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Hurricanes player ratings vs Moana Pasifika | Super Rugby Pacific

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

After losing to the Fijian Drua last weekend, the Hurricanes have bounced back with an emphatic 71-22 win over Moana Pasifika at Wellington’s Sky Stadium on Saturday.

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The Hurricanes opened the scoring in just the second minute through centre Billy Proctor, and from then, they were relentless. Especially in the second half, the Canes never looked like surrendering their lead.

While Moana Pasifika were valiant in defeat, they were no match for the Hurricanes – with the hosts scoring an incredible 11 tries, including a hat-trick to captain Ardie Savea. Here’s how the Canes rated.

  1. Harry Godfrey – 7.5/10

Fullback Harry Godfrey was impressive in the No. 15 jersey for the Canes. The young outside back showcased his sensational pace off the mark at Sky Stadium, and didn’t look out of place in the Hurricanes’ starting side.

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Godfrey had a try assist early on – setting the tone for what ended up being one of his best performances in a Canes jersey.

  1. Salesi Rayasi – 7.5

Rayasi had a uncharacteristically quiet start to this match, but managed to come alive after the break. Rayasi had one run for zero metres going into the sheds at half-time, and had only made one by that stage as well.

But after the break, especially late in the piece, Rayasi was nothing short of fantastic. Rayasi ended up scoring a try and setting up another, and finished with almost 40 running metres to his name.

  1. Billy Proctor – 8

Centre Billy Proctor rarely fails to do the Hurricanes jersey justice whenever he’s named to play for the proud Super Rugby franchise. Against Moana Pasifika, Proctor actually kicked quite well – a bit of a new side to him as the Hurricanes turned to him for some exit plays.

But more so, as expected, Proctor was sensational on defence. With nine tackles to his name, it’s hard to fault Proctor’s impact on this team – but he was even better in attack. The centre ran the ball 11 times for 60 metres, having made two line breaks and beaten three defenders.

  1. Jordie Barrett – 8

All Blacks and Hurricanes star Jordie Barrett finished the match quite well, but it doesn’t take away from his slow start to this contest. Barrett struggled to make an impact during a tough first half, but managed to come alive a little but after the break.

Barrett wasn’t perfect off the kicking tee, but still finished with an incredible 21 points to his name. The midfielder also crossed for a try, ran for more than 50 metres, and completely 12 tackles.

  1. Kini Naholo – 8

It was a game of two halves for Kini Naholo. At half-time, most Hurricanes would’ve agreed that the rampaging winger was on track for player of the match honours. But after the break, I’m not sure if he touched the ball – and that’s not necessarily his fault, sometimes that’s the life of a winger.

Naholo scored two tries in the first half, including an especially impressive individual effort just before the 30 minute mark. The winger showcased his strength and lightning quick pace against Moana Pasifika, and certainly appears to have a long future ahead of him in Super Rugby.

  1. Aidan Morgan – 8.5

Rather than ramble on – well, I’ll get to that – commentator Grant Nisbett summed up Aidan Morgan’s performance perfectly around the 70th minute mark. In his own words, Nisbett described the match as a “coming of age” performance from Morgan. The rising star was in the thick of the action.

Without in-form halfback Cam Roigard this week, Morgan steered the Hurricanes around the park with purpose and intent – having showed maturity and skill well beyond his years. Morgan showcased his individual brilliance as well, making the most of some broken play to score in the 15th minute.

Taking a look at the stats, Morgan was among the Hurricanes’ leaders for running metres. From his seven carries, the flyhalf ran for 56 metres, and beat two defenders. Morgan also held his own in defnece.

  1. Jamie Booth – 7

The Hurricanes’ backline was a little bit inexperienced this week, certainly at flyhalf and fullback. With a fair bit of Super Rugby experience to his name, Booth was always going to play an important role this week – and did just that. Without overplaying his hand, Booth kicked and passed the ball quite well.

