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Hurricanes player ratings vs Highlanders | Super Rugby Pacific

By Jordan King
(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

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The Hurricanes made it two wins on the trot after backing up last week’s scintillating win over the Blues with a 21-14 victory over the Highlanders this evening.

The home side were far from perfect in their first outing at the Cake Tin in 2022, but thanks to some timely scores and an equally as scrappy performance from their opposition they now find themselves in the top half of the table.

Here’s how the Hurricanes rated:

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1. Pouri Rakete-Stones – 4

Was sent backwards for most of the night at scrum time and gave away a very kickable three points in the opening quarter. His struggles didn’t do anything to knock his work rate though, and he was rewarded for his efforts with his team’s first try.

2. Siua Maile 4

Shaky with his delivery at the set piece to start the game and failed to wrap on a couple tackle attempts, but grew in confidence as the game wore on.

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3. Tyrel Lomax – 6

The second best forward on the park for the Hurricanes behind the routinely superb Savea. Conceded an early scrum penalty but from then on got the better of his opposite (De Groot) when they locked horns and in general play. Off at the hour mark for Mafileo.

4. James Blackwell – 4

Does a lot of work that goes unappreciated by casual fans and doesn’t shy away from a tough carry despite being on the receiving end more often than not. Still has the odd error in him, take the spilled kick off as an example, although he more than made up for it with a team-high 18 tackles.

5. Caleb Delany – 5

Showed off his stride lengths with a few nice gallops after popping up in support and got stuck into the action on both sides of the ball. He could use a few extra kilos to match it with others in the engine room, but got through a mountain of work to state his claim for another run next week.

6. Reed Prinsep – 5

Another no-nonsense showing from the robust blindside. Provided the rough edge to what is a more dynamic rather than physically imposing loosie trio, and failed to miss a tackle in his 13 attempts.

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7. Du’Plessis Kirifi 5

Back in the action after a week on the side-lines and showed no signs of carrying a niggle. Made himself enough of a nuisance to disrupt the Highlanders fluidity and seems to be picking his moments at the breakdown better than in years past. However, his turnover count is also down from it typically is, so he’ll keep working on finding the right balance.

8. Ardie Savea – 8

It’s hard to put into words what this guy brings to his team in both tangible and intangible sense. The skipper amassed a dozen tackles, a few of which were made as a covering defender, to go along with a number of rampaging carries and a pair of turnovers. It’s also worth mentioning that the timeliness of his second pinch was crucial as the Highlanders were on a roll inside the red zone.

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9. Richard Judd – 4

The stop, start nature of the game made it hard for the journeyman to get into a rhythm and his forward’s lack of accuracy with cleanouts made his job even harder. Late arrivals to the breakdown are on him though, and his side’s attack suffered as a result.

10. Ruben Love – 5

Didn’t get as much front foot ball as he would’ve liked and spent most of the evening directing play. Had a couple of nice touches to set up his team’s first dot through Rakete-Stones try and put Sullivan into a hole in the lead up to Proctor crossing the chalk.

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11. Salesi Rayasi – 5

Had very few touches despite playing the full 80. The Highlanders directed most of the kicking towards Savea’s side of the pitch, which was the smart thing to do with Rayasi looking dangerous whenever he managed to get his hands on the pill.

12. Billy Proctor – 5

Looked to have suffered an injury before bouncing back up with the unenviable task of covering Thomas Umaga-Jensen. Made his tackles and ran a good line close to the sticks to bag a meatie.

13. Bailyn Sullivan – 5

Not as impactful as last week, which was always going to be hard to top, but once again showed flashes of the threat he poses when left with room to move. Fell just short of double digits in tackles.

14. Julian Savea – 5

Had a case of the dropsies in the first 40 after dropping an uncontested box kick and leaving the ball behind him after being hit on the chest off a scrum move. On a positive note, he stopped what should’ve been a try by pulling Coombes-Fabling down just short and carried with vigour when he had two mitts on the seed.

15. Jordie Barrett – 5

An average night by the All Black’s standards. Struck the upright with his first attempt off the tee from a handy position and followed up a lot of his good work with a less than desirable action. Grew in stature after a few solid kick returns and assisted Love with making sure the Canes were playing down the Highlanders’ end.

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Reserves:

16. Raymond Tuputupu – N/A

Subbed off in 74th minute.

17. Xavier Numia – 5

Held up better than the man he replaced in the scrum and was lively with the ball in hand.

18. Tevita Mafileo – 5

Nothing to sing home about, but was rock steady in his core duties.

19. Devan Flanders – 5

Thrown into the action halfway through the final quarter yet still managed to put a Highlander on the ground a handful of times.

20. Brayden Iose – 6

A player that was made for injecting late into proceedings but is putting together a worthy case for more meaningful minutes. A combination of he, Savea and Flanders is mouth-watering.

21. Logan Henry – 6

Subbed on with 15 to go and ran a great support line to pick up a try on debut. His pass also appeared to be crisper than Judd’s service, but bear in mind the Canes’ work at the breakdown was tidier during his cameo.

22. Jackson Garden-Bachop – N/A

On for Love in the 70th minute.

23. Peter Umaga-Jensen – 6

Another notable performance off the pine for the one-cap All Black. Stood up Scott Gregory with a great in and out before firing back on the inside to Henry for the match-sealing score.

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