Updated: Mar 4
Jason Holland has the talent pool to win a Super Rugby title, but just doesn’t seem to be willing, to pick the right mix of players who will work as a unit together. After a decent half-time lead of 24-7 at AAMI Park for the Super Round, the Hurricanes imploded. Sloppy ball-handling, miscommunications and scrappy passes saw the Rebels get back into the game, with a late try to Jordie Barrett at the death, holding the scoreline together. 39-33 isn’t the kind of half-time score the players will be happy with after an initial lead.
Ardie Savea's Hurricanes lineup had noticeable chips-on-their shoulders, with the Rebels' side taking a frustrating approach to their game. Photo: Max Sharp.
With the level of the players’ individual performances also at a very mixed variety of results, let’s begin the procedure and read through jersey number 1 through to number 23, to see how the Hurricanes rated against the Rebels.
HURRICANES PLAYER RATINGS:
Loosehead Prop - Xavier Numia (5/10)
Hooked off at half-time after going backwards in the scrum, before returning in the second half and growing into the game. 7 metres and 1 defender beaten off 3 carries, with 8/9 tackles makes for an average performance overall.
Hooker - Dane Coles (2/10)
Nothing good about Coles’ performance to mention aside from 18 metres off 2 carries. Let his discipline get the best of him in a couple particular incidents, while making just a single tackle in 40 minutes, during the Hurricanes’ run of 51% possession, is some poor work ethic.
Tighthead Prop - Tyrel Lomax (7/10)
Could definitely have made more than his 4/6 tackles but definitely allowed for rucks to be cleared efficiently. Lomax can be thanked very much for Cam Roigard’s access to clean ball, while Lomax was also able to register 8 metres and 1 defender beaten off 5 carries. A fitting return to Melbourne.
Lock 4 - James Blackwell (5/10)
The coaches were right to take Blackwell off and opt for Caleb Delany’s dynamism in the late stages of the match. Blackwell got stuck into the tight spaces and was reliable in the lineout, but had a low effectiveness around the field. With a stat chart of 7 metres off 3 carries 4/5 tackles and 1 turnover, Blackwell had an average performance.
Lock 5 - Isaia Walker-Leawere (7/10)
Hawke’s Bay’s Mr. Reliable has taken his 2022 NPC form along to the Super Rugby season too; doing what’s expected of him in a high quantity. Put his head into the tight spaces with 10 metres off 7 carries, made 5 passes, 10/11 tackles and managed 2 turnovers, all without me even noticing until later. If you don’t notice a lock’s performance, then they did well.
Blindside Flanker - Brayden Iose (7/10)
Though fielding Iose, Kirifi and Savea together shortened the lineout, it was well worth it for Iose’s defensive efforts. Iose’s 13 tackles were the most of the team despite just 50 minutes of action, while he ran 11 metres off 4 crash-ball carries.
Openside Flanker - Du’Plessis Kirifi (4/10)
A pretty quiet performance. Could have slowed the Rebels’ ball more after just 2/4 tackles and a single turnover to his name in 53 minutes. Kirifi played more minutes than Iose, but also made fewer carries; with 8 metres off 3 of them.
Number 8 - Ardie Savea (7/10)
While the keyboards warriors’ reaction to Savea’s involvement with a scuffle and yellow card is overshadowing the game, his performance was pretty good. With 2 tries, 30 metres and 2 defenders beaten off 6 carries, Savea wasn’t short of physicality on attack. Made 13 passes, 1 offload, 12/16 tackles and 1 turnover too.
Halfback - Cam Roigard (9/10)
In a scrappy affair, the young 9 was certainly the best pick of the bunch. Roigard’s passing was noticeably missed after he was substituted, while his defence with 4/4 tackles and 1 turnover, was perfect. Roigard’s attack was also very good. He proved hard to tackle with 34 metres, 6 defenders beaten and 1 clean break off 7 carries… surely he’s next on the national halfback pecking order?
First-Five - Aidan Morgan (6/10)
Displayed some strong game management skills in the first half, but faded into the background as the game wore on. Though Morgan’s tackle rate wasn’t ideal at 4/8, the hits he made were important in saving some linebreaks wether he completed him or not. Looked good with ball-in-hand with 21 metres run and 2 defenders beaten off 4 carries.
Left Wing - Salesi Rayasi (7/10)
Was very damaging with space in front of him. Rehearsed well for the Olympics' gymnastics category with a thrilling try and ran 90 metres, beat 5 defenders and made 1 clean break off 10 carries. Good defence with 3/3 tackles and 1 turnover, but did pass a bit too much to let his team's structure organise itself.
Second-Five - Jordie Barrett (5/10)
My haters will use this statement as supposed evidence for my "lack of a rugby IQ", but Jordie Barrett isn't a centre. He's much too talented to just bash defenders all game, as his move to fullback later in the game saw his running stats suddenly spike to 55 metres. Decent defence.
Centre - Billy Proctor (5/10)
A bit of an average game for Proctor who saw out the full 80. Was solid enough to get the result with 37 metres and 1 defender beaten off 9 carries, but had a bit of tunnel vision with just 4 passes. A low number of tackles with 4, but got them all.
Right Wing - Julian Savea (6/10)
A quiet night out in Melbourne as the Bus didn't have too many passengers to carry. Though Savea didn't get many opportunities he was able to provide solid defence with 5/6 tackles and 1 turnover in some difficult positions. Showed a brilliant kicking game.
Fullback - Josh Moorby (6/10)
A bit of a yin-and-yang effort for the number 15, who completed just 2/6 tackles due to a lack of support at the back. Tore the Rebels to shreds on attack though, running 53 metres, beating 3 defenders and making 1 clean break off 8 carries. Showed nice analysis skill to dot down for a nice try and kicked well too.
Reserve Hooker - Asafo Aumua (8/10)
Outshone Coles off the bench for the second week running, with some good work cleaning defenders out of the breakdown. Threw well in the lineout, ran 12 metres off 6 carries and made 11 tackles in 40 minutes. The drums calling for his All Blacks re-call, will begin beating louder and louder...
Reserve Loosehead Prop - Tevita Mafileo (1/10)
The 2022 All Blacks XV tourist had a great disciplinary record up until this fixture, as he was red-carded for a shoulder charge after being on the pitch for just 2 minutes. Hopefully he'll be back in form when he returns.
Reserve Tighthead Prop - Owen Franks (6/10)
Though the sloppy handling of the backline would give you the impression of a lack of front-foot ball, Franks had his typical performance where he got in for the tough stuff in the scrum, where he outperformed Lomax. Though he did make just 2/5 tackles, these misses allowed the Hurricanes to re-set their defence after opponents lost pace; Franks' rating therefore won't be affected.
Reserve Lock - Caleb Delany (7/10)
Replaced Blackwell with 21 minutes to go and got little chances. What he did do though, was crucial. Completed both of his 2 tackle attempts and ran 22 metres, beat 1 defender and made 1 clean break off just 2 carries; including one where he passed wide for Barrett's winning try.
Reserve Loose Forward - Peter Lakai (6/10)
Lakai didn't get too involved with the game after a solid debut last week, but can be commended for completing all 5 of his tackles. Will learn from a game like this as he is still 19.
Reserve Halfback - Jamie Booth (6/10)
A bit of a mixed performance for Booth too. Came on at the right time for leadership with tensions rising and ran 21 metres, beat 1 defender and made 1 clean break from 2 carries; though his passing off the breakdown was a downgrade from Roigard's.
Reserve Midfielder - Riley Higgins (No rating)
Played for just 9 minutes off the bench in his second Super Rugby game so won't be rated due to a lack of opportunity.
Reserve Utility Back - Harry Godfrey (7/10)
Replaced Julian Savea, with Barrett moving to 15. Godfrey got a decent run with 48 metres off 4 carries, before moving to 10 in the last 8 minutes and showing some value as a tactician.