  1. Tevita Mafileo – 6.5

Coming into the starting side at loosehead prop this week, Tevita Mafileo put in a solid shift for the Hurricanes – but the 25-year-old wasn’t exactly sensational either. Let’s start with the good stuff, because there was a fair bit of it.

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Especially at the set-piece, Mafileo and the rest of Hurricanes’ front-row deserve praise. The hosts were awarded penalties after the first two scrums, they were just that dominant. Mafileo also got stuck in on the defensive side of the ball, having made six tackles. But the prop seemed to go missing, especially in the second quarter of the contest.

  1. Jacob Devery – 7.5

All Blacks Dane Coles and Asafo Aumua weren’t available for the Hurricanes this week, but it almost doesn’t matter – they may have unearthed a future star. Now Devery wasn’t perfect against Moana Pasifika, but the hooker showed plenty of promise in his first Super Rugby start.

Starting in the No. 2 jersey, Devery hit most of his targets at the lineout. Devery also scored a try, and started a set-piece move that led to another from a quick tap.

  1. Tyrel Lomax – 7

Another 60 minute shift from tighthead prop Tyrel Lomax this week, that’s absolutely sensational for a front-rower. Lomax is world-class, and he continues to remind fans of that fact on a weekly basis with the Hurricanes.

Throughout his hour-long shift at Sky Stadium, Lomax played a key part in the Hurricanes’ dominant scrum early in the contest. Around the grounds, the All Black also made an impact, having finished with an incredible 13 tackle completions from 15 attempts.

  1. James Blackwell – 7.5

Back in the run-on side this week, Hurricanes lock James Blackwell was a man on a mission – especially on the defensive side of the ball. Blackwell made a staggering 18 tackles, and only missed a further two attempts.

But it wasn’t a perfect display, either. Blackwell dropped two lineouts in the first half, but again, more than made up for any errors with his work rate around the park.

  1. Isaia Walker-Leawere – 6.5

Coming off a disappointing performance against the Fijian Drua last weekend, Isaia Walker-Leawere failed to really make an impact against Moana. Maybe he was just overshadowed by some of his teammates – but the second-rower just seemed to go missing for a majority of the contest.

  1. Devan Flanders – 7.5

What a player Devan Flanders is proving to be for the Hurricanes this season. For most of this match, or at least the first half, Flanders went missing a fair bit. While the flanker had some decent carries, he was somewhat ineffective against a valiant Moana outfit.

But it’s a game of two halves. Flanders was a different player after the break, and certainly had more of an impact on the contest. Every time the loose forward touched the ball, he caused some problems.

  1. Du’Plessis Kirifi – 8.5

Flanker Du’Plessis Kirifi has been a but of an unsung hero for the Hurricanes this season. While his performances haven’t completely under the radar, I don’t think they’re being talked about enough. Let’s change that, starting with tonight.

If the Hurricanes wanted to start a Du’Plessis Kirifi fan club, after tonight, I’m sure there’d be a lot of fans willing to put their hands up. Kirifi made a game-high 24 tackles on defence, and didn’t miss any other attempts.

Like above when discussing Aidan Morgan, commentator Grant Nisbett said it best: “Kirifi, he’s always in the game.” Another sensational performance from the openside.

  1. Ardie Savea – 9

Player of the match, without a doubt. World-class backrower Ardie Savea was sensational against Moana Pasifika, having crossed for a hat-trick of tries at Wellington’s Sky Stadium.

Savea was a bit quiet early on, but once he got going, the All Black couldn’t be stooped. On top of his three tries, the No. 8 made 100 per cent of his tackles and ran the ball for almost 40 metres.

Replacements:

  1. Hame Faiva – 7
  2. Pouri Rakete-Stones – 7
  3. Pasilio Tosi – 6.5
  4. Caleb Delany – 7.5
  5. Brayden Iose – 7
  6. Logan Henry – 7.5
  7. Peter Umaga-Jensen – 7
  8. Josh Moorby – 7
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