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Hurricanes player ratings vs Rebels | Super Rugby Pacific quarter-finals

By Ned Lester
Asafo Aumua, Peter Lakai and Brett Cameron celebrate the Hurricanes try.. Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

A hungry Melbourne Rebels outfit greeted the Hurricanes in Wellington to kick off the second night of Super Rugby Pacific quarter-finals on Saturday, eager for the contest not to be the club’s last showing.

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An aggressive defence put the hometeam under immense pressure early, silencing the Wellington crowd and forcing mistakes from the No. 1 seed.

The rapid defence led to the first scoreless opening quarter from the Hurricanes this season, but eventually, the dam burst and the Hurricanes showed their class to run home with a hefty winning margin of 47-20.

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Here’s how the Hurricanes rated:

1. Xavier Numia – 8

This Hurricanes scrum has dominated all season, but it came up against a valiant challenge in the form of Taniela Tupou and the Rebels. Numia had some trouble inflicting his will on his Wallaby opponent early but managed to get the better of Tupou by the time he was unfortunately taken from the field with an apparent lower leg injury.

The prop’s few carries provided the kind of explosive gains we’ve come to expect from the 25-year-old, and should he pull up ok in the coming weeks this performance won’t have hurt his All Blacks selection odds one bit.

2. Asafo Aumua – 8.5

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Aumua’s lineout throwing wasn’t perfect, with a couple pinched by an alert Rebels pack and another one or two just beyond the reach of the Hurricanes jumpers. You’d have to attribute much of the game’s struggles in that area to the calls though.

X-factor when you need it and when you least expect it, Aumua again proved he can shrug off any tackle and be a game-breaker as he ran through the defensive line to claim a 53rd-minute try.

It wasn’t the most demanding game for the Hurricanes’ defence but at the time Aumua left the field he had the equal-most tackles of his side, more than one of which was bone-rattling.

3. Pasilio Tosi – 7

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Tosi looks built for the playoffs and showed no cracks in his game despite this being perhaps the biggest match of his young career. The 25-year-old opened the scoring, thanks in large part to the dominant carries of his fellow forwards and a quick pill from TJ Perenara.

4. Justin Sangster – 6

Sangster’s efforts around the breakdown impressed, with a timely steal helping his team end the first half on a high note.

The lock hit rucks and got through a handful of tackles in a game where his side enjoyed the bulk of possession, but the lineout woes will be one of, if not the biggest concern for this team ahead of the semi-finals.

5. Isaia Walker-Leawere – 5

Walker-Leawere did plenty of good things in his 55 minutes on the park, but ill-discipline and lineout struggles hurt his score here.

The lock provided some initial grunt to generate momentum with his first carry and continued to at least flirt with the gain line with his following efforts. The 27-year-old was first penalised for pushing in the lineout, leading to an early Rebels lead. Some cunning around the breakdown and maul was impactful but ultimately Walker-Leawere contributed to his side’s most notable shortcomings and will be looking for a more tight performance next week.

6. Devan Flanders – 8

Flanders’ carries may not be as eye-catching as his fellow loose forwards, but his impact is arguably just as crucial. The 24-year-old’s post-contact gain of half a meter so often sets up the soft shoulder for the likes of his powerhouse No. 8 to exploit.

Flanders plays well beyond his years and provides consistent accuracy around the park on both sides of the ball. He’s been a welcomed addition to what was already a dominant loose-forward trio since taking the jersey from Brad Shields.

7. Peter Lakai – 8.5

Where to start with this young man? Of course, the strong carries that consistently make it more than a few inches over the gain line are invaluable, but also you have to commend the way Lakai wrestles his body into the best position to place the ball back for his team, an extra effort that really sets him apart.

That restless work ethic and awareness applies on the defensive end too, where the flanker’s activity not just sees him make the tackle but ensures he’s ready for the next phase if not involved in the breakdown battle.

As always, Lakai finished the contest as one of his team’s top ball carriers and tacklers.

8. Brayden Iose – 8.5

This man is synonymous with powerful carries and provided plenty in this contest. Iose instigated a scuffle just after halftime to set the tone for the second period and scored shortly after on a clean support line off Jordie Barrett’s shoulder.

