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Hurricanes v Highlanders Stat Attack

TJ Perenara’s try extended his Super Rugby try scoring record to 65 in this game. He is now three tries ahead of his nearest rival Julian Savea who has 62 tries to his name. Ten of Perenara’s tries have been scored against the Highlanders.

The Hurricanes met the southerners in Wellington this past Saturday afternoon, . Some facts and figures from that fixture by Peter Marriott below.

Week 15 v Highlanders (2):  Won 41-14

The Hurricanes and the Highlanders have now met on 42 occasions. The Hurricanes have won 27 matches to the Highlanders 15. There have been no drawn matches.

The Hurricanes have beaten the Highlanders more often than they have any other side: 23 times against the Chiefs.

The Hurricanes have won their last eight matches in a row against the Highlanders in Wellington. Their last loss at the venue was the Super Rugby Final in 2015 won by the Highlanders 21-14.

The Hurricanes have extended their record of consecutive wins against the Highlanders to seven. The Highlanders last victory was at Dunedin in 2020: (38-21).

The Hurricanes have won 13 of their last 15 matches against the Highlanders.

In this match the Hurricanes kept the Highlanders scoreless in the second half. This is the sixth match (out of 14 played this year) the Hurricanes have restricted their opposition to scoring in just one half of their match.

The other instances were against the Force (Week 1), Crusaders (Week 4), Highlanders (Week 6), Waratahs (Week 11) and the Chiefs (Week 14). In all of those five matches the teams failed to score points in the first half.

The Hurricanes have scored a record-equalling 135 tries against the Highlanders: also 135 against the Chiefs.

The Hurricanes have aggregated a record total of 1094 points against the Highlanders: the Chiefs are in second place having conceded 1090 points.

The seventh and final try against the Highlanders was the 1400th scored by the Hurricanes in all Super Rugby matches. That is an average of 3.5 tries per match.

That final try also brought up a total of 70 in 2024. This is the fifth time the Hurricanes have scored 70 or more tries in a season: also 72 in 2016, 97 in 2017, 72 in 2018 and 73 in 2023.

In 2011, home and away matches were introduced into Super Rugby. Since then the Hurricanes and the Highlanders have met twice in the same year on 11 occasions (it was three times in 2015). However, this is the first year the Hurricanes have scored 40 or more points in both matches. In Week 6 they won 47-12 in Dunedin and 41-14 in this match.

The Hurricanes have finished Round Robin play at the top of the Standings after being second for the previous three weeks running. They have held off the Blues, 56 points to 55, by virtue of having one extra bonus point.

Both sides won 12 and lost two of their matches. The Brumbies, with a similar record, are in third place.

This is the third time the Hurricanes have headed the Standings after the Round Robin matches. The first occasion was in 2015 when they
went on to lose the Final against the Highlanders. The second time was in 2016 when they went on to win the Final against the Lions.

At the end of Round Robin play the Hurricanes 70 tries are second only to the Blues 72.

The Hurricanes conceded 38 tries, the second lowest total after the Blues 31.

The Hurricanes finished with a total of 480 points, only the Blues with 488 and the Chiefs with 486 scored more.

The Hurricanes conceded 281 points, the second lowest total after the Blues 233.

This was the Hurricanes 150th Super Rugby match played at Westpac/Sky Stadium. They have won 106 times at a winning percentage of 70.7%.
The Hurricanes have won all six of their matches played at home venues this year. Having won the last three matches in 2023, they have won their last nine home matches on the trot.

The Hurricanes winning margin of 27 points (against the Highlanders) has only been achieved once before. They beat the Force 46-19 at Perth in 2012.

The Hurricanes scored 41 points for the ninth time in a match, including three times against the Highlanders. (They also scored 41 points against the Waratahs at Wellington in Week 11). Eight of those instances have been in Wellington and they have never lost a match when scoring that number of points.

