Hurricanes player ratings vs Chiefs | Super Rugby Pacific
The Hurricanes have been beaten by the undefeated Chiefs 17-33 in a thrilling top-of-the-table clash at Wellington’s Sky Stadium.
Following their win over New Zealand rivals the Highlanders last weekend, the Hurricanes moved up to first on the Super Rugby Pacific standings.
But their round eight clash against the Chiefs was always going to be a crucial test.
But the second half – especially the final quarter of the match – was all about the Chiefs. The Hamilton-based outfit ran away with it, and kept their unbeaten streak alive.
Here’s how the Hurricanes rated against the Chiefs.
- Josh Moorby – 7
Hurricanes fullback Josh Moorby has made the No. 15 jersey his own this season – and his impressive form continued on Saturday afternoon. While the fullback wasn’t exactly a human highlight reel against the Chiefs, Moorby still racked up 98 running metres from 11 carries.
- Julian Savea – 6
Julian Savea was kept quiet against the Chiefs – but there were moments of brilliance that would’ve reminded any New Zealand Rugby fan of the star wingers heroics in the black jersey. Savea made a rampaging break down the right win in the leadup to Cam Roigard’s try, and otherwise impressed in the No. 14 jersey.
While Savea was a tad slower than some of his opponents, the winger still managed to run for almost 50 metres – he’s just that hard to bring down.
Getting his first start of the season, one-Test All Black Peter Umaga-Jensen failed to make his mark in the No. 13 jersey. Umaga-Jensen only made three tackles in defence, and ran the ball five times for 12 metres.
- Jordie Barrett – 7.5
Midfielder Jordie Barrett kicked quite well in general play, and also helped steer the Hurricanes’ ship around the park alongside flyhalf Aidan Morgan and halfback Cam Roigard. Barrett worked tirelessly for his side, and played a role in some key moments.
Barrett sent Asafo Aumua through a gap with a brilliant short ball in the first half, which ultimately led to Devan Flanders’ try. Later on, the No. 12 won a penalty at the breakdown.
Twice during the match, Barrett was the Canes’ last line of defence as he ran back to stop a couple of the Chiefs’ try-scoring opportunities. It happened during the first half and again five minutes after the break – playing with both desperation and passion as he beat Chiefs to the bouncing ball.
- Salesi Rayasi – 7
The unimaginable has happened –Salesi Rayasi has failed to score for the Hurricanes. Following a sensational run of games in the coveted yellow jersey, the winger had a quiet outing in round eight. While Rayasi was busy around the park, the ball just didn’t come his way when the try line beckoned.
Rayasi finished with 36 running metres from 10 carries, and also beat two defenders. On the defensive side of the ball, the Upper Hutt-born talent made six tackles – and only missed one. Overall, not a bad performance by any means.
- Aidan Morgan – 6.5
Rising star Aidan Morgan struggled to make an impact against the Chiefs. Playing alongside world-class playmaker Jordie Barrett, Morgan sat back and didn’t overplay his hand – you can’t fault his work rate, even though he didn’t break the game open at all.
- Cam Roigard – 8.5
You’d be forgiven for experiencing some déjà vu this week. Following his player of the match performance against the Highlanders last weekend, Hurricanes halfback Cam Roigard has made another statement.
With All Blacks coaches Ian Foster, Jason Ryan and Joe Schmidt in the crowd, Roigard made an uncharacteristic error to start the match. After dropping the ball off a routine lineout move, the halfback began to make amends as the match went on.
— Sky Sport NZ (@skysportnz) April 15, 2023
Not only was he at his running best around the park – having been compared to France captain Antoine Dupont during the week – but his passing was crisp, and kicking game accurate. In the second half, Roigard crossed for his sixth try of the season after splitting two Chiefs defenders – including All Blacks captain Sam Cane.
Another sensational performance from the potential All Blacks bolter.
- Xavier Numia – 6
Hurricanes prop Xavier Numia put in a solid shift against the Chiefs, but he wasn’t able to get any ascendency over his opponents. Saturday afternoon’s match was a tense tussle between two evenly matched forward packs. Sky Sport commentator Grant Nisbett said it best, saying the scrums had been “evenly matched” throughout the entire match.
For that reason, it’s hard to rate Numia for his performance at the set-piece. On one hand the Hurricanes weren’t dominant, but they weren’t dominated either – but he held his own, and that’s important. Around the park, Numia was kept quiet on attack and defence.
2.Asafo Aumua – 7
Hurricanes hooker Asafo Aumua showed glimpse of brilliance throughout a solid 52-minute shift on Saturday afternoon. Aumua is known for his rampaging runs – making professionals look like schoolboys, if only for a moment. The All Black made a few of these trademark carries in round eight.
In the leadup to Devan Flanders’ try early in the first half, Aumua made a solid run into the Chiefs’ 22. By the time the hooker was subbed off, he’s carried the ball for 25 metres and made tackles.
Earlier this year, Aumua spoke about the importance of his accuracy at the set-piece – and he was brilliant today. Aumua only missed one of his seven targets against the Chiefs.
- Tyrel Lomax – 6.5
Every week, prop Tyrel Lomax works tirelessly for his side. It’s quite uncommon for some front rowers to play beyond 50 minutes or so, but the All Black is doing it on a weekly basis.
Lomax played for 65 minutes against the high-flying Chiefs, and was especially impressive in defence. The world-class prop made a staggering 16 tackles in defence – but it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Lomax failed to touch the ball at all.
- James Blackwell – 6.5
James Blackwell made his mark on the defensive side of the ball, having finished with an incredible 15 tackles to his name. The Hurricanes lock never fails to work hard for his side, and Saturday afternoon was no different. Blackwell also had a presence about him at the set-piece, and carried the ball eight times as well.
- Dominic Bird – 6
After a strong start to the match, Canes lock Dominic Bird went missing a bit against the Chiefs. The veteran made 11 tackles – which was superb – but only carried the ball three times. Bird was the go-to man at the set-piece through, having reeled in three of Asafo Aumua’s throws into the lineout.
- Devan Flanders – 7
Flanders started the match with a couple of strong carries, and quickly made his mark after crossing for the Canes’ first try of the afternoon. The flanker got the ball in space down the left edge, and managed to stay inside the feel of play as he scored in the left corner.
— Sky Sport NZ (@skysportnz) April 15, 2023
Around the park, Flanders’ work rate was impressive. He finished with nine runs for 30 metres, and 10 tackles. Overall, an important knock from the Hurricanes No. 6.
- Du’Plessis Kirifi – 7.5
This might be a bit of a hot take, or maybe you agree, but flanker Du’Plessis Kirifi was one of the Hurricanes’ best in round eight – and you can’t look past his staggering work rate on the defensive side of the ball. Kirifi made a game-high 21 tackles, and finished with 100 per cent tackle accuracy too.
- Ardie Savea – 7
World-class backrower Ardie Savea had an uncharacteristically quiet first half, as he was held to just seven tackles and four running metres. While the All Black wasn’t at his best in the second 40 either, his numbers can’t be ignored.
Savea ran the ball the most our of any Hurricanes forward, and also made a staggering 16 tackles – having made 100 per cent of his attempts too.
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