We take a look at round four’s top talking points.
Hurricanes on the board
Round four brought the first victory for the Hurricanes who held on in Hamilton to defeat the Chiefs on Sunday. Like the winless Chiefs, they were desperate going into the match, and they played that way. Their defence held strong all afternoon, with the Chiefs only try coming in the 77th minute (earlier they were awarded a penalty try). Even when they were down to 14 men, with Scott Scrafton yellow carded twice, they managed to hold out the Chiefs, giving them a much-needed boost as they get set to host the Highlanders at home next weekend.
Welcome back Jordie Barrett
A chunk of the Hurricanes success came down to the return of Jordie Barrett who had a stellar match in his first outing of Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa. In his first game back from a shoulder injury, Barrett was everywhere. And he impressive fans again with a huge 58 metre penalty kick, similar to the one he slotted over against the Jaguares at the start of the year. His offloads were sound, and he set Kobus Van Wyk up for their first try of the match. We’re excited to see more of the youngest Barrett throughout this competition.
Frizell on fire
How good was Shannon Frizell on Saturday night! The Highlanders flanker went into beast mode against the Crusaders under the roof in Dunedin. 17 tackles, 9 carries, 3 defenders beaten, 1 try, 1 turnover and 4 lineouts won. There was not much Frizell didn’t do, unfortunately in a losing effort. But there were some real positive signs all over the park for the Highlanders and Frizell’s performance was certainly one of them.
Will Jordan talk of the town
If there’s anyone who deserves to have their name linked to All Blacks selection, it’s Will Jordan. The 22 year-old has been electrifying for the Crusaders, scoring four tries in three games. He leads most of the tables in the competition, most metres with 336, most defenders beaten with 22 and most clean breaks with 9. He is calm under the high ball and seems to always make something out of nothing. He scored a blinder at the end of the clash with the Highlanders on Saturday and we can’t wait to see how he’ll go against the Blues next weekend.
Upcoming top of the table clash
Speaking of the Blues, we have ourselves a top of the table clash in Christchurch on Saturday night. The Crusaders and Blues remain the only two unbeaten teams in the competition and with the Blues having a bye week, the southerners leap frogged them in the weekend to take the top spot. The match-ups across the paddock will be mouth-watering on Saturday and the winner of that match will go a long way towards winning the inaugural Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa title.