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Hurricanes player ratings vs Blues | Super Rugby Pacific

By Jack O'Rourke
(Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

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The Hurricanes faced the Blues in their second match of the Super Rugby Pacific competition in Dunedin on Saturday.

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To finally get their season underway, the Blues came out firing early and looked in control for most of the match. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck looked at home in the midfield for his first professional game of rugby and Caleb Clarke was strong in his return to fifteens. 

After trailing the Blues 32-14 with 10 minutes to go, the Hurricanes made a comeback thanks to the injection of Ruben Love and Peter Umaga-Jensen.

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An incredible try from captain and talismanic figure Ardie Savea in the 80th minute clinched the 33-32 victory for the Canes. 

Here’s how the Hurricanes rated:

1. Pouri Rakete-Stones – 5.5

Made an important stop close to the line to prevent a blues try. Was solid if not spectacular at scrum time. Was replaced shortly after the second half began.

2. Asafo Aumua – 6

Managed the lineout well and was industrious across the park. Got a couple of touches ball-hawking out on the wing. Got back in the game following a head knock to Devery.

3. Tyrel Lomax – 6

Was a rock in the scrum and got involved in the forward play. Dropped a difficult pass at his ankles a metre from the try line that proved costly.

4. James Blackwell – 5

Struggled to win his own lineout ball and was often out-muscled by the opposition. Played the full game and was still able to contribute to the Canes momentum shift late in the second half.

5. Justin Sangster – 6.5

In just his second game, the young lock had an important turnover in the first half and made metres in the carry to create momentum for the Canes. Was second in the Canes tackle count with 12.

6. Reed Prinsep – 6

Was a lineout option a number of times during the game and worked hard all game to provide support for the forwards to truck it up the field. Had five carries and six tackles.

7. Blake Gibson – 5.5

His blonde mop could be seen all over the park. Had some strong carries

8. Ardie Savea – 8

Made some astute captaincy decisions to keep the Canes within touch of the blues. Once again carried the team on his back with his characteristic hard carries and was rewarded by winning the game with the final try in the 80th minute.

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9. Jamie Booth – 5.5

Was under pressure at times at the ruck and his communication with his forwards broke down when the defence came up on them. Provided good ball whenever the Canes managed to get a roll-on.

10. Jackson Garden-Bachop – 5

Couldn’t get the backline firing. Didn’t provide much direction with the ball and simply acted as their main distributor. Some of his kicking options were not very effective. 

11. Salesi Rayasi – 7

The flying winger got off to a fast start, nabbing an intercept to open the scoring for the Canes. Finished strong by finishing off a pass from Love for his second try and got a hattrick with an amazing finish in the corner.

12. Julian Savea – 6.5

Was impressive in his first start in the twelve jersey. Stood his ground in defence and had some strong carries through the middle for 66 metres. However, questions still remain as to whether it is his best position going forward.

13. Bailyn Sullivan – 7

A good outing for Sullivan considering it was his first start at outside centre for the Canes. When the Canes needed it most he put in a clever grubber for Wes Goosen to stay in touch with the Blues. Capped it off by setting up Ardie Savea for the match-winning try.

14. Wes Goosen – 6

Got the Canes back in the game by gathering a grubber to score in the first half. Show his trademark elusive a number of times during the match to get on the outside of the Blues wingers.

15. Jordie Barrett – 6

He is looking more and more comfortable at the back, choosing his moments to inject himself in the backline. Won a crucial turnover early but later failed to find touch with a penalty kick that killed off an attacking opportunity and resulted in a Blues try. 

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Reserves

16. Jacob Devery – N/A

Came on the field at the sixtieth minute to replace Amua. Picked up a knock in a heavy collision with Mark Telea and had to go off for a HIA.

17. Xavier Numia – 5

Came on for the second half replacing Rakete-Stones.

18. Ben May – 6

The oldest player in Super Rugby was subbed on to add some starch to the Canes scrum.

19. Devan Flanders – N/A

Came off the bench and contributed to the Canes getting back in the game.

20. Brayden Iose – 7

One to watch this year. Was impressive off the bench with some hard carries and shifted Savea to number seven.

21. Richard Judd – 6

Got on the field with and combined with Love to ramp up the tempo.

22. Ruben Love – 7

Injected some energy into the Canes when he joined the game in the sixtieth minute. Delivered the ball on a platter for Rayasi to score his second. Orchestrated the Canes comeback.

23. Peter Umaga-Jensen – 7

Added impact off the bench with some direct running in the midfield. Made a crucial tackle on a rampaging Marcel Renata. Was influential in getting the Canes plenty of go-forward ball.

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