This round was deemed a Heritage Round and the Hurricanes team wore retro jerseys similar to those which were played in during 1997. The jerseys were presented to the players by Christian Cullen.

This was the Highlanders 400th Super Rugby match. They have won 189 times at a winning percentageof 47.3%.

The Hurricanes made just four changes to their starting line-up from the fifteen who started in last week’s match against the Chiefs. There was one change in the backs and three in the forwards.

Salesi Rayasi became the 63rd player to appear in 50 matches for the Hurricanes. He made his debut against the Chiefs at Wellington in 2019, and scored a try. Of his 50 matches, he has started in 31 of them and been a substitute 19 times. Along the way he has missed 30 matches including 13 of the 14 the Hurricanes played in 2020.

Rayasi scored a hat-trick of tries against the Highlanders, the second time he has scored three in a match. He has also scored two in a match on seven other occasions. His total number of tries scored in 50 matches is 30, seven of which have been scored against the Highlanders. He scored a pair in the match played at Dunedin last year.

Only 18 Hurricanes players have scored three tries in a match and two of them (Ben Lam and Ngani Laumape) have also scored four tries in a match.

Of the 18, only six have scored three or more tries in a match on two occasions and only one of them has done so three times: Tana Umaga, twice in 1997 and once in 2000.

Salesi Rayasi’s first try was the 500th scored by the Hurricanes against all other New Zealand franchises combined. The total now stands at 506: against the Blues (129), Chiefs (135), Crusaders (107) and Highlanders (135). The Hurricanes have also scored 101 tries against the Brumbies.

Du’Plessis Kirifi scored two tries in a match for the first time. He now has 10 tries including three against the Highlanders in 76 matches.

Kirifi later went for an HIA test which he failed.

It may be remembered his try against that side in Week 6 took his tally to 60 to bring him level with Israel Folau, just one short of Julian Savea’s (then) record (61) for most tries scored in Super Rugby.

TJ Perenara made his 67th Super Rugby appearance at Westpac/Sky Stadium, one more than Julian Savea’s 66 appearances at the ground.

When Savea’s non-Super Rugby match against the British & Irish Lions in 2017 is added, the record is shared.

Brayden Iose scored his 10th try in his 37th match. It was his second try against the Highlanders.

Brett Cameron’s six points took his total for the Hurricanes in 18 appearances to 126.

Tevita Mafileo also played his 50th Super Rugby match. However he had made his debut for the Chiefs in 2019 playing seven matches for them before transferring to the Hurricanes in 2020. This was his 43rd match for his new franchise. He has scored one try in his career, for the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes have had two players celebrate their 50th appearance in the same match on four previous occasions.

John Schwalger and Conrad Smith did so against the Force at Wellington in 2010 (Smith debuted 21 matches before Schwalger), Dane Coles and Victor Vito against the Crusaders at Wellington in 2013 (Coles debuted one match before Vito), James Broadhurst and Julian Savea against the Waratahs at Sydney in 2014 (Broadhurst debuted 12 matches before Savea) and Vaea Fifita and Ricky Riccitelli against the Highlanders at Dunedin in 2019 (Fifita debuted six matches before Riccitelli).

Rayasi and Mafileo are different to the above four instances in that only one of them brought up his 50th appearance for the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes James Tucker and the Highlanders Will Tucker are brothers. Both wore the Number 4 jersey in the match.

Both Fabian Holland and Matt Whaanga scored their first try for the Highlanders.

Sam Gilbert converted both tries and is now only 10 points short of bringing up 250 for the Highlanders.

Ethan de Groot played his 50th Super Rugby match.

Connor Garden-Bachop and Sam Gilbert received yellow cards during the match.

The Hurricanes will meet the eighth-placed Rebels in their Quarterfinal at Sky Stadium this coming Saturday Saturday.

Overall, the Hurricanes have now played 405 Super Rugby matches. They have won 234 (57.8%), lost 165 and drawn six.

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