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Hurricanes v Fijian Drua Stat Attack

The Hurricanes beat the Fijian Drua 38-15 in their Super Rugby Pacific fixture this past Friday night. Some facts and figures about the game by Peter Marriott.

Week 9 v Fijian Drua: Won 38-15

The Hurricanes and the Fijian Drua have only met on three occasions. The Hurricanes have won twice to the Drua’s single victory.

This was the Hurricanes official 399th Super Rugby match but when their game in 2017 against the touring British & Irish Lions side is added, it is actually their 400th appearance as a franchise.

The Hurricanes won their first match in Suva having lost 24-27 to the Drua in last year’s encounter on the same ground.

Of the 37 different grounds the Hurricanes have played on since 1996, they have failed to win on just two of them. In 2011 they lost 6-13 against the Highlanders on Rugby Park Stadium in Invercargill and in 2015 they lost 18-35 against the Crusaders at Trafalgar Park in Nelson.
The Drua hosted a night match at Suva for the first time.

The Drua performed their challenge, the Na Bole, before the match started.

The Hurricanes have established a new franchise record by winning their first eight matches of the season. The previous record was set in 2015 when they won their first seven matches before losing 24-29 to the Waratahs in Wellington. The Hurricanes lost just once more during the regular season (to the Crusaders at Nelson) before going on to lose the Final 14-21 at home against the Highlanders.

The Hurricanes are now two wins away from equalling their record run of consecutive victories. In 2016 they won their last eight matches and the first two of 2017 and in 2018 they had a sequence of 10 wins on the trot.

The Hurricanes are currently sitting on a match winning percentage of 57.64. This is the highest it has ever been in their 29 year history.

The Hurricanes remain at the top of the Standings at the end of Week 9.

The Fijian Drua lost for the first time at home this year after winning their last six matches in a row at home venues. The sequence had started last year with a 27-24 win against the Hurricanes in Suva followed by victories against Moana Pasifika in Lautoka (47-46), against the Reds in Suva (41-17), and this year against the Crusaders in Lautoka (20-10), against the Waratahs in Lautoka (39-36) and against the Force, again in Lautoka (31-13).

Overall the Drua have played five matches in Suva for three wins, and seven matches in Lautoka for five wins.

The Drua’s three wins away from home venues have been against the Rebels in Kawana in 2022 and against Moana Pasifika: at Parramatta in 2022 and at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium in 2023.

In their short two and a half seasons in Super Rugby the Drua have now played 37 matches for 11 wins and 26 losses.

The Hurricanes kicked their first penalty against the Drua, in their third encounter.

The Hurricanes made eight changes to their starting line-up from the fifteen who started in last week’s match against the Chiefs. There were two changes in the backs and six in the forwards.

Two players made their debut during the match. Australian-born Ben Grant, who started, became Hurricane No 315 and Siale Lauaki, who replaced Pasilio Tosi off the bench became Hurricane No 316.

Bailyn Sullivan made his first appearance of the season.

The above three players took the number of those who have made at least one appearance for the Hurricanes this year to 38, including six debutants.

Billy Proctor scored his 15th try in his 56th appearance. He also scored two in the first match played between the two sides at Wellington in 2022.

Xavier Numia scored his third try in his 54th match. It was his second try against the Drua.

Devan Flander’s try was his seventh in 46 matches.

James O’Reilly finally scored his first try for the Hurricanes: in his 26th match since first making his debut back in 2017.

Jordie Barrett’s try was his 28th for the Hurricanes and first against the Drua.

A conversion and a penalty as well as his try took Barrett’s total number of points in the match to 10. In all Super Rugby matches he has now scored 766 points. This figure, along with brother Beauden’s tally of 1,238 points, adds up to a total of 2,004 points. Between them they have scored 62 tries, 427 conversions, 279 penalties and one drop goal, from a combined total of 228 appearances.

This was Jordie Barrett’s 100th start for the Hurricanes if the match against the British & Irish Lions in 2017 is added to the 99 Super Rugby starts he has made. To date a total of 10 players have made 100 starts in Super Rugby for the Hurricanes.

Aidan Morgan, after returning to the field following attention for a nasty face wound, kicked eight points and now has a total of 20 in three matches against the Drua.

Three Hurricanes players were issued with yellow cards: Du’Plessis Kirifi, Isaia Walker-Leawere and Caleb Delany. This has happened twice before. In the 2009 match against the Bulls at Wellington, Jason Eaton, Ma’a Nonu and Scott Waldrom all received a yellow card. The second time was during the match against the Stormers at Cape Town in 2012: Ben May, Tristan Moran (on debut) and Jeffery To’omaga-Allen were the recipients in that match. The Hurricanes lost both matches: 14-19 to the Bulls and 26-39 against the Stormers respectively.

Kemu Valetini kicked five points (a conversion and a penalty) against the Hurricanes and has become the first player from any side this season to score points in all four ways, although in different matches. Previously he had scored a try and also kicked the first drop goal of the season. Will Harrison of the Waratahs is three quarters of the way to sharing the record: he has yet to score a try.

Valetini also kicked eight points against the Hurricanes in the match played last year.

Both Isikeli Rabitu and Kitione Salawa scored their first try against the Hurricanes.

Overall, the Hurricanes have now played 399 Super Rugby matches. They have won 230 (57.6%), lost 163 and drawn six.

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