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Hurricanes

The last four weeks of the 2024 Super Rugby season saw some great success with the New Zealand teams still going strong minus the Crusaders still unluckily, while the Australian sides have proven that they are up to the challenge that would make a huge difference to their upcoming Wallabies campaign later this year with three more regular rounds to go.

Then it’s all about Finals Footy once again to round off the season campaign after this from the quarter-final followed by the semi-finals and the Grand Final.

New Zealand teams

The Blues recently became unstoppable having just surpassed the Hurricanes on top of the ladder yesterday as they just got the Highlanders, Crusaders & Chiefs to go, which shouldn’t be too hard to go into the Finals with plenty of optimism for a fourth title. Hurricanes as said haven’t done too bad at times without Cameron Roigard but still had some tough times against Blues yesterday & the Brumbies two weeks ago in Canberra, let’s see if they can hold keep on winning where Moana Pasifika should be easy while Chiefs & Highlanders is a bit difficult.

Chiefs also had some easy wins in recent weeks against the bottom 3-4 teams & the race is on for the Waikato side to hopefully get the job done that might be a bit challenging starting with the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday followed by the Top 2 teams (Hurricanes & Blues). Meanwhile, Highlanders recovered well from their worst trip v Reds (31-0) in Round 9 by putting themselves back in the Top 8 at 7th with some good wins even though it wasn’t pretty. Yes, things are going to get difficult when facing the Top 2 sides other than Fijian Drua in Round 14 but sure they can cause a storm like it was before. 

And last but not least the Crusaders who got themselves another win in Christchurch two weeks ago v Rebels 38-0 with some great improvements to see at times. However, time is running against them as they really need to win big, which won’t be easy against Brumbies & then Blues other than easy finish v Moana Pasifika to hopefully make the Top 8 just in time after Round 15.

Australian teams 

ACT Brumbies are still high and flying bar the Blues loss back in Round 9 as they still sit 3rd with an easy run-in that would hopefully give themselves a good Finals run and then end the drought to take home the trophy. Queensland Reds on the other hand returned to winning ways other than also a close Round 10 loss v the Blues. Now the run-in might look a bit difficult when the Drua is so strong on the home front while they got a few being injured but then you got the Western Force at home followed by the Waratahs again shouldn’t be too hard to seal a good run-in v Chiefs or Brumbies in the Quarters.

Western Force also has a great strong home atmosphere off the back of wins against the Crusaders back in Round 9 & the Fijian Drua last night, which puts them back on track towards an outside possibility of playing Finals footy with the Waratahs next up followed by Reds away & then the Brumbies after that. Then don’t know what to say about the NSW Waratahs when they are at their lowest ebb once again with so many being injured other than two lucky wins v the Crusaders with more losses going against them. The only positive I can say that they’ve put in their best effort to hopefully get themselves up first at the finish line, but then they’re last right now with two difficult games to finish it off (Force & Reds) other than Moana Pasifika.

And the Melbourne Rebels are still hanging in 6th with three tough games to go with two being at home, such as the Chiefs on Friday followed by the Brumbies and then the Drua away in Fiji. It all depends on the other results but they will still make it even it means an extra week of playing considering the Crusaders are still struggling with the Waratahs going way worse. Then the big question mark is whether or not if the Rebels will be back next year & beyond who is still broke despite recent on-field success? We still don’t know when you got a businessman-led consortium group ready to save the club from liquidation but then the powers of Rugby Australia has the final say at Rugby HQ with still no resolution to either stay or go at this stage.

Pasifika teams 

Well, Moana Pasifika had their moments earlier during the season where they were flirting with the Top 8 bubble a few times here & there. However, a recent string of losses meaning they will unfortunately miss out as progress will take a bit more time before Moana can start winning more games from here; They got the 2nd-placed Hurricanes next up followed by the Waratahs & Crusaders, even though all of their final three regular season games are going to be played within New Zealand.

Same goes with the Fijian Drua who always have an outstanding home atmosphere in Lauktoka, Fiji like the Force bar the Hurricanes loss back in Round 9. They might be able to play another week of Finals this year depending on other results with the next two games being at home against the Reds & Rebels other than the Highlanders in Dunedin but their away form still much leaves to be desired which is gonna bite back to haunt them including the 48-10 loss v Force last night in Perth. That is going to be their next big step alongside a new head coach with Mick Byrne agreeing to step up with the national team soon.

Post-notes

2/3rd in with three regular weeks to go as the race for 6th-8th is still on where we could still see an odd upset or two on top of the continued Australian teams’ winning progress & the battle for 1st & 2nd between the Blues and Hurricanes, with the lone Australian side Brumbies and the Chiefs being the outside favourites as they’re all locked up with the QF hosting rights.

While the Reds will surely end up in 5th, The Rebels and Highlanders would most certainly be a given as the Waratahs are unable to improve anytime soon with more injury hit-lists in the treatment room. And who is going to claim 8th?

It’s going to be between the Drua, Force and Crusaders – with the Crusaders hopefully getting the last remaining Finals spot, even though things weren’t the best where lots of new guys have a huge job to fill after so many people including a few big-name players and even the head coach in Scott Robertson getting the All Blacks job have came and gone in the off-season.

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Week 12 of the 2024 Super Rugby Season saw the best of the best teams take on each other during the twilight Saturday at Eden Park in Auckland, which was the 2nd best Blues hosting the leaders Hurricanes from Wellington. The first half saw Bryce Heem kickstarting the match with the early lead for the home side while the Canes were so good at bouncing back along the way as Blues lead 14-10 despite another late Hurricanes where they didn’t make the best of their conversion kicks.

Yes, that weakness might have finally changed when the Canes scored back-to-back tries in quick succession after the break to hold the lead for the first time. Unfortunately, that was short lived with the Blues going on to reclaim the top spot and then extending it with more tries on the board including a penalty goal later in the 2nd half. The door might not be closed just yet when the Hurricanes continued to bounce back that sets up a wild snail race to the finish line but then it was too little, too late with little time remaining to snag a late match-winning TRY as the Blues win at home by only four points in Auckland, 31-27.

Bryce Heem launched the Blues attack wide open on the inside centre at 12 that puts his players on the front foot earlier on including a TRY for himself. Gotta say he’s still up to it against the best of the best in Super Rugby v Hurricanes, having started for nearly the whole time & sure he still has unfinished business for his Blues side to dominate the entirety of this season (both the ladder and grand final) at 35.  Next up is another experienced Blues player in Angus Ta’avao who made an immediate impact to frustrate the Hurricanes during the 2nd half off the bench as the reserve front rower. He’s the perfect man to weather the storm where the Blues were able to get the extended lead under his watch before he and the Blues were able to escape in a race against time after they successfully kicked into touch with a four point win at home. The Blues now lead the Super Rugby ladder with three rounds to go as they will be back at Eden Park next Saturday night v the Highlanders in the search of their fourth title since 2003 & these two key players are here to guide them all the way & get another trophy.

And Peter Lakai did his best to push his Hurricanes over the line on the openside back row at 7 with excellent fight to keep the Blues in check. He too can get the job done as well as being able to stop the Blues in his tracks that reflects his brilliant potential. Yes, the Canes were unlucky to scrape past the Blues as the clock ticks down; but they just couldn’t take advantage of their 1st half performance even when the opposition had 14 men before they walked on eggshells towards the end which sadly didn’t end so well. They might have a bit of an easier run-in since the Hurricanes are well & truly safe into the Finals despite losing top spot now to the Blues. Moana Pasifika (9th or 10th placed) is next up on Friday night as interesting to see if they can keep on winning even without Cameron Roigard when playing v Chiefs & even Highlanders (both again) after that.

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Round 8 is now done and we are at the halfway stage of the 2024 Super Rugby Season with one more shortened series of four games next weekend while some teams will undertake the required week-long off the field and all 12 teams will then look to bring it home non-stop towards the end of this regular home and away portion. For now, let’s look back what happened over the past month between Rounds 5 to 8 when we finished March while having an Easter long weekend before entering April and the clocks have moved back an hour with all cold game nights ahead after Daylight Savings was over one week ago.

New Zealand teams

Hurricanes still strong albeit Cam Roigard’s knee injury that will keep him out of the field for six months as let’s see if that unbeaten run continues with games coming up v Fijian Drua as well as two Aussie teams like Brumbies & Waratahs. What else? Blues also on the same wavelength as the Hurricanes where they got the Brumbies next up followed by the Reds and Rebels, so won’t be easy when facing Aussie opposition but they should be alright though with 1-2 wins mainly v Reds and Rebels. Chiefs also not bad despite some losses lately v Crusaders in Christchurch a few weeks ago as well as the unbeatable Hurricanes just now & they have a good next series of matches which we will expect to see them again at Finals time. Then Highlanders have shown that they can always stay in the game but four losses over the last month isn’t a good look whose progress is still in the rebuilding phase which will take a bit more time. And on the Crusaders, great to see them win at last two weeks ago v Chiefs. Although they were unlucky v Waratahs again the other day thanks to Will Harrison’s last-minute drop goal, but they are on the right track though lately as they still need to win the rest if the Saders want to play Finals this year.

Australian teams

ACT Brumbies are still unstoppable who currently sits 2nd with games coming up v the Top 2 such as Blues next Saturday and the Hurricanes after that. Can they be the top ranked side in this comp other than being just the best here that saw them accomplish regular semi-finals over the last couple of years? We’ll see. Melbourne Rebels, on the other hand, got away with really good wins off the back of the Waratahs as that team so far can only win v the new-look Crusaders, as well as Fijian Drua who still struggle away from home and of course, the Highlanders by a comfortable margin. They now sit 4th amid financial problems at the start of this year as nothing is still guaranteed whether if they will be back playing next season & beyond.

Plus, the Queensland Reds good start under Les Kiss has turned sour in recent weeks after three straight losses to the Western Force, ACT Brumbies and now Moana Pasifika. The good news is they are still within the Top 8 bubble in 6th but bad news is they need to win games again if Queensland wish to do well in the Finals and not let it slip out with fear like last year when Brad Thorn had his course as head coach. Meanwhile, the NSW Waratahs are still struggling other than winning games v the Crusaders and they too have a series of tough matches ahead after next week’s bye like Chiefs, Hurricanes and also the Brumbies again. And while the Western Force was fortunate to celebrate the rare home win v Reds, they still haven’t been at their best despite having lots of experienced players. Looking ahead, the run-in fixtures doesn’t look any good to them as an outside finals berth looks less likely but surely they will get some wins at home though like Crusaders, Drua and Waratahs.

Pasifika teams

We all know that the Drua like the Western Force and Melbourne Rebels can have a strong home crowd impact which reflects their impressive winning record there but not so much away from home. They got the Hurricanes and Moana Pasifika coming up at home soon to close out April, so this could mean business for them to get back on track to stay inside the Top 8 bubble and hopefully play Finals again like they did during their sophomore campaign last year. And what about Moana Pasifika? They made some excellent progress at last as seen in the early rounds of 2024, although they had some heavy losses recently until Moana beat the Reds the other day but that was against the top teams. They will need at least 3-4 wins now in order to enjoy their first finals experience as long as the ladder doesn’t change that much over the next 4-6 weeks, but again Moana is making some gradual progress on their third year before they can be more like Drua and win more games in the long run.

Post-Notes

All in all, the New Zealand teams are still dominating Super Rugby as the Crusaders downfall should only last this season while Australia has made some great progress too – including a couple of upset wins against some of the established or original foundation teams should I say – with the Brumbies and Rebels being their best so far in 2024. Nothing much will change as wouldn’t mind a couple of more upsets and other team wins that isn’t a New Zealand team or from somewhere in the bottom four, but the only exception we might see is for the Crusaders to win all the remaining games as they can & make the Finals just inside the Top 8 by the time we wrap up Round 12 before all 12 teams will then become eight teams after Round 15.

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What you need to know so far after one month or Week 4 of 15 in the 2024 Super Rugby Season?  Let’s begin with the New Zealand teams who still enjoy plenty of success except one team at the moment despite a huge off-season overhaul. The Hurricanes have been outstanding with no losses so far on top, Chiefs still enjoying success after topping the table & then fell short at the Grand Final bar the Reds loss last weekend, the Blues aren’t that bad without Beauden Barrett only for this year, Highlanders making some encouraging progress after they missed out the Finals last year & the defending champs Crusaders are a completely different team now with four straight losses & as well as a lengthy injury list.

Meanwhile in Australia, things aren’t that bad over here as there’s plenty more to prove after a disastrous year in this sport including an early exit from the World Cup. The Reds new era under coach Les Kiss has been so far, so good other than the last minute Super Round loss v Hurricanes, as well as regular semi-finalists Brumbies still going strong. Plus, the Waratahs may have taken the odd win v the new-look Crusaders also at the Super Round but have unluckily lost lately both on home turf. Western Force still hasn’t won yet despite injecting more Super Rugby experience & although the Rebels has won some games, but only against Force & Moana on what might be their last season since they’re broke.

And Moana Pasifika has made the step up  with some success after a slow first two years, while the Fijian Drua might have also won v Crusaders on home soil in Fiji last weekend but still have unfinished business to prove if they wish to play in the Finals once again in June this year.

Looking at the next four weeks, things won’t change much unless the Crusaders finally climb back up from the bottom that will shake up the ladder a bit. I would be a bit surprised though if we will manage to see just a few shock upsets here & there.

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We are about to enter the 28th year of Super Rugby & yet things are still not the same as it once was back in the glorious 1990s-early 2000s when Australia (Wallabies) benefited so much success right until the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Yes, they won just three Super Rugby championships ever since but that doesn’t mean they are on the same standard as their Tasman neighbours, New Zealand. There has been so many changes through the off-season with regards to musical chairs at players and coaching staff amongst multiple teams. Waratahs handed over control to Rugby Australia recently while the Reds got a new head coach. Plus, Brumbies staying strong as the leading Super Rugby team here, as well as Western Force who are looking to return to the finals with the recruitment of some experienced players. And this week, the Melbourne Rebels entered voluntary administration even though they will continue to play just for this season, despite some star hirings of their own.

Over in New Zealand, most of the five teams (Blues, Hurricanes & of course Crusaders) except Chiefs & Highlanders will now have new head coaches where most of them from last year have joined Scott Robertson at the All Blacks as the Crusaders will begin a brand new era in 2024 without him. He was the one who delivered so many Super Rugby championships including last year’s final v Chiefs & it remains to be seen if the Crusaders can keep on winning including delivering another championship under former Waratahs coach Rob Penney. And for the Highlanders, they are under a big rebuilding phase with Jamie Joseph back onboard to try & return to its former glory as the head of rugby after they missed the Top 8 finals bubble in 9th last year.

We also don’t forget the two Pasifika teams to round off the line-up with Fijian Drua coming off from a great second season before they were elminated by the Crusaders in the last 8 as winning away from home would be the great next step to stay in the Top 8 & Moana Pasifika needs more time so they can really win games after they finished last over the last two seasons.

This year could be a great opportunity to see an even/level playing field where it’s Australia’s time at last to catch up to NZ but despite there will be some really close games, the outcome won’t change much where we will see a New Zealand winner once again whether it’s going to be the Crusaders or Blues or Chiefs by surprise whereas the Brumbies will continue being the best Australian Super Rugby team. Likewise in previous seasons though, the Brumbies will unfortunately still be nowhere near the Grand Final radar either in the quarter or semi finals. Yes, Rugby Australia is going with the high performance centralisation system alongside Joe Schmidt as their new head coach in the hope of also winning games again following a disastrous group stage campaign for the first time ever at last year’s World Cup in France. But the question remains to be seen whether or not if they can support five teams, having seen the Rebels fall into trouble off the field this week? While there will always going to be some Victorian/Melbourne born talent, there’s no guarantee that the Rebels will continue to play at AAMI Park going into 2025 and beyond. For now, the new season will start on Friday 23rd February right until mid-June where every game is live and Ad-Free on Stan Sport while there’s always a Saturday night game being simulcast via free-to-air on 9Gem.

Predicting ladder 2024

  1. Crusaders (champions)
  2. Chiefs (then semi-finalists)
  3. Blues (runners-up)
  4. ACT Brumbies (then semi-finalists)
  5. Hurricanes
  6. NSW Waratahs
  7. Queensland Reds
  8. Highlanders
  9. Fijian Drua
  10. Western Force
  11. Melbourne Rebels
  12. Moana Pasifika
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Irae Simone was one of the outstanding players for the Brumbies tonight in the No.12 shirt at Inside Centre. He created so many headaches to the other opposition end off the back of the Canes’ lost penalties and poor defense. That way, his work can be easy done where not only he collected a TRY in the 1st half but he also backed up as a support/cover player every time Simone checks in going forward to make sure the Brumbies are in the right track, as well unpack his finishing touches. And he too also limit the Canes’ opportunities with the ball in his tracks defensively. All in all, he’s the complete package in the midfield where Simone never stops running back and forth all night long.

Next up is fellow Brumby Lachlan Lonergan who replaced Folau Faingaa in the 56th minute, where he played a really big role of his team’s 2nd-half comeback in front of their home supporters at GIO Stadium. His throw-ins looked excellent as always, as well as a brilliant read on defense that derailed the Canes’ 2nd-half performance. It gave his side a chance to take advantage of the opposition team’s errors when Longergan was tested in attack, before he handed over the keys to over his support men & they made his life easier as the Brumbies were well and truly safe within the winner’s’ circle.

And Joshua Moorby rounds off the Top 3 when he was excellent at full-back in the first-half for the Hurricanes. He credits the team’s excellent start with the talk-up there, especially when the ball came to him before he unleashed himself past the TRY line twice that gave the Canes’ a small lead at the half-time break. But they just couldn’t keep the momentum when a few mistakes and lost penalties via ill-discipline let him down with limited attacking opportunities that preclude them from staying ahead; the pressure then spread to his forwards where it was too hard to stop a threatening Brumbies attack while the clock ticked against them before it’s too late later in the 2nd-half.

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We wrap the first week of the 2022 Super Rugby Playoffs with the fourth and last Quarter-Final tie between the ACT Brumbies and Hurricanes here at GIO Stadium in Canberra.

It was a crash and bash Opening 40 where both teams experienced a mix of infringements with Len Ikitau being sent off under a red card that gave a huge blow for the Brumbies, while Owen Franks had to sit ten minutes in the naughty chair when it comes to the Hurricanes camp.

Nonetheless, it’s the Hurricanes who has the lead at half-time, 15-22 – Having made an excellent start courtesy of Joshua Moorby’s double TRY before the Brumbies began to make up some lost time & fought back with also both tries of their own.

But the winning team that came on top is the Brumbies as they took their semi-final spot next Saturday v Blues for a shot towards a Chiefs or Crusaders Final at Eden Park in Auckland, NZ. They were eight points down at one point with 30 minutes to go before they took advantage of the Canes’ poor throw-ins and lost penalties that came back to bite them in return, courtesy of two Toms in Tom Banks & Tom Wright.

The final score here at GIO Stadium is Brumbies 35-25 Hurricanes.

Hurricanes was be gutted to be thrown out of the Final 8 by the best Australian Super Rugby team right now and not complete an all New Zealand Final 4 showdown. They got the ball rolling with two early tries & a couple of three-point penalty goals that gave them the advantage to build a lead and try to stay ahead. However, mistakes have been plugging through square pegs in a round hole where poor line-outs & continued lost penalties not only robbed their finishing opportunities with the ball, but it also spread to their defense where the Canes’ just let that slip away against a resurgent Brumbies attack.

And the only Australian Super Rugby team standing into the Final 4 belongs to the ACT Brumbies. They had to play 14 men for a while without Len Ikitau after his unfortunate red card earlier in the 1st half over a dangerous tackle on Aiden Morgan’s jaw. But not hope is all lost when the Canes also experienced some disciplinary issues that helped the Brumbies fought back with a seven-point trail at the break. Then a couple of fresh faces off the bench benefitted one way while they took advantage of the Canes’ missed opportunities going forward, as the Brumbies ultimately came out on top as the winning team.

Now the Brumbies on the cusp towards another Super Rugby Final where these supporters will be right behind them through every step of the way, whether they’re tuning in from home on Stan Sport/9Gem or travelling to Eden Park in Auckland by their side.

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Ardie Savea worked so hard tonight at Number 8 for the Hurricanes, especially during the 2nd half when his side came from 15-0 down at the break to a 18-22 win in the end. He made the most out of his game by smashing his way through the Waratahs defensive half where A. Savea is best served there with the Canes’ attacking contribution. That way, he helped the Canes find some space via the offload or talk-up before the job is done with a TRY assist to Bailyn Sullivan and also a TRY by himself. And it goes to show that Ardie loves to attack when the opposition began to falter; it gave the Canes a number of winning penalties, as well as more opportunities with the ball that reflects his match-winning performance.

Next up is another Canes spotlight player in Tevita Mafileo, who made a decent impact off the bench from the 34th minute, in place for Xavier Numia at loosehead prop. He has lots of physicality to unpack thanks to his impressive tall build, as well as the youth and talent by his side that helped Mafileo punish the Tahs. It’s important when it comes to his defensive contribution, especially in the 2nd half where the Tahs only secured a penalty goal on top of the opposition team’s red-hot 1st half spell. He can also be a great protector & communicator of the Canes attack going forward, where he made sure that his side were able to pick up valuable points which played a huge part of their comeback win tonight.

And Izaia Perese offers a lot of pace and physicality down in the outside centre role at the Tahs No.13 jersey. He credits his support runners who helped get the best out of him, such as the Charlie Gamble; having squared off 1 or 2 Canes defenders before Dylan Pietsch came to his rescue with the five-point score ahead of half-time. Unfortunately, not only the Tahs 2nd-half spell wasn’t the same over declined momentum and ill-discipline; he was also forced to leave the field early over a MCL injury where Perese will have to sit out for a few weeks. Without him, it just won’t be the same where he’s an very important player at the Tahs with some NRL experience.

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It was a brilliant Saturday Night match-up at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney between the NSW Waratahs v Hurricanes in Week 13 of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific. The home team fired off well with an easy 15-0 lead while the Canes struggled to get the ball rolling. However, the Canes began to make up lost time before they completed their remarkable rebound with the win, as the final score is 18-22.

Unlucky from the Tahs after they fell short by four points on their home turf at Leichhardt Oval. The fire off was fantastic in the 1st half where they accrued up to 15 points ahead of half-time, with two tries from Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco & Dylan Pietsch. But they just couldn’t hold off the momentum going into the last 40, especially when they failed to hold back the Hurricanes resurgence at their own defensive territory. A number of lost penalties and ill-discipline also let them down, especially when Paddy Ryan made a huge tackle on Jordie Barrett’s jaw in the 75th minute and had to be sent off with a straight red card which was disappointing. Not only that, they will also have to cope without their star centre Izaia Perese for a while after he was forced off with a MCL tear at the same time. The Tahs’ next match for Round 14 will be against the Highlanders next Sunday at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Meanwhile, how good was the Hurricanes on their comeback trail from a scoreless first-half to a unbelievable win away from home? Now they will still need to deal with the slow starts where the Waratahs exposed them with 15 points being conceded in the opening 40. But the way they made up lost time later on & be able to close it off with a win is such fantastic rugby to watch. There’s credit to their forward pack, especially with the 7 & 8s partnership on the back row from Du’Plessis Kirifi and Ardie Savea. A number of fresh faces off the bench also helped their cause, including Tevita Mafileo at loosehead, where the Canes were just simply a different beast this time around. They will return home to Sky Stadium in Wellington for their last regular-season home game of 2022 v Melbourne Rebels on next Saturday night.

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We have to say that Tyrel Lomax is tough as a rock down in the tighthead front row for the Hurricanes tonight. He brings so much physicality to the table where Lomax was there to rob the Queensland Reds’ scoring spree defensively. It came at the right time when Lomax benefitted from Bailyn Sullivan’s return off the sin bin that reconnected the Hurricanes team & also began to notice the Reds’ weaknesses with their attacking shape. Once the Reds were in trouble, Lomax further punished them with the support and communication needed to get the job done in any combination possible; the scrum/maul, phases to build some pressure, and execution past the TRY line. And with the Hurricanes being well safe in the winners’ circle, Lomax deserved a well-earned rest with two tries between half-time breaks after 67 minutes of play.

The next Hurricanes player to look at is Bailyn Sullivan, who plays No.13 in the outside centre role. Yes, he may not have had a good start when Sullivan had to sit 10 minutes on the bench with the yellow card. However, you cannot underestimate his hard work as soon as he came back on the field. The Canes are blessed to have their attacking shape working for the rest of tonight, with credit coming from Sullivan. He can combine the physical toughness that can not only filter out the Reds defensively, but he also adds some pace to execute in return with two tries scored v Reds here at AAMI Park. Without him, the Reds were in the lead earlier on before he came back to turn the tide that changed this match-up.

And one Queensland Reds player to look at is Fraser McReight on the openside back row in the No.7 shirt. He never stopped running and working hard all game, where his Reds team took advantage to get themselves ahead earlier in the 1st half. He also backed up his support runners back and forth while being roped in to protect defensively, which tested his physicality & guidance in this role at Super Rugby level. However, the Reds unfortunately let him down as a whole team when a disjointed attacking shape just faltered later during this match-up.

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