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Hurricanes player ratings vs Crusaders | Super Rugby Pacific

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Masanori Udagawa/Getty Images)

The Hurricanes have sent a message to the rest of Super Rugby Pacific going into the finals with a hard-earned 27-26 win over the Crusaders in Wellington on Saturday.


Leicester Fainga’anuku scored the Crusaders’ first try in just the third minute, the visitors looked set to run away with for periods of the first term.

But the Hurricanes didn’t give up.

The Canes trailed by 11 points at the break, but managed to 19-7 in the second half. Going into the playoffs next week, the Canes will take plenty of confidence and momentum out of this victory.

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Here’s how the Canes rated.

  1. Josh Moorby – 7.5

Fullback Josh Moorby went missing for periods of that match, especially in the first half. As the Hurricanes struggled to make their mark, so did Moorby – but that changed after the break. The outside back ran the ball with purpose and intent, and ended up scoring the go-ahead try late in the contest.

  1. Daniel Sinkinson – 7

Daniel Sinkinson didn’t really get an opportunity to run with the ball in space, or showcase the very best of his skillset, but the winger still managed to turn some heads. In just his second game for the Hurricanes, Sinkinson kicked a 50/22 late in the first half – which led to Billy Proctor’s try.

  1. Billy Proctor – 7.5

Billy Proctor has been an unsung hero for the Hurricanes this season. Proctor is a reliable centre in both attack and defnece, and that trend continued on Friday night. Proctor finished with a try, nine tackles, and he also ran the ball nine times for more than 30 metres.

  1. Jordie Barrett – 8

This was Jordie Barrett’s best performance in a Hurricanes jersey for a number of weeks. The midfielder was at his playmaking best, and ended up finishing with two try assists – moves that appeared simple at first, but were significantly important and skilful upon further review.

Barrett was threatening the Crusaders’ defensive line all night with some nifty onehanded offloads, and two of them resulted in tries. In Barrett can carry this type of form into the Test season, then the All Blacks are in good hands.

  1. Kini Naholo – 8

Wow. That’s the summary – well, it could be, but it isn’t. If we go into more depth, Kini Naholo has continued to impress on the left wing for the Hurricanes. By half-time, the rising star had run for a staggering 101 metres from just five carries – and was clearly the Canes’ best player at the stage of the contest.

By the end of the match, Naholo had run for almost 150 metres, beaten seven defenders and made two line breaks.

  1. Brett Cameron – 7.5

Things didn’t quite go to plan for Brett Cameron from the get-go. While things took a turn, it’s the right place to start. Cameron’s first kick 96 seconds into the game went out on the full – an unforced error against his old side. But like I said, things took a turn.


Cameron didn’t overplay his hand as the flyhalf, but certainly made his mark with his playmaking ability. The Hurricanes would’ve really struggled with the one-Test All Blacks’ poise, grace and skill.

  1. Cam Roigard – 8.5

It’s almost getting to the stage where if Cam Roigard doesn’t make the All Blacks this year, then what else could he have done? Really, this year Roigard has done everything to a high standard. Replacing TJ Perenara in the No. 9 jersey this year, the rising star has made that jumper his own.

Roigard continued to impress in round 15, although it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Starting with the bad, the halfback did kick the ball out on the full just before the 30 minute mark. But in the second half, the Hurricanes came alive – and so did Roigard.

The halfback began to showcased the very best of his running game, which included a brilliant long-range burst in the 62nd minute. Roigard also added another try to his season tally, and was generally a playmaking genius around the park.

  1. Tevita Mafileo – 7

Hurricanes prop Tevita Mafileo put in a solid 65 minute shift on Saturday night. Mafileo was solid at the scrum – helping the Canes hold their own against the Crusaders’ all-star pack, and even dominate them at times. The front rower also ran the ball six times and made 100 per cent of his tackle attempts.

  1. Dane Coles – 7

It’s only fitting that legendary Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles bids farewell to Sky Stadium a winner. Before the match, Coles ran out onto the sacred turf in Wellington for the final time as a Hurricane – and did so alongside his children.

For the most part, Coles was sublime at the set-piece. The All Black hit all but one of his targets at the lineout, with the Crusaders intercepting one throw in the 45th minute. When the Hurricanes needed it the most, Coles won a penalty at the breakdown – and then engaged in some push and shove with All Blacks teammate Codie Taylor. Overall, a solid performance from the veteran.

  1. Tyrel Lomax – 6.5

Much like his front row partner-in-crime Tevita Mafileo, All Blacks and Hurricanes prop Tyrel Lomax was sensational at the set-piece. Lomax more than held his own, and also got stuck in with some impactful involvements around the park.

  1. James Blackwell – 7.5

When it comes to James Blackwell, I could almost write his player ratings paragraph before the game has begun. Using phrases like ‘tireless work rate’, ‘passion’, ‘relentless’ and ‘determined’, a fairly accurate summary could be drawn up before a ball is even kicked or a pass thrown.


Don’t believe me? Commentator Grant Nisbett used another favourite descriptor of mine, calling Blackwell a “work horse” during the second half. When you look at the numbers, it’s hard to argue otherwise. Blackwell finished with eight runs and the second-most tackles out of any Hurricane with 12.

  1. Caleb Delany – 7.5

Anything James Blackwell could do, his fellow second rower Caleb Delany could do just as well – if not better. Delany led the Hurricanes for tackles made with 10 at half-time, and continued to make his mark on the defensive side of the ball after the break. But Delany was especially impressive at the set-piece, as the lock was a regular target for Dane Coles.

  1. Devan Flanders – 6.5

Amongst a team of confident and in-form superstars, flanker Devan Flanders somewhat flew under the radar against the Crusaders. That’s not necessarily to say he went missing, but Flanders certainly stand out as much as some of his teammates.

  1. Ardie Savea – 8

Captain Ardie Savea led by example against the Crusaders, and finished with some simply incredibly numbers on both sides of the ball. As well as a tidy offload to send Cam Roigard over for a score, the world-class backrower made his mark with 12 runs for more than 50 metres, and also made 100 per cent of his 11 tackle attempts.

  1. Brayden Iose – 7.5

Earlier on Sunday, the Hurricanes continued that flanker Du’Plessis Kirifi had been ruled out of this match with an injury. As a result, Iose was moved to No. 8 and captain Ardie Savea shifted to openside flanker. Starting at the back of the scrum, Iose took his opportunity with both hands – well, for the most part.

Iose was yellow carded for a high tackle, and while this referred to the TMO for an off-field review, the decision was not upgraded to a red. But after coming back onto the back, the backrower made amends. Iose scored the match-sealing try late in the contest, ran the ball 10 times, and also completed 100 per cent of his tackles. The only reason his rating isn’t the same as Savea’s is due to the yellow card.


  1. Jacob Devery – 6.5
  2. Pouri Rakete-Stones – 6
  3. Owen Franks – 6
  4. Justin Sangster – 6
  5. TK Howden – 5
  6. Jamie Booth – 7
  7. Ruben Love – N/A – Subbed on too late to give a fair rating. But I’m sure all New Zealand rugby fans would agree that it’s great to see him back.
  8. Bailyn Sullivan – 6


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