Super Rugby Aotearoa has routinely delivered a healthy dose of quality rugby and thrilling moments with Round 7 being no exception. The visiting Hurricanes shook up the tournament this past weekend when they managed to topple the mighty Crusaders (34-32) while the Blues withstood a powerful surge late in the game from the winless Chiefs to emerge victorious 21-17, thus keeping their hopes alive.
We take a look at the round’s top performers in the statistics:
Chiefs captain and workhorse, Sam Cane, unsurprisingly topped the tackle stat after Round 7 with a total of 18. Crusaders hooker Codie Taylor and ‘Canes winger Ben Lam each executed 14 tackles while Blake Gibson (Blues), Scott Scrafton (‘Canes), Tevita Mafileo (‘Canes), Kurt Ecklund & Akira Ioane (both Blues) managed 13 apiece.
The ‘carries’ stat was dominated by two-thirds of the Crusaders’ back-three as fullback Will Jordan and winger Sevu Reece carried the ball 15 times and 14 times respectively with the Blues’ Beauden Barrett also busy on attack, carrying the ball up 13 times.
Jordan and Reece, with their elusive footwork, also racked up the most running metres. Jordan posted 161m and Reece, 116m. The pair’s teammate, fly-half Richie Mo’unga, came in third with 92m.
Mo’unga proved a real handful for the Hurricanes which, no doubt, would have added to the satisfaction of the latter’s victory, as he jinked, stepped and bumped his way past 12 defenders. Will Jordan evaded 7 and Sevu Reece, 6.
Reece and Mo’unga, with their significant time on the ball, managed 5 and 4 clean breaks respectively.
Ball retention was, again, of a high standard this weekend with the highest number of turnovers being only 2, by Quinn Tupaea (Chiefs), Asafo Aumua (Hurricanes), Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs) and Akira Ioane.