ROOKIE WATCH: New stars on the rise

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Here are our three standout rookies from round four:

 

3 points: Luke Campbell (Hurricanes)

After coming on from the bench in the Hurricanes first two games of 2021, Luke Campbell was handed a starting berth in the nine jersey against the Chiefs. The 26-year-old halfback started in dream fashion with a try in the tenth minute following a Jordie Barrett break. Campbell was superb for the remainder of the first half as the Hurricanes stretched to a 26-7 lead at the break. The second half didn’t go according to plan for the Hurricanes, but Campbell showed enough to suggest that this won’t be the only start he gets in 2021.

 

2 points: Adrian Choat (Blues)

Perhaps one of the least recognised names in the Blues line-up, 23-year-old loose forward Adrian Choat made his mark with an energetic performance from the bench against the Crusaders. Although the Blues would be disappointed to fall short against the reigning champions, Choat was one of the big positives to emerge from the loss. The 1.90, 105kg backrower was in the thick of action at Eden Park and made a number of crucial tackles and telling runs with the ball.

 

1 point: Samipeni Finau (Chiefs)

Samipeni Finau will not forgot his cameo from the bench against the Hurricanes in a hurry. Looking down and out at 26-7 in arrears at halftime, the Chiefs stormed back to win 35-29 and snap an 11-game losing streak. The 21-year-old loose forward added plenty of energy from the bench in the closing stages of the match and will take confidence from being involved in such a remarkable comeback victory.

 

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 2019.

 

LEADERBOARD

 

5 points: Conor Garden-Bachop (Highlanders)

4 points: Luke Campbell (Hurricanes), Samipeni Finau (Chiefs)

3 points: Sam Darry (Blues)

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

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

 

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