of the 32-15 loss to the Sharks in Durban, a defeat which deflated a team which had risen to new heights the week before when beating the Lions 50-17 in Johannesburg.
The loss dropped them to fourth in the New Zealand conference and made the long trip home to New Zealand a sombre one, Holland said.
“They broke a curfew,” Holland told Radio Sport this afternoon. “We’ll wait until we see where we are before we talk about who it is. If that [dropping players] is the decision we come to it will be pretty obvious [tomorrow, when the team is named], that’s right.
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Watch: Hurricanes skipper on broken curfew
“We set pretty high standards around our protocols and if there are any little minor discretions there will be consequences. We’re in the process of sorting out what we do with that at the moment.
“It’s an indiscretion. We didn’t get our preparation 100 per cent right … and if there’s anything that affects our preparation then we have to deal with it.”
Captain Dane Coles was asked about the broken curfew at the team’s recovery session in Wellington today and replied: “I don’t really want to talk about it, but the team will be named tomorrow and we’ll just go from there, I don’t want dab into it too much.
“As a coach and a captain, we’ll wait until the team’s named, we’ll be able to answer some questions from there.”
Many professional rugby teams have curfews in order to impose discipline but they are seen as especially important in South Africa due to the added security risk to players.
The Hurricanes’ performance in their big loss at Kings Park highlighted perceptions of inconsistency which have often swirled about the team. Holland said: “The tour for us was chalk and cheese. We were really happy with what we did against the Lions and then really unhappy with what we did against the Sharks.”