- By Peter Marriott.
The Hurricanes tasted victory in Dunedin this past weekend. Below are some facts and figures and notable statistics from the game.
Round 5 v Highlanders: Won 30-19
The Hurricanes record against the Highlanders is now played 36, won 21, lost 15 and drawn none.
The Hurricanes 21st victory against the Highlanders equals their record number of Super Rugby wins against all other Super Rugby sides: They have also beaten the Chiefs 21 times, from 39 matches.
The Hurricanes win against the Highlanders is their 200th in all Super Rugby matches. They recorded their 50th win against the Chiefs at Wellington on 1 April 2005 (107th match), their 100th win was against the Lions at Johannesburg on 2 March 2012 (199th match), and the 150th win was against the Sharks in a Quarter-final at Wellington on 23 July 2016 (279th match). The 200th win came up in their 352nd match. The gaps between the milestones are 107, 92, 80 and 73. Of those 200 wins, 118 have been at home venues and 82 have been away from home. 149 of the Hurricanes wins have been in New Zealand.
The Hurricanes are just the third Super Rugby franchise to bring up 200 wins. The Crusaders have won the most times (263 from 372 matches) and the Brumbies have won 208 times from 358 matches. At this moment the Hurricanes have a winning average of 56.8%, the Crusaders is 70.7% and the Brumbies is 58.1%.
The Hurricanes have won their first match of the year having lost their first three on the trot. They have never lost the first four in a row but they previously also lost their first three in 2014.
The Hurricanes have now led at halftime in three of their four matches this year. The score at the break against the Blues was 11-7, against the Chiefs 26-7 and against the Highlanders 17-7.
After five rounds the Hurricanes, along with the Chiefs, have scored the fewest tries (11) and on their own conceded the most (17). On the other hand they have had just one penalty kicked against them. This is an amazing fact given the Hurricanes have conceded a total of 45 penalties in their four matches played to date.
As a sign of teams wishing to play attacking rugby, particularly near an opponents goal-line, only four attempts have been made by opposition sides to kick a penalty against the Hurricanes in 2021. On the other hand Jordie Barrett has succeeded with eight of his nine attempts at kicking a penalty goal.
The sole penalty kicked against the Hurricanes was in the 76th minute of the first match against the Blues. The Hurricanes have now gone 244 minutes without having another penalty goal kicked against them.
The third of three tries scored by the Highlanders (by Thomas Umaga-Jensen), was the 950th conceded by the
Hurricanes in all Super Rugby matches.
Dane Coles appeared for the first time in 2021. He had last played in the Hurricanes final match in 2020: also against the Highlanders, when he was the captain. Coles has now played 120 Super Rugby matches and lies equal-seventh with Cory Jane on the list of most appearances. Jane, however, has actually played in one more match: against the British & Irish Lions in 2017.
Jordie Barrett scored all 30 of his sides points to equal David Holwell’s Hurricanes record haul of 30 points in a match: also against the Highlanders at Napier on 14 April 2001. Holwell’s tally was made up of a try, two conversions and seven penalties. Barrett scored three tries and kicked three conversions and three penalties.
Jordie Barrett brought up exactly 400 Super Rugby points with the conversion of his third try and his total is
now 406. He is in third place on the all-time list of Hurricanes point scorers behind brother Beauden (1238) and
David Holwell (676). Jordie also kicked the last five points in the previous match, against the Chiefs, and so he
has scored the last 35 points in succession for the Hurricanes.
Jordie Barrett has scored 51 points so far in Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021 and he is second on the list behind Richie Mo’unga who has 57 points for the Crusaders.
Jordie Barrett has now scored two or more tries in a match on three occasions but this was his first haul of three in a match. So far in this years Super Rugby Aotearoa there have been six instances of a player scoring two or more tries in a match and the Hurricanes are responsible for three of them: Asafo Aumua (two against the Blues), Salesi Rayasi (two against the Chiefs) and Jordie Barrett.
With one previous try and 13 points with his kicking, Jordie Barrett has now scored 48 points against the Highlanders.
Three sets of brothers have now scored at least one try each in this years competition. There is Scott Barrett (one for the Crusaders) and Jordie (three for the Hurricanes), Akira (two) and Rieko Ioane (one) for the Blues and Peter Umaga-Jensen and brother Thomas, one each for the Hurricanes and Highlanders respectively.
Ruben Love made his Super Rugby debut off the bench with six minutes remaining in the match. He is the third to make his debut for the Hurricanes in 2021 and the 267th player to appear for the franchise in a match. He has created history though by becoming the first to be born this century to play for the Hurricanes. He was born on 28 April 2001 and was 19 years and 332 days old on the day. He is one of 14 19 year-olds who have made their debut for the Hurricanes but he is “only” the 12th youngest. The one who holds the record for the youngest in his first match is Zac Guildford who was 19 years and 70 days old when he appeared against the Stormers at Cape Town on 19 April 2008.
Pouri Rakete-Stones played his first match of the season.
A total of 31 players have now made at least one appearance for the Hurricanes in 2021.
Only four players have started in each match this year. They are Jordie Barrett, Ngani Laumape, Tyrel Lomax and Ardie Savea. Of the four Barrett has played the maximum number of minutes (320) followed by Savea (310) and Laumape (304). Savea would have been on the field for every minute if he had not received a yellow card in the match against the Crusaders.
Tyrel Lomax was awarded a yellow card against the Highlanders. It is his first in a match for, and the fourth incurred by the Hurricanes this year. Lomax, incidentally, played 31 matches for the Highlanders in 2018-19.
Wes Goosen and Salesi Rayasi both started for the first time together to form the 73rd different Wings combination for the Hurricanes.
The front row of Xavier Numia, Dane Coles and Tyrel Lomax started for the first time together to form the 79th prop/hooker/prop combination for the Hurricanes in Super Rugby. Coles, who has started 85 matches as a hooker, has been involved in 24 of those combinations.
Bryn Evans scored a try against his former team. He played 25 times for the Hurricanes from 2009 to 2011 but never scored a try. Prior to then he had played three matches for the Blues, also without touching down. He left for overseas in 2012 and in his third match back in Super Rugby, now for the Highlanders, he has scored his first try.
All three players who scored a try for the Highlanders have a brother in this years Hurricanes squad. Bryn Evans has Gareth, Connor Garden-Bachop has Jackson, and Thomas Umaga-Jensen has Peter.
Both Peter and Thomas Umaga-Jensen, who are twins, came off the bench for their respective sides and both wore Jersey No 22.
Aaron Smith appeared in his 154th Super Rugby match. He is now the Highlanders record holder for most matches played surpassing Ben Smith’s record of 153 matches.