We take a look at round five’s top talking points.
Has a charge down ever had this much of an impact on a result? With Otere Black about to stretch the Blues lead to beyond seven points with a conversion attempt from in front, Braydon Ennor hared from the line and dived full stretch to prevent a simple conversion attempt. Ennor’s moment of magic seemed to breathe life into the Crusaders as they crossed for two converted tries in the final quarter to secure a famous win.
There are certain moments that separate good players from great players. Richie Mo’unga showed that on the weekend with a moment of pure class as the Crusaders trailed the Blues 9-15 with less than 20 minutes remaining. Spotting the Blues were a little deep to receive the kickoff, Mo’unga audaciously dribbled the ball to the 10 metre mark, regathered the ball, and ran deep into Blues territory. It was a real ‘roll the dice’ moment and one that led to a try to Mitchell Drummond just minutes later.
Canes go back-to-back
After a sluggish start to Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa, the Hurricanes have thrust themselves into title contention with back-to-back wins over the Chiefs and Highlanders. They now sit in third place on the ladder on 8 points. The Hurricanes host the Blues at Sky Stadium this Saturday in a blockbuster clash which could see the Barrett brothers, Jordie and Beauden, marking each other in the 15 jersey.
In the early rounds of Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa it was left wing Caleb Clarke who grabbed all the headlines for the Blues. On Saturday, rookie Mark Telea gave a reminder of his talent on the right wing with a scintillating attacking display against the Crusaders. After laying on a brilliant finish early in the game, Telea showed his danger on counterattack with a breath-taking 50 metre run to put the Crusaders under immense pressure. The 23-year-old also put in a sound defensive performance to underline his status as one of the leading outside backs in the competition.
Title hopes on the line
It will be a do-or-die clash for both the Chiefs and Highlanders when they meet at FMG Stadium Waikato this Sunday. After four games, the two rivals occupy the bottom two places on the ladder with the Highlanders in fourth spot on six points and the Chiefs in fifth place on 3 points. Realistically, either side will need to win four in a row to have a chance of lifting the crown. Whoever picks up the ‘W’ in Hamilton will still be alive while the loser will be left to crunch some numbers to see if there is a mathematical way to the top of the ladder.