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Hurricanes player ratings vs Chiefs | Super Rugby Pacific

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The Hurricanes have been beaten by the undefeated Chiefs 17-33 in a thrilling top-of-the-table clash at Wellington’s Sky Stadium.

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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.

The Hurricanes shot out of the blocks against the Chiefs, with Devan Flanders and the in-form Cam Roigard crossing for first half tries.

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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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Peter Umaga-Jensen – 6

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.

  1. 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.

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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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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.

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Another sensational performance from the potential All Blacks bolter.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Replacements:

  1. Dane Coles – 7 – Playing his 300th first-class match, Dane Coles provided some noticeable impact off the bench.
  2. Tevita Mafileo – 6
  3. Pasilio Tosi – 6
  4. TK Howden – 6.5
  5. Brayden Iose – 6.5
  6. Peter Lakai – N/A
  7. Jamie Booth – 6.5
  8. Harry Godfrey – 6.5
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Comments

2 Comments
P
Poe 459 days ago

Got to feel for Lomax - no one passed him the ball? I'd be wanting drinks for that.

D
DarstedlyDan 460 days ago

Thought Barrett had a very good game - saved at least 14 points on D, organised well, showed some nice innovation on attack. Better than a 7,5 surely. Roigard did some good things, but his pass is too hit&miss - for an “AB bolter” his passes are off target too often. 3 or 4 Canes knock-ins when they were hot on attack were the result of a pass at the ankles or to ground from the halfback. Though to be fair, at least he didn’t blow a try and have the ball end up back on the Canes try line due to one of the slowest loopy passes you will ever see, unlike Booth…

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Jon 1 hours ago
British & Irish Lions free agent open to Super Rugby switch

There are a couple of teams who could use a stop gap experienced head. Blues - I’m not sure the Blues have signed a replacement for Caleb Tangitau (if he hasn’t been let go to make room for Barrett) yet, or whether Reiko is going on sabbatical and/or will remain in the squad. With exciting young French player Xavi Taele looking destined for higher honors in black, talented breakthrough rookie Cory Evan’s, and a couple of utilities, in AJ Lam and Bryce Heem(even Clarke?), all trying to learn the midfield trade, Williams could be a great aid. The Blues signed key English center Joe Marchant before he was raised to that level, and were possibly in the hunt to bring back the dependable Tele’a from the Highlanders. Possible the main squeeze which would put to bed any signing here would be the battle at 10 with Beauden’s return, and the forcing of Plummer back into the midfield. Hurricanes - Jordie Barrett is off to Leinster for a sabbatical next year but the more likely signing would be Billy’s brother back in the team. The Hurricanes are light on the outside with the loss of Salesi Rayasi to the Top 14 and if no quality is found to back up Kini Naholo, the midfield of Sullivan or Proctors could find themselves on the wing and space for a leader to show the Hurricanes three All Black midfield hopefuls (Higgins, Proctor, Umaga-Jensen) how its done. Highlanders - Rotation is high as usual at the Highlanders and versatility remains a strength with a lot of the squad. With compatriot Rhys Patchell signing a move to the JRLO, the passing of outside back Connor Garden-Bachop, and confirmed departure of Argentine wing Martin Bogado, the versatility of many of the young backups in the squad could see a veteran 12 like Williams being a strong partner for the robust Tele’a. With hope that the other Umaga-Jensen brother can force him out of the starting lineup, and shifting the sides general Sam Gilbert back into 10, the off-contract midfielder might seen as the perfect option for a squad still looking to fill one back spot.

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