The physicality Iose exudes is second to none and his energy in the carry provides plenty of lift for his team. Naturally, the No. 8 topped the game’s carry count and his leg drive continues the tradition of an absent Hurricanes star who shares Iose’s position of choice.

Ruck Speed

0-3 secs
58%
69%
3-6 secs
30%
20%
6+ secs
7%
2%
88
Rucks Won
49

9. TJ Perenara – 8

Perenara orchestrates attack close to the try line like no one else in Super Rugby Pacific, showing his class and experience, in picking out defenders and helping create overlaps.

As always, the deliveries were on point and Perenara was never afraid to lend his shoulder to a breakdown when the situation called for it.

10. Brett Cameron

Cameron had a few uncharacteristically shaky moments early in this contest, notably overcooking his second restart kick.

Facing a rapid line speed from the Rebels, the first five looked composed enough but struggled to find cohesion with his backline, with execution under huge pressure. In the second half the adjustment was made, an a deeper attacking line provided the time and pace for Cameron to more accurately steer his team around and any nerves looked to have been left in the opening period.

11. Salesi Rayasi – 8.5

An exceptional performance from the electric winger, who provided not just a game-high number of linebreaks and offloads but some strong work around the wide breakdowns too.

The former sevens star had mixed success with his kicks, but certainly managed to apply more pressure than he gave up. A turnover win added to the impressive outing while the 27-year-old’s physicality proved useful in various collisions.

12. Jordie Barrett (C) – 9

Barrett provided a classy performance under the bright lights of the playoffs. A linebreak and try assist just before halftime provided the edge needed heading into the break, and the All Black came out and produced a near-identical play just minutes into the second half.

Barrett consistently offered himself as a spare loose forward around the ruck and hit the breakdown hard. There’ll be a few Rebels waking up with Barrett-related rib bruises tomorrow morning as Barrett led the way for his team on the defensive end. Just a couple of scrappy moments in an otherwise polished performance.

13. Billy Proctor – 7.5

Proctor’s acceleration sets him up well on both sides of the ball and the All Blacks hopeful certainly uses it to great effect. The centre didn’t miss his opportunities with the ball in hand early but it ultimately it wasn’t his loudest game.

14. Josh Moorby – 6

Moorby’s first two touches of the game ended in turnovers, and while luckily the first came while playing under advantage, the second saw the Hurricanes first attack play hit the ground.

The winger recovered and contributed a couple of good plays, notably an excellent intercept in the opening stages, but was relatively quiet by his own standards on the night.

15. Harry Godfrey – 8

The youngster was anything but overawed by the occasion as he was thrust into not just the matchday squad, but the starting No. 15 jersey late in the piece.

Godfrey calmly handled the Rebels kicking game, contributing some replies of his own including a masterful 50-22.

Having impressed in every outing so far this season, the recent New Zealand U20 star was only twice caught trying to force the issue, otherwise proving a composed and considered attacking threat.

His one major error was a late contest off a restart, but it’s hard to lay the blame solely on the youngster’s shoulders as his team left a gaping hole for him to cover.

Defence

86
Tackles Made
153
12
Tackles Missed
36
88%
Tackle Completion %
81%


Reserves


16. James O’Reilly – 7

17. Pouri Rakete-Stones – 9

Rakete-Stones’ intervention was earlier than he would have anticipated but not earlier than he was prepared for. The prop showed a keen awareness of the laws around the breakdown, applying pressure and allowing no complacency from the Rebels.

The 26-year-old’s scrummaging was the best on the night amongst a cast of powerful props.

18. Tevita Mafileo – 7

19. Brad Shields – 7

20. Du’Plessis Kirifi – 9

The super sub a championship contender needs, Kirifi just consistently provides the energy and hustle that inspires his teammates. The flanker scored a determined try to extend his team’s lead.

21. Richard Judd – 8

22. Bailyn Sullivan – 7

23. Kini Naholo – 8

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In the latest episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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Comments

4 Comments
T
T-Bone 11 days ago

So many guys in the Canes for Razor and co to stress over
Numia
Aumua
Lakai
Iose
TJ
Love
Rayasi
Proctor

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