Written by Troy Hockey
With a highly disappointing 2021 season, the Hurricanes will be looking for a better season in results with the Hurricanes failing to perform in the big moments to decide the outcome of the game.
The Hurricanes have a pretty solid squad, although they may have not been in the news with the huge signings of Argentinian loose forward, Pablo Matera, linking up with the Crusaders, or Warriors fan favourite, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, signing with the Blues.
The Hurricanes struggled on many things in the 2021 season. This is why their season would end sadly and wouldn’t satisfy the coaches. Slow starts, big moments and the basics need to be nailed down to get a solid performance on show. Just the communication and teamwork lacked as well. It seems as the Hurricanes chase the game, so a steady start will be needed.
Winning big moments under pressure is where the Hurricanes hurt in the 2021 season eg. a collapsed scrum which gave the Chiefs a penalty kick to win the game or when Cameron Roigard’s box kick got charged down causing David Havili to kick a drop goal in golden point. Most importantly, the basics (teamwork and communication) need to be their number one goal as you need to have the basics done before you can start showing off those variations at lineout and off a scrum.
The coaching group consisting of Jason Holland (Head Coach), Chris Gibbes, Dan Cron, Cory Jane and Tyler Bleyendaal (Assistant Coaches) are the leaders in 2022. This talented group should be able to build a better future for the Hurricanes.
KEY TRANSFERS FOR THE HURRICANES:
The 2022 Hurricanes squad sees a return of the vastly experienced halfback, TJ Perenara, back from a year sabbatical in Japan. Taranaki playmaker and captain, Teihorangi Walden, earns his spot in a return to Super Rugby. NPC Premiership champions, Waikato, centre Bailyn Sullivan enters with his hot form. Many NPC heroes from around the country have been inherited into the squad also with a couple of forward pack heroes returning from overseas to make a return back to New Zealand Rugby.
The hard-running Ngani Laumape has been lost to playing his rugby in France. The Hurricanes 2022 player losses have been from signing with other NZR super rugby sides, retirement or rugby overseas in the Northern Hemisphere.
A starting lineup in today's form would be easy to come for. From having world class players to NPC heroes in this Hurricanes squad, there is depth in this squad.
A POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUP FOR THE HURRICANES IN 2022:
Ardie Savea (C)
Beauden Barrett pictured for the Hurricanes in 2019. Will this be the year they find his replacement at 10? Photo: Max Sharp.
As for a top point scorer for the Lower North Island team, Jordie Barrett would be the likely recipient for this. He will be the goal kicker for the team and there is no doubt he’ll be scoring tries this upcoming season.
The top try scorer for the Hurricanes will likely be the explosive player of Salesi Rayasi, he only had 5 tries in the 2021 season but he’s an upcoming talent. He’s one to watch.
An MVP for the Hurricanes would be tricky to pick, as talent uprises in all positions. Ardie Savea, Jordie Barrett and Bailyn Sullivan would be the top 3 contenders but everyone's season turns out to be different. We’ll just have to wait and see.
LIKELY FINISHING PLACE IN 2022:
3rd place. The Hurricanes are competing in the Super Rugby Pacific in the 2022 season. They are up against the other 4 New Zealand teams, 5 Australian teams, a Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua team. With the knowledge and understanding of these teams, the Hurricanes will be set to finish 3rd behind the Crusaders & Blues.