Hurricanes vs Rebels Player Ratings

A hungry Melbourne Rebels side welcomed the Hurricanes to Wellington on Saturday for the start of the second night of the Super Rugby Pacific quarter-finals, keen to ensure this contest was not the club's last appearance.

An aggressive defense put the home team under enormous pressure early on, silencing the Wellington crowd and forcing the number 1 seed to make mistakes.

The quick defense resulted in the Hurricanes being held scoreless for the first quarter of the season, but eventually the dam broke and the Hurricanes showed their class by running home with a whopping 47-20 lead.

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This is how the Hurricanes performed:

1. Xavier Numia – 8

This Hurricanes scrum has dominated all season but it faced a valiant challenge in the form of Taniela Tupou and the Rebels. Numia had some problems imposing his will on his Wallaby opponent early on but managed to get the better of Tupou until he was unfortunately carried off the field with an apparent lower leg injury.

The baseman's few appearances have resulted in the explosive growth we expect from the 25-year-old and if he performs well in the coming weeks, this performance will not have hurt his chances of selection to the All Blacks in the slightest.

2. Asafo Aumua – 8.5

Aumua's lineout throws were not perfect, a couple of balls were caught by an alert Rebels pack and one or two more were just out of reach of the Hurricanes jumpers, but much of the game's difficulty in this area must be attributed to decision-making.

The X-factor when you need it and when you least expect it, Aumua proved once again that he can shake off any tackle and be a game-changer when he ran through the back line to score a try in the 53rd minute.

It wasn't the most challenging game for the Hurricanes defense, but when Aumua left the field he had made the most tackles on his team, and more than one of them was bone-jarring.

3. Pasilio Tosi – 7

Tosi appears to be ready for the playoffs and is showing no weaknesses in his game, despite this being perhaps the most important game of his young career. The 25-year-old opened the scoring, thanks in large part to dominant running from his fellow strikers and a quick shot from TJ Perenara.

4. Justin Sangster – 6

Sangster's efforts around the breakdown were impressive and a timely possession win helped his team to finish the first half on a high note.

The lock hit rucks and made a handful of tackles in a game where his side had the majority of possession, but lineout issues will be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, concerns for this team heading into the semi-finals.

5. Isaia Walker-Leawere – 5

Walker-Leawere did a lot of good work in his 55 minutes on the pitch, but a lack of discipline and problems at the lineout hurt his score here.

The lock provided some initial power with his first carry to generate momentum and at least continued to flirt with the gain line with his subsequent tries. The 27-year-old was first penalised for pushing in the lineout, which led to an early Rebels lead. Some trickery at the breakdown and maul was effective but ultimately Walker-Leawere contributed to his side's biggest weaknesses and will be hoping for a tighter performance next week.

6. Devan Flanders – 8

Flanders' runs may not be as spectacular as those of his fellow strikers, but his impact is arguably just as decisive. The 24-year-old's half-metre advantage after contact so often sets up the soft shoulder for his powerful No. 8 to exploit.

Playing well beyond his years, Flanders offers consistent precision all over the park on both sides of the ball and has been a welcome addition to an already dominant loose forward trio since taking over the shirt from Brad Shields.

7. Peter Lackey – 8.5

Where to start with this young man? Of course, the strong runs that regularly put him more than a few inches over the gainline are invaluable, but one must also praise the way Lakai puts his body in the best position to return the ball for his team, an extra effort that really sets him apart.

This relentless work ethic and alertness extends to the defensive end as well, where the flanker's activity not only helps him win the tackle, but also ensures he is ready for the next phase when he is not involved in the breakdown fight.

As always, Lakai finished the competition as one of his team’s best ball carriers And Tacklers.

8. Brayden Iose – 8.5

This man is synonymous with powerful carrying and has done a lot in this competition. Iose instigated a scuffle just after half-time to set the tone for the second half and scored soon after with a neat support line off Jordie Barrett's shoulder.

The physicality Iose exudes is unmatched and his energy when carrying gives his team a big lift. Of course, the No. 8 was the No. 8 with the most carries of the game and his leg swing continues the tradition of an absent Hurricanes star sharing Iose's preferred position.

9. TJ Perenara – 8

Perenara orchestrates the attack close to the goal line like no other in Super Rugby Pacific, showing his class and experience when it comes to picking out defenders and creating overlaps.

As always, the deliveries were on point and Perenara was never afraid to stretch his shoulder at a breakdown when the situation called for it.

10. Brett Cameron

Cameron had some unusually shaky moments early in the game, particularly overdoing it on the second kickoff.

Given the Rebels' high attacking pace, the front five looked composed enough but struggled to link up with the defence and execution was under enormous pressure. The adjustment was made in the second half, a deeper attacking line gave Cameron time and pace to manage his team more precisely and the nerves seemed to have disappeared in the early stages.

11. Salesi Rayasi – 8.5

An exceptional performance from the electrifying winger, who not only accounted for the highest number of linebreaks and offloads of the game, but also did strong work on the wide breakdowns.

The former Sevens star had mixed success with his kicking but was definitely able to apply more pressure than he let on. A turnover won added to the impressive display, while the 27-year-old's physicality came in handy in several collisions.

12. Jordie Barrett (C) – 9

Barrett put in a classy performance in the playoff spotlight. A line break and assist just before half time gave them the lead they needed going into the break and the All Blacks came out and pulled off an almost identical move just minutes into the second half.

Barrett kept offering himself as a reserve striker around the ruck and was tough on the breakdown. Tomorrow morning, several Rebels will wake up with bruised ribs, thanks to Barrett, as Barrett led his team defensively. Just a few combative moments in an otherwise brilliant performance.

13. Billy Proctor – 7.5

Proctor's acceleration puts him in good positions on both sides of the ball and the All Blacks hopeful certainly uses this to great effect. The centre didn't miss his chances with the ball in hand early on, but ultimately it wasn't his loudest game.

14. Josh Moorby – 6

Moorby's first two touches of the game resulted in turnovers. The first touch fortunately resulted in a superiority, the second saw the Hurricanes' first attack hit the ground.

The winger recovered and contributed some good plays, notably an excellent interception in the early stages, but was relatively quiet by his standards on the evening.

15. Harry Godfrey – 8

The young man was anything but overwhelmed by the occasion and towards the end of the game he was not only included in the squad but also in the starting jersey with the number 15.

Godfrey calmly handled the Rebels' kicking game and contributed some answers of his own, including a masterful 50-22.

The new New Zealand U20 star has impressed in every appearance this season and has only been caught trying to force a goal twice, but otherwise has proved to be a composed and thoughtful attacking partner.

His only major mistake came just before the restart of a competitive match, but it is difficult to place the blame entirely on the young player, as his team had left him a gaping hole to fill.



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16. James O’Reilly – 7

17. Pouri Rocket Stones – 9

Rocket-Stones' intervention came sooner than he would have expected, but not sooner than he was prepared for it. The Propeller showed a keen awareness of the laws surrounding the collapse, applied pressure and did not allow any complacency on the part of the rebels.

The 26-year-old's scrum was the best of the evening amidst a number of strong supporting players.

18. Tevita Mafileo – 7

19. Brad Shields – 7

20. Du’Plessis Kirifi – 9

Kirifi is the kind of super substitute that a championship contender needs, consistently providing the energy and effort that inspires his teammates. The winger scored a crucial try to extend his team's lead.

21. Richard Judd – 8

22. Bailyn Sullivan – 7

23. Kini Naholo – 8