Ngani Laumape has sent a healthy reminder to the nation that he’s one of the top midfielders in the country after scoring an exceptional try in the opening five minutes of the Hurricanes match with the Blues.
With Anton Lienert-Brown and Jack Goodhue performing consistently well for the Chiefs and Crusaders and the likes of Braydon Ennor and Rieko Ioane looking having exceptional transitions from the outside backs into the midfield, Laumape has flown under the radar a little bit this year.
Laumape was widely considered one of the unluckiest men in New Zealand to miss selection for the All Blacks at last year’s World Cup but with Ryan Crotty and Sonny Bill Williams heading overseas, a couple of new spots have opened up in the NZ midfield.
Although his season has yet caught alight, his showing in the first five minutes will have put the selectors on notice.
Laumape conceded an early penalty for not releasing after a tackle but a short period of Blues possession eventually ended with the Hurricanes having the ball inside the Blues’ half.
? Laumape with the step and PACE! What a start from @HurricanesRugby.
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) July 18, 2020
The Blues defended phase after phase before the ball was eventually spun wide to Laumape who was positioned out on the wing with space in front of him.
Beauden Barrett, the former Hurricane, was playing at fullback but had to rush forward to meet the oncoming Laumape. While the Hurricanes second five is better known for running through players, the former rugby league player instead stepped to the side and burst past Barrett – leaving the fullback clutching at air.
Barrett gave chase and dived to try and bring down Laumape but couldn’t get hands on the rampaging midfielder. Instead, Blues 10 Otere Black (who also started his career with the Hurricanes) was forced to attempt to take Laumape down metres in front of the tryline.
Of course, Black stood no chance – and Laumape burst over for the opening try of the match.
Fans hailed Laumape for his all-round brilliance to score the incredible try.
— Steve Lenthall (@steve_l15) July 18, 2020
Get. A. Front. On. Slow. Mo. Of. That. Step. From. Ngani. Laumape.
— Charlie Morgan (@CharlieFelix) July 18, 2020
Great try, but seriously, Beauden will be having Laumape flashbacks for the rest of his life #HURvBLU
— Brian Ashby (@BrianAshby2) July 18, 2020
Laumape skinning Barrett on the outside. Oh yes
— Sports Freak (@Sportsfreakconz) July 18, 2020
I have never seen Beauden Barrett beaten like that. Outstanding by Laumape. #HURvBLU
— Paul Cully (@paulcullystuff) July 18, 2020
OK that's why Laumape hangs out wide rather than powering up the middle…. #HURvBLU
— Paul from New Zealand Sport Radio (@DrivingMaul) July 18, 2020
All the build up was about the Barretts and so far all the game is Laumape ? #HURvBLU
— 2Tapu (@2TAPU) July 18, 2020
Minutes later, Laumape bowled through Barrett in almost the exact same location and came close to scoring a second try but Emoni Narawa managed to bring the blockbusting centre to ground.
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