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Hurricanes Player Ratings vs Crusaders (Round 8, 2022)

Written by Max Sharp.

Though the close scoreline of this fixture made it an interesting game, man the Hurricanes failed hard. The team lost their second home game in a row, having previously lost to the Chiefs last week, this time they went down 21-24 to the Crusaders. Barring the lineout, they dominated most statistics, yet still lost. We'll need to read through from jerseys 1 through to 23 and figure out why things went pear-shaped for the Hurricanes.

Hurricanes Player Ratings

Loosehead Prop - Pouri Rakete-Stones (6/10)

Though Rakete-Stones was able to hold steady at scrum time, he didn't manage to get around the park too much, his 8 carries only lead to 5 metres, while his 6 tackles wasn't by any means a massive number. He's had better games than this before.

Hooker - James O'Reilly (8/10)

Was shifted in to start after Asafo Aumua's late withdrawal and played out of his skin. The 27-year-old O'Reilly ran 43 metres and beat 2 defenders off 7 powerful carries, while his 12 tackles all stung. Needs to be given a pat on the back for lasting the full 80 minutes too.

Tighthead Prop - Tyrel Lomax (7/10)

A 71-minute performance included some strong scrummaging, particularly in the second half. Lomax didn't shine by any means but put his head down and did the difficult stuff. 5 metres and 3 carries isn't too much running, though he did make 9/9 tackles.

Lock 4 - James Blackwell (4/10)

Blackwell is not a lock, he's a blindside flanker. His short stature in comparison to other locks has once again compromised the Hurricanes' lineout. Poor attacking work ethic, 1 metre off 1 carry. Only redemption was a team-high 14 tackles.

Lock 5 - Scott Scrafton (6/10)

Bought a bit more mongrel to the pitch this time, running 9 metres and beating 1 defender off 4 carries. Scrafton also made 6 tackles and 1 turnover, taking him off was a bad decision. If Dominic Bird continues to struggle with injury, start Scrafton with Delany as the locks next week.

Blindside Flanker - TK Howden (7/10)

Manawatu's TK Howden made his debut at 6 in this game and provided his ability in the lineout. Also managed 20 metres and 2 defenders beaten off 6 carries. 6 tackles was his defensive effort, he'll be happy with his 49 minutes on the pitch.

Openside Flanker - Du Plessis Kirifi (3/10)

His lack of improvement as a jackler and team player continues to demoralise me. Kirifi gave a good effort on carrying as usual (1 try and 31 metres from 5 carries), but his ignorance of when and when not to compete at the ruck saw him give away 3 penalties. Kirifi also undermined Ardie Savea's captaincy with some chat to the ref.

Number 8 - Ardie Savea (9/10)

Bought an immense never-say-die attitude once again, running 54 metres and beat 4 defenders from 13 carries. Made 12 passes and 3 offloads to open the field up, managing 1- tackles and 1 crucial turnover too. The Hurricanes' greatest-ever loose forward remains the best player in World Rugby.

Halfback - Jamie Booth (8/10)

Far better game management and control of the attack by Booth, in comparison to TJ Perenara, who was ruled out late with injury. Booth took opportunities well, running 21 metres, beating 1 defender and making 1 clean break off just 2 carries. His 60 passes was a game-high. Great effort.

First-Five - Jackson Garden-Bachop (7/10)

None of Garden-Bachop's 22 passes enabled anything, but he ran much more than we're used to, his attacking stats were 25 metres run, 1 defender beaten and 2 clean breaks off 5 carries. Fascinatingly, he won a turnover for a second week in a row too, must work harder to get into a tackling position though.

Left Wing - Wes Goosen (4/10)

A bit of a dud game for Goosen to be honest, he spent most of the game standing out on the wing waiting for the ball. Just 15 metres and 1 defender beaten from 6 carries, which is low for a winger, low defensive effort too, just 4 tackles. Bring Rayasi back.

Second-Five - Jordie Barrett (8/10)

Barrett played amazingly but is sorely missed at 15. Anyway, he made a game-high 18 carries, which saw him run 56 metres and beat 5 defenders. Passing game was solid, while he got stuck into defence with 10 tackles.

Centre - Billy Proctor (5/10)

A lot of Hurricanes fans weren't happy with Proctor's performance again. Though he was committed to disabling Mo'unga, Proctor's rushing out of the defence line backfired lots. Only 12 metres off his 8 carries, though he did beat 3 defenders. Subbed off in the 58th minute.

Right Wing - Julian Savea (9/10)

Was the Hurricanes' best performer in their ill-fated matchup, running 56 metres, beating 5 defenders and making 2 clean breaks from 9 carries, reminding us of his younger self. Came off his wing to distribute well and also managed 8 tackles and 1 turnover. Excellent kicking game as well, this included a clever 50-22.

Fullback - Josh Moorby (7/10)

The 23-year-old Southland fullback wasn't poor by any means but the Hurricanes didn't have the same edge with Barrett at 12. Moorby provided security under the high ball, scored 1 try, ran 34 metres and beat 4 defenders off 8 carries, but he isn't yet at the next level. Put him on the wing if Rayasi remains injured, that's where Moorby is at his best.

Reserve Hooker - Kianu Kereru-Symes (No rating)

The 23-year-old was called up as the Hurricanes' 7th-choice hooker but did not come off the bench for a debut, so won't be rated.

Reserve Loosehead Prop - Tevita Mafileo (6/10)

Didn't add a lot of impact, just came on to do the basics. Mafileo kept the scrum alive and ran 6 metres off 3 carries, also making 5 tackles. Still has potential.

Reserve Tighthead Prop - Pasilio Tosi (No rating)

Was a late call-up for Alex Fidow, who was ruled out. Tosi came on for Lomax with just 9 minutes left, so won't be rated.

Reserve Lock - Caleb Delany (6/10)

Came on for Scott Scrafton at halftime and wasn't as busy in comparison to his previous outings of his rookie season. Delany ran 3 metres off 2 carries, but nailed all 3 of his lineout jumps and 3 of his tackles.

Reserve Loose Forward - Devan Flanders (6/10)

On for Howden in the 49th minute. The Hurricanes are wasting potential with Flanders, who wasn't given the freedom to run the ball a lot, he was only able to get 4 metres off 2 carries, though he did make 4 tackles and 1 turnover. He'd get more game time with the Crusaders.

Reserve Halfback - Cam Roigard (No rating)

Didn't get very involved with the game outside of making passes from the base of the ruck, so won't be rated, having played just 20 minutes.

Reserve Midfielder - Bailyn Sullivan (8/10)

Made more metres and passes from his 22 minutes than Proctor did from 58. Bailyn Sullivan showcased his dangerous attacking talent with 30 metres, 2 defenders beaten and 1 clean break off just 2 carries. Start him next week or I probably won't even bother watching.

Reserve Utility Back - Ruben Love (7/10)

The fact that he came on with only 12 minutes left didn't deter Love from playing well, he ran 32 metres from just 2 carries and also made 1 tackle. Love searched for his opportunities and made the most of them.

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