Hurricanes player ratings: The Hurricanes have kept their slim Super Rugby Aotearoa title hopes alive with a hard-fought 31-18 win over the Chiefs at Sky Stadium in Wellington. They needed a bonus-point victory before the match to hold onto any chance of staying in the title fight, and after surviving a rallying effort from a Chiefs team looking to avoid a winless season, managed to leave with what they were after.
The hosts looked like the team to beat from the opening whistle, with a fast tempo but overall control of the match setting the tone for a strong first-half.
A double to outside centre Peter Umaga-Jensen helped his side to a 12-3 half-time lead, but a strong start to the second helped the Chiefs bring the scores to within four of drawing the scores level just after the break.
But the playmaking duo of Jackson Garden-Bachop and Jordie Barrett helped the Hurricanes regain momentum, as well as guiding their side to three second half tries that secured the much-needed bonus point.
While they weren’t at their best, the Hurricanes did what they needed to do on Saturday night and will look to other results to stay in the fight, starting with the Crusaders versus the Highlanders tomorrow. Here’s RugbyPass’ Hurricanes player ratings:
Ben May – 6.5/10
May only carried the ball twice and made five tackles in his 62-minutes on the park. He did however hold his own at the breakdown and contributed to the Hurricanes stable scrum.
Dane Coles – 7.5
The All Blacks hooker didn’t have his best match for the Hurricanes on Saturday night, but Coles was still vital for his side, handling the pressure of a close match well. Coles was near perfect from the lineout, with just one throw missing its target. The co-captain also crossed over for a pivotal try in the 49th minute that helped his side regain the games momentum.
Tyrel Lomax – -6.5/10
Lomax scrummed well, but could’ve been more effective around the field having only made four tackles and running the ball three times.
James Blackwell – 7.5/10
Blackwell just doesn’t seem to ever run out of energy. He was active at the lineout, and looked to get involved around the breakdown. He’s a workhorse, and the Canes wouldn’t be the same team without his energy.
Scott Scrafton – 8/10
Another impressive performance from the 27-year-old, who continues to get his hands dirty in and around the breakdown for his side. Scrafton held his own in defence as well, making six and not missing one.
Reed Prinsep – 7/10
Did his job for his team tonight as one of the primary options at the lineout, and made his mark around the park in both attack and defence.
Du’Plessis Kirifi – 7.5/10
Every time Kirifi runs the ball, he looks dangerous. He ran with plenty of power and passion in each of his five runs tonight, an impressed in defence with a team-high of eight tackles.
Ardie Savea – 7.5/10
Savea’s work-rate was once again to the elite standard that has earned him so much praise over the years. He finished with six carries and seven tackles, and showed his strength at the breakdown as well. Great energy and impact.
TJ Perenara – 7.5/10
Perenara was patient, accurate with his passing, and overall controlled the tempo of the Hurricanes attack very well. He ran the ball effectively and needed to as well, but his leadership and experience made the most difference.
Jackson Garden-Bachop – 7.5/10
Garden-Bachop plays his role to a very high standard every week, and his showing against the Chiefs was no different. The 25-year-old guided the Hurricanes around the park really well, but he didn’t overplay his hand. He set up both Dane Coles and Jacobus Van Wyk for pivotal tries with nice showings of skills.
Wes Goosen – 7.5/10
In his 50th match for the Hurricanes, Goosen was near his electric best despite getting limited opportunities with the ball. Finished the match with 35 run metres off five carries, and made seven tackles – also won a penalty at the breakdown 10 minutes into the match. He nearly celebrated the milestone with a try, but laid the ball off brilliantly for Umaga-Jensen who crossed over the Hurricanes’ second.
Vince Aso – 7/10
Vince Aso got busy tonight, and complimented the players around him very well. Finished an equal team high of nine carries, proving to be a perfect replacement for Ngani Laumape.
Peter Umaga-Jensen – 8.5/10
Fresh off announcing a contract extension until 2022, the Hurricanes outside centre showed everyone once again by he’s one of the most exciting prospects in New Zealand rugby. He crossed over for two tries again this week, with his world-class line running contributing to both. He can’t be overlooked for higher honours for long if this purple patch of form continues.
Jacobus Van Wyk – 6.5/10
Van Wyk wasn’t at his best tonight. He had limited opportunities in space with the ball-in-hand, finishing with five carries for 23 metres. Was yellow carded just before half-time for a tip tackle on Brad Weber, but made amends later in the match when he crossed over for a potentially season-defining try for the Canes, reeling in a cross-field kick unmarked out wide.
Jordie Barrett – 8.5/10
Arguably the man-of-the-match performance from Barrett, who has well and truly made the Hurricanes his own throughout the Aotearoa campaign. He was comfortable under the high ball, and his general playmaking laid the platform for the win. His moment of the game was arguably a tackle on Kaleb Trask in the third minute, sending the Chiefs flyhalf into orbit with a great, textbook tackle. His leadership around the park led to both the Hurricanes opening try, and to Dane Coles’ five-pointer with a great ball to Vince Aso creating the line break.
Asafo Aumua – 6.5/10
Tevita Mafileo – 5.5/10
Pouri Rakete-Stones – 5.5/10
Kane Le’aupepe – 5.5/10
Devan Flanders – N/A
Jamie Booth – 7/10
Considering he only came on with 12 minutes to play, Jamie Booth was one of the standouts. He had a great run and offload to set up Billy Proctor for a try late. But his general energy was electric, and helped get the Canes over the line.
Billy Proctor – 6.5/10
Crossed over for a try with eight minutes to go.
Jonah Lowe – 5.5/10
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