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Aisle be Back: The defeat

  • By Kevin McCarthy 

The sun will still rise they said. Then it bucketed down for the next three days.  Those people with their predictions.

Here we are, almost a week on, and it’s hard not to feel deflated that the Hurricanes won’t be hosting the big show this weekend.

The feeling that kicked in at the six minute mark in the match. I’m sure we all felt the same – 14 points is not a big deficit in a regulation match. But in sudden death, it’s immense.

The sinking feeling was made worse by the realisation that these Chiefs were not going to bend and break, even with a yellow card – and another to come in the second half.

There were only a couple of minutes where the Canes had moved to within striking distance and the Chiefs were starting to creak a bit. But then the Sititi intercept, and that’s all she wrote.

It wasn’t a 14-point try by any means but condemned the Canes to once again chasing the scoreboard.  Against a team that wasn’t conceding anything up front, making the tackles, and comfortably absorbing the kicking game of the Canes, the last 20 felt pretty grimly inevitable.

But that’s finals footie. If, as we’ve got every reason to expect, a year from now the Hurricanes are again playing to reach the finals, then they’ll be that much more tempered.

Because this is no flash in the pan outfit. It’s been building depth and nourishing new talent for at least three seasons now.  You can’t use the Dynasty word until that starts returning championships.

But certainly, it’s an outfit that is now regularly  putting itself in the winning zone, and – perhaps – now producing the consistency of a champion club that has largely eluded them since Super Rugby began.

So, disappointing  yes – but who isn’t already looking forward to 2025 and an exciting and young team that may even decide to occasionally pick old fellas like Mr A Savea (playing club rugby for Ories tomorrow).

Eyes of course will turn early next week to Razor’s first cut. It may not be the deepest by any means – given England will turn up as some early and robust opposition. So don’t expect too many bolters.

But there should be an expectation that by season’s end, a few more Hurricanes  will have clocked up yards in the Black jersey – and picked up the sort of top level experience that will be invaluable  next time the club shoots for the finals.

As for the big final, it should on paper be a ripper. I guess I’ll throw my two cents in with the Chiefs, as playing a style that’s easier on the eye than the sometimes dour Blues.

The critical thing of course is to check on is whether Transpower is planning any Saturday morning maintenance in the vicinity of Eden Park.


Hurricanes Award Winners (bold indicates winner) 

Hurricanes Members Player of the Year

  • Peter Lakai
  • Billy Proctor
  • TJ Perenara

Surf to Peak Champion – Kemara Hauiti-Parapara 

Hunters Award

  • Veveni Lasaqa 
  • Daniel Sinkinson
  • Aidan Morgan

Team Man

  • Brad Shields 
  • Jordie Barrett
  • James O’Reilly

Rookie of the Year

  • Jordi Viljoen 
  • Raymond Tuputupu
  • Siale Lauaki

Best & Fairest 3-2-1

  • Brayden Iose 
  • Ruben Love
  • Billy Proctor
  • Jordie Barrett

Most Improved Player

  • Pasilio Tosi 
  • Josh Moorby
  • Brayden Iose

Hurricanes U20 Player of the Year

  • Mosese Bason 
  • Stanley Solomon
  • Joshua Smith

Hurricanes Poua Player of the Year

  • Layla Sae 
  • Iritana Hohaia
  • Hannha King

Hurricanes Men’s Player of the Year

  • Billy Proctor 
  • Peter Lakai 
  • Xavier Numia

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