The younger of the Savea and Barrett siblings stepped up tonight to inspire a rampant Hurricanes side and showed what the future might hold for both the Hurricanes and the All Blacks. They were simply brilliant.
From the off, the pair of them were at the centre of everything, culminating in an eleventh minute try for Ardie Savea. What you won’t see in the highlights package is the build up in its entirety and that is an absolute tragedy. With the Highlanders applying all sorts of pressure to a centre field scrum, Savea produced a piece of technical brilliance to free the ball to the backs. Eventually the ball found Jordie Barrett who dabbed a grubber through with such aplomb that you sat there questioning yourself as to what you had just seen. It was the beginning of the end for the Highlanders. The Hurricanes’ confidence was high, and execution of this confidence even higher. The ensuing lineout, from which Ardie duly won a driving maul, lay the platform for Ardie to crash over the line and open the scoring.
Yes, there was the odd indiscretion, such as when the Barrett siblings’ telepathy let them down. With the ball bouncing around, both hesitated that split second to see who would take it, neither did and the Highlanders poured through. Jordie did make it back, twice, to intervene in tackles and ultimately save a try. The second tackle, which ended the night for Fekitoa showed a real commitment to the cause and a desire to succeed. And who was there to clean up the left-overs from the tackle? Yes, you got it, Ardie Savea; he had galloped back to make sure he could help out his team.
If the heroics of the first try and then the saving of an almost certain try were not enough, the second try of the night for the Hurricanes was simply magical and again Barrett was into everything. When Barrett junior received a shortish pass from Barrett senior he squared up ever so slightly, dropped the ball onto his foot and executed a perfect kick-pass into the hands of the rampant Laumape who dotted down.
It wasn’t entirely about the younger Savea and Barrett siblings though, and the Highlanders had some terrific moments. Most notable, the perfect buildup and execution for the Matt Faddes try. The scrum was solid enough, certainly solid enough to allow Aaron Smith to run freely and hold Perenara, which then enabled Faddes to run an incredible line untouched to the goal line. But aside from glimpses, it was all about the Hurricanes and the younger siblings.
In the second half, the domination and confidence of the Hurricanes were summed up in the try for Proctor. Beauden Barrett’s almost perfect kick-pass ended up in Jordie’s hands as he careered down the sideline, holding off one defender and drawing the concentration of two others. If this was not enough, the reverse, around the back flick pass to find Proctor had genius written all over it.
— Hurricanes Rugby (@Hurricanesrugby) March 18, 2017
As the confidence grew in the Hurricanes camp so did the scoreline. The other teams in the competition will be looking at this squad and identifying weaknesses, there is no doubt about that, but more importantly none of them will be looking forward to playing them. We know the Crusaders can come from behind, it is in their DNA, what we need to see now is if the Hurricanes can do it, because if they can, then they will be looking very dangerous for back-to-back titles.
Author: Steven Prescott
I am a total sports fanatic; it is as simple as that. I love all sports, and when I’m not sitting at my computer living my dream with The 1014, I am planning adventures. The last time I did this I ended up convincing my wife to cycle 26,125km across three continents, and 22 countries with me as part of the Pedalling Prescotts.