By Peter Marriott
For the 17th time in 25 years of Super Rugby, the Hurricanes have lost their opening match of a new season.
Their record of first-up losses is as follows:
Of the eight first-up matches won by the Hurricanes, just one of them was played at a home venue: against the Sharks at Wellington in 2000.
Of the seven other victories, one was against the Stormers at Cape Town in 1998.
The Hurricanes were held scoreless for just the second time in their history. The first occasion was against the Reds at Brisbane, on 27 February 1999, when they were beaten 11-0. That match was the Hurricanes 35th played overall. This match against the Stormers is number 335.
The Hurricanes have now lost three matches by a margin of 27 points, including a 40-13 loss to the Stormers at Cape Town in 2002.
The Hurricanes failed to score a try in a match for the 14th time in their history. It is the second time against the Stormers: also at Palmerston North on 25 March 2005 when the Hurricanes won 12-9: their points were made up of three penalties and one drop goal. That drop goal, by the way, is the only one which has been kicked by the Hurricanes against a South African team.
The Hurricanes have now played South African teams a total of 102 times. Fifty one of those matches have been in New Zealand and 51 in South Africa.
The Hurricanes have now played 99 matches outside New Zealand. They have won 50 of them and lost 49.
The first try scored by Sergeal Petersen was the 50th scored in all matches for the Stormers against the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes introduced five new players during the match, bringing the number of those to have made at least one appearance in a Super Rugby match to 260. The two who started were Tyrel Lomax and Scott Scrafton: Devan Flanders, Tevita Mafileo and Pouri Rakete-Stones all came off the bench. Three of these players have previously appeared for another franchise: Lomax the Rebels and the Highlanders, Scrafton the Blues, and Mafileo the Chiefs.
Twelve players had not appeared previously for the Hurricanes in a match against the Stormers.
The number of Hurricanes players who made their debut for the franchise against the Stormers is now 24, including 19 to have done so in Cape Town.
Billy Proctor started his first-ever match for the Hurricanes. He becomes the 27th player to have started at centre. His brother, Matt, started in the same position in the Hurricanes final match of 2019: the Semifinal against the Crusaders at Christchurch.
Jordie Barrett played his 50th match for the Hurricanes. It was actually his 49th Super Rugby match but he had also appeared for the Hurricanes against the British & Irish Lions in 2017.
Scott Scrafton became the 33rd player to start a match for the Hurricanes at Lock.
Tyrel Lomax became the 30th player to start a match for the Hurricanes at Prop.
James Blackwell and Scott Scrafton became the 58th different Locking combination for the Hurricanes.
Ngani Laumape and Billy Proctor became the 56th different Second Five-eight/Centre combination for the Hurricanes.
Fraser Armstrong, Ricky Riccitelli and Tyrel Lomax became the 71st different front row combination for the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes were awarded two yellow cards: One each to Billy Proctor (in just his second-ever match) and Vaea Fifita, who also received a yellow card against the Stormers last year.
Jason Holland officially became the seventh head coach for the Hurricanes.
Hurricanes Super Rugby match record:
- Played 335
- Won 190
- Lost 139
- Drawn six