Larkham: Hurricanes are pretty good
Wellington - The Hurricanes have the game plan and personnel to win their first Super Rugby on July 4, according to the Brumbies.
The Hurricanes clinically destroyed the Brumbies 29-9 with a high tempo game, aimed at keeping the ball out of the Australian side's hands and stretching them across the field after they had battered them up the middle of the park.
"They're pretty good this year," Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham told reporters at Westpac Stadium. "It's one of their better years.
"They seem to have got their whole game right compared to previous years.
"They have some really good structures in their game and they stick to it.
"They also have a really good counter-attack and the way they open the game up off turnovers, they have the all round game to win it this year."
The Hurricanes will face the Highlanders on Saturday in an all-New Zealand final, the first since 2006, after the Dunedin-based side beat last year's champions the Waratahs 35-17 in Sydney.
While Larkham felt the way the Hurricanes could open the game up had been an important factor, his captain Stephen Moore felt their defence had also been critical.
"A lot is said about their attack and rightly so but their defence was terrific," the Australian Test hooker said.
"They covered the field well and put us under pressure.
"You do need good defence like that to win the competition and that will hold them in good stead for Saturday."
The Hurricanes had been under pressure at times during the game but the Brumbies blew two opportunities to strike back during the second half.
Fullback Jesse Mogg dropped the ball with the line open, while inside centre Matt Toomua carved through the Hurricanes defence and instead of trying to link with support players, kicked ahead, which Beauden Barrett tidied up.
"We still had a chance in the second half. We got back to 19-9," Larkham added.
"Even when we were 13 points down (taking) one of those tries, we could have got within seven and we had that opportunity with 20 minutes left in the game.
"Yeah, they were opportunities to get back in the game but we were well and truly in the hold of the Hurricanes by then."