Written by Max Sharp
Well, it’s safe to say the Hurricanes’ coaches will have a fair bit of frustration after that game, I was lucky to be at the stadium myself for this one. The Hurricanes were not behind on the scoreboard once in the first half, but once they lost the lead, it was never re-gained. I do dislike giving players bad ratings, but there are some areas of dissection we need to perform after that single-point loss of 29-30 against the Chiefs. We’ll read through the jerseys from 1-23 and see how each player went!
Hurricanes Player Ratings
Loosehead Prop - Pouri Rakete-Stones (6/10)
In 43 minutes, we saw Rakete-Stones spend a bit too much time clearing out rucks, though his scrummaging was well-done. I’d like to see him do more than 3 metres off 3 carries next week, but you can’t expect players to be robots.
Hooker - Asafo Aumua (9/10)
The only reason Aumua isn’t a 10/10, is that he managed 8/10 lineouts. A 77-minute performance on his daughter’s birthday was a great watch for the crowd; it involved 41 metres off 7 carries, 5 tackles and 1 turnover. Lock him in for the World Cup next year if injury free.
Tighthead Prop - Tyrel Lomax (7/10)
Not a single metre was made from Lomax’s lone carry but he made 10 tackles; the most of any front-rower in the game. The Chiefs lost two scrums off their own feed in the second half, thanks go to Lomax for that too.
Lock 4 - James Blackwell (5/10)
While Blackwell puts his heart and soul into each performance, his stature of just 1.9m continues to limit their lineout; the Chiefs were able to target Scrafton easier as a result. Blackwell did run 9 metres off 3 carries and make 8 tackles around the field.
James Blackwell is lifted in the Hurricanes' lineout by Ardie Savea and Tevita Mafileo, during their match against the Chiefs. Photo: Max Sharp.
Lock 5 - Scott Scrafton (4/10)
He was thrown under a bus by the Hurricanes’ tactics and both of their lost lineouts were headed Scrafton’s way. While Scrafton made 8 tackles and 1 turnover, his work rate on attack was low; just 1 carry was made in his 48 minutes.
Blindside Flanker - Reed Prinsep (3/10)
Should’ve been taken off at half time. Prinsep didn’t make any carries and made just 7 tackles in his 64 minutes. I won’t make a character assassination of him though, I’ll simply advise the Hurricanes to start Flanders over him as often as possible.
Openside Flanker - Du Plessis Kirifi (5/10)
Made the most tackles of the forward pack, with 15, but just 1 of his 3 turnover attempts were legal. It’s fair that critics rave about Kirifi’s running game, he managed 21 metres off 4 carries, but his discipline has not improved at all since his Super Rugby debut.
Number 8 - Ardie Savea (8/10)
Savea performs well week-in-week-out because he brings a good attitude to the game and plays for the fans, the team and not for himself. He scored a very crucial try, ran 44 metres and beat 2 defenders off 6 carries, while he also passed 6 times and made 9 tackles and 2 turnovers. But what he did post-match was the best thing of the day, he gave away his jersey to a young mother who had taken her baby to their first-ever rugby game. Legend.
TJ Perenara (right) prepares the ball for a Hurricanes scrum. Photo: Max Sharp.
Halfback - TJ Perenara (4/10)
The game began with a pretty quick try, courtesy of Perenara’s intercept from 40 metres out; this saw him finish the game with 60 running metres. He also managed 5 tackles and 2 turnovers, but delivered very sloppy passing once again. Give his spot in the All Blacks to Folau Fakatava; the other news outlets were watching a different game to me.
First-Five - Jackson Garden-Bachop (5/10)
Garden-Bachop didn’t appear too involved with distribution or on defence to me at the stadium but it turns out he made 16 passes and made 5 tackles. Not much of an attacking threat with just 2 carries but they did make him 12 metres. An average performance.
Left Wing - Wes Goosen (6/10)
Was trying his best for the team but the Chiefs’ defence shut Goosen down well. Though he made just 7 carries, they did at least make him 32 metres and allow him to beat 1 defender. His above-average rating is from a lack of handing errors; something his team was very guilty of.
Wes Goosen is tackled into touch by the Chiefs' Alex Nankivell. Photo: Max Sharp.
Second-Five - Jordie Barrett (8/10)
While Barrett is the world’s best fullback, he’ll play well no matter where he is. 32 metres and 1 defender beaten off 7 carries up the guts were solid attack stats, whereas his 11 passes were far better than what Perenara or Garden-Bachop offered. Barrett's 14 tackles were the most of the backline.
Centre - Billy Proctor (4/10)
Have we got another case of a young player being pushed into the next level too early by his coaches here? Proctor continues to be given un-earned game time; he was nullified as a threat with ball-in-hand; while 6 tackles isn’t groundbreaking. Put Sullivan in this jersey next week.
Right Wing - Julian Savea (7/10)
Was reminiscent of his younger self when carrying; despite only making 4 carries, they lead to 32 metres run, 1 defender beaten and 1 clean break. Awesome athleticism was performed whilst scoring his second-half try as well. Was a real pleasure getting to see my boyhood idol still out there playing well.
Fullback - Ruben Love (5/10)
Is Love not yet ready to become a key decision-maker for a Super Rugby team? While fullback is his best position; he has more room to run there, the Chiefs gave him a real hard time under the high ball. Love ran 48 metres, beat 6 defenders and made 8 passes off his 8 carries so the talent is definitely there. Every rookie has their ups and downs, Love will improve after this experience.
Reserve Hooker - James O’Reilly (No rating)
Came off the bench for Aumua with 3 minutes left and didn’t get to touch the ball. O’Reilly won’t be rated due to his limited involvement.
Reserve Loosehead Prop - Xavier Numia (5/10)
Replaced Rakete-Stones early in the second half and was initially excellent at providing his team with stable breakdowns to work off. He tired out though and made just 1 tackle. Numia will be better next time.
Reserve Tighthead Prop - Tevita Mafileo (No rating)
Joined the match with only 14 minutes left and made just 2 tackles and 1 turnover. Not enough to rate a tight-five forward off limited involvement like this.
Reserve Lock - Caleb Delany (7/10)
I’d enjoy a Hurricanes lineup with Delany starting more often. The rookie displayed athletic jumping in the lineout and his lone carry was impressive. 8 tackles is also a pretty acceptable defensive effort for 32 minutes.
Reserve Loose Forward - Devan Flanders (No rating)
While Flanders won’t get a rating for this game, having played just 14 minutes, failing to make metres from 2 carries and making 2 passes; start him next week. He is a vastly superior athlete to Prinsep and it’ll show with more game time.
Reserve Halfback - Jamie Booth (6/10)
Far crisper passing than that of Perenara’s was evident in Booth’s 11-minute cameo; a carry he made was worth 2 metres and 1 defender beaten, while he also made 1 tackle and 1 turnover. Start him next week, he was influential in the comeback attempt.
Bailyn Sullivan warms up for the Hurricanes before the match begins. Photo: Max Sharp.
Reserve Utility Back - Bailyn Sullivan (No rating)
After such a promising start to the season, Sullivan’s now found himself coming off the bench this week, to play 11 minutes, without even touching the ball. A disgraceful call that the coaches should be ashamed of; Sullivan is the form midfielder of their squad and should be at 13 next week.
Reserve Outside Back - Josh Moorby (6/10)
Came on for Garden-Bachop with 14 minutes left; a move which saw Love go to 10, with Moorby at 15. While he made only 4 metres off 1 carry, he provided much safer hands under the high ball.