Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Super Rugby Aotearoa: Round 7 Talking Points

Super Rugby Aotearoa: Round 7 Talking Points

Wes Goosen of the Hurricanes

Shaun Goosen looks back at round 7 of Super Rugby Aotearoa which saw the Crusaders finally give up their 36-win home streak and the Chiefs suffer yet another defeat. 

All Images Copyright - Steve Haag Sports.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

'Saders finally thwarted at home

The Hurricanes’ thrilling 34-32 win in Christchurch on Saturday finally brought an end to the Crusaders’ remarkable run of 36 straight home victories stretching right back to the 16th of July 2016. Ironically, it was the selfsame 'Canes who won that day before eventually going on to claim that season’s Super Rugby crown. Now sitting in third just three points adrift of the log leading Crusaders though admittedly having played one game more, Jason Holland’s men may even be in with a shout of winning the Aotearoa championship if they can maintain their outstanding form after their final bye this weekend.

For the Cantabrians, this setback may only serve to refuel their fire as they travel to Waikato in round eight. Chiefs beware!

Blues back on track

After two straight losses, the Blues bounced back to beat the Chiefs 21-17 on Sunday and retain their second place standing with two rounds to play. Despite having played one game more, they now trail the Crusaders by only two points following the Canes’ win in Christchurch. The men from Auckland showed some true heart on defence in keeping the visitors out in the red zone with only minutes to play and will take massive confidence heading into their crucial tie with the Highlanders in Dunedin this weekend.

Backend of Aotearoa set to heat up

They may have a game in hand, but the Crusaders will be wary of allowing the chasing pack to get any closer with just three rounds to play. The Blues are just two points back (17) with their final round matchup with Scott Robertson’s side in Auckland set to potentially decide the title. The Hurricanes (16) are also within striking distance in third. While the Highlanders (10) may be out of the running for the championship, one or two wins for them will totally upset the status quo.

The next few weeks will make for fascinating viewing.

Player of the round: Jordie Barrett

Jordie Barrett of the Hurricanes

Jordie Barrett was a class act as the Hurricanes bested the Crusaders at the Orangetheory Stadium and should be the favourite to claim the vacant All Blacks No 15-jersey going forward. The fullback’s all-round kicking performance was pivotal in ending the Saders’ home winning run, eventually finishing the match with 19 points via the boot.

He made 14 kicks from hand to go with two conversions and five penalties. With brother Beaudy set for a national sabbatical, Jordie may just pip Damian McKenzie and the injured David Havili to the New Zealand fullback berth later this year.

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