ROOKIE WATCH: Love leaves his mark

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Here are our three standout rookies from round seven:

 

3 points: Ruben Love (Hurricanes)

From the moment of his first touch of the ball in the opening minute, 19-year-old Ruben Love looked at home in the number 10 jersey for the Hurricanes. Love was not vaunted going toe-to-toe with Crusaders maestro Richie Mo’unga and had several moments which showed he will develop into a player of genuine class. If the heart-breaking golden point loss has indeed spelt the end of the Hurricanes’ title hopes, they can take solace in the fact they have unearthed a new star in the form of Ruben Love.

2 points: Kaylum Boshier (Chiefs)

It’s hard to think of a bigger ask for a rookie than to step into the shoes of the All Blacks captain, but that’s exactly what Kaylum Boshier did when replacing the injured Sam Cane for his first Super Rugby start on the weekend. Boshier displayed many of the hallmarks which have made his brother Lachlan such a highly regarded prospect over recent seasons. He seemed to constantly be in the thick of the action at the breakdown and made nine tackles in an impressive showing in the seven jersey for the Chiefs.

 

1 point: Kazuki Himeno (Highlanders)

Highlanders Japanese import Kazuki Himeno put in another impressive display in his third outing for the southern side. Playing in the No.8 jersey, Himeno made several telling tackles and carried the ball strongly against the Chiefs. His tussle with opposing No. 8 Luke Jacobson was one of the standout head-to-head battles of the match.

 

NOTE: The qualification for rookies is players that are either playing in their first season of Super Rugby or who are playing their first season as a contracted player and have played less than five games prior to 2021.

 

LEADERBOARD

 

10 points: Connor Garden-Bachop (Highlanders)

 

5 points: Samipeni Finau (Chiefs), Sam Darry (Blues), Kazuki Himeno (Highlanders)

 

4 points: Luke Campbell (Hurricanes)

 

3 points: Ruben Love (Hurricanes)

 

2 points: James Lay (Blues), Jack Regan (Highlanders), Adrian Choat (Blues), Kaylum Boshier (Chiefs)

 

1 point: Chay Fihaki (Crusaders), Josh Lord (Chiefs)

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