Sat, 15 Aug 2020

5 talking points: Super Rugby Aotearoa Week 4

News24
06 Jul 2020, 16:11 GMT+10

Highlanders lament 'bombed try'

The Highlanders' 20-point defeat to the Crusaders was somewhat flattering as the hosts were right in the contest for large parts.

Trailing 21-17 in the 54th minute, the Highlanders were hot on the attack when left wing Jona Nareki made a costly error.

The Highlanders had a two-man overlap and Nareki only needed to pass to see them take the lead, but he held on for too long, allowing Crusaders flyhalf Richie Mo'unga to smash him in a tackle and dislodge the ball.

It was a pivotal moment and the player would have learnt the harsh lesson of "there is no I in team".

Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger rued Nareki's error in judgment.

"We were in it for 76 minutes, six points down and couple of key moments through that second half were the difference. We've got to be better there. I thought we bombed that try in the second half with Jona not releasing the ball," Mauger said.

Hurricanes see red, but hold on

After starting Super Rugby Aotearoa with defeats to the Blues and Crusaders, the Hurricanes are back in business following their away win over the Chiefs.

The men from Wellington held a handy 20-3 advantage at half-time, but were forced to hold on after referee Ben O'Keeffe reduced them to 14 men for most of the second period after showing lock Scott Scrafton two yellow cards.

Scrafton was first pinged for being offside at a lineout and received his marching orders when he failed to retreat 10 metres before making a try-saving tackle on Chiefs fullback Damian McKenzie.

It forced the Hurricanes to play the final 20 minutes with 14 men but they held on thanks to a superb defensive effort.

SA winger back in business

He may have had a moment to forget earlier in the tournament (READ HERE), but South African winger Kobus van Wyk caught the eye by bagging a brace of tries in his side's maiden win in the competition.

In late February, before Covid-19 halted the season-proper, the 28-year-old flyer also made headlines when he scored a hat-trick on his Hurricanes debut against the Sunwolves.

Van Wyk played for the Stormers between 2013 and 2016 and represented the Sharks between 2017 and 2019.

But he appears a happy camper in New Zealand having recently stated his desire to extend his stay at the Hurricanes.

Barrett's monster penalty

Hurricanes fullback Jordie Barrett made an impressive return from injury.

The All Blacks star contributed 10 points to his side's cause, as well as two try assists, but it was his massive 58m penalty attempt which turned heads.

It gave the Hurricanes a 20-3 half-time advantage.

WATCH the kick in the tweet below:

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