The Blues and Chiefs dominate the lineup with five players each, with the Fijian Drua coming in second with two players, Super Rugby Pacific’s first round is in the books, and what a round it was.
Planet Rugby analyzes the standout players from a fantastic rugby weekend following the action from the first round of Super Rugby Pacific. At Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch, the defending champion Crusaders were shockingly defeated by the Chiefs in front of their home crowd, dropping the game 31-10.
The Blues and Hurricanes of New Zealand also scored significant victories, and the Brumbies and Force also won to kick off their campaigns.
The dramatic match between Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium is easily the game of the round. The contest had everything, simply. For Super Rugby Pacific season, RugbyPass will select its Team of the Week after each match. Here is the TOTW for the first round.
Super Rugby Pacific Team of the Week
Chiefs : Stevenson was one of the Hamilton-based team’s standout players during a well-deserved victory against the Crusaders in Christchurch, despite the fact that he did not register a point on the scorecard.
He made gaps in the defense of the defending champions, gaining 152 metres from 14 runs, nine defenders being overtaken, and two offloads after three clean breaks. With the Western Force, Chase Tiatia also had a strong first performance.
Blues : The All Blacks live flyer was perhaps the finest player of the round as he led his team to a decisive victory over the Highlanders in Dunedin with an outstanding attacking performance.
As soon as the game began, Telea made it clear that he was serious about winning by destroying defenders at whim. He finished with an incredible 202 attacking metres after making 13 runs with four clean breaks, 13 defenders overpowered, and an offload.
Fijian Drua : On his remarkable Super Rugby Pacific debut, the former Fiji Sevens player led the Drua’s offensive efforts as they narrowly defeated Moana Pasifika in Auckland on Saturday.
The 24-year-old ran excellent lines and received a try either side of halftime as a result. The fact that he finished ahead of the Chiefs’ Alex Nankivell and the Blues’ Rieko Ioane was a just reward for his aggressive attacking play throughout the game.
Hurricanes : In the Autumn Nations Series last year, he starred at inside center for the All Blacks, and in the Hurricanes’ victory over the Reds in Townsville, he built on that success.
Barrett performed admirably on offense, gaining