Hurricanes end Crusaders streak

Where do we start. Last night was a match of pure quality, two teams brimming with talent and it showed. I thought it was the best game of SRA so far, just the finishing of both sides was top notch and it was nail biting up until the last minute.

The Crusaders will obviously be disappointed losing their impressive run of home victories but a few players really stood up despite the end result.

Richie Mo’unga, take a bow young man, he was everywhere last night and surely deserves the first crack at the All Black’s number 10 jersey. The way he drives his team around the park is just poetry in motion, and I believe without his efforts the Canes may have blown this one out.

The other player that stood out for me was Will Jordan. The Canes were able to shut him down for long periods of the match but he is one of those guys that you can’t keep out forever. Massive running metres and he nearly pulled off a game-winning try right at the death.

That Jordie/Jordan combo must look very tantalising if you were an All Black selector right about now.

The last player that just keeps churning out influential performances is Sam Whitelock. How is this guy not All Black captain? Sorry Chiefs fans but this guy is the best option we have in the country at the moment.

He was tireless to the final whistle and was nearly able to turn the tide with all his experience, guile and skill. An absolute competitive performance. Exhausted himself for the cause and that’s what we need at test level in my opinion.

Onto the Canes. Fairly chuffed watching them go about their work last night, I would consider that performance as their best since winning the title back in 2016. Asafo Aumua continued his rise up the hooking ranks with another barnstorming performance. He was nearly perfect at the lineout and did plenty of damage around the park. Scary to think that we haven’t quite seen the finished product.

Another strong performer was Ardie Savea. One of the standouts in both teams last night. Was powerful when he carried and had an abundance of energy that allowed him to make an impact in defence and around the breakdown.
Was simply destructive every time he got his hands on the ball.

Man of the match for me was Peter Umaga-Jensen. Dominating two All Black’s in the space of two weeks must put him in contention for All Black selection, especially now Laumape looks to be out for some time.

I’ve been a big supporter of this kid ever since the Canes signed him out of school. At 22, and with a chance to showcase his ability with consistent game time, he has definitely announced himself over the last couple of weeks with his sharp, brave and direct style of running.

Check out Rugby Pass’s rundown of PUJ here -

Lastly, it’s hard not to applaud the Cane’s pack. With late injuries causing disruption I couldn’t have asked for more. Kudos to the young Tevita Mafileo, he really stood up after coming on early in the match. I can see why the Canes have signed him for the next two years. Strong at scrum time and he will probably only get better as he matures.

All in all, a great game of footy. Bring on today’s match between the Blues & Chiefs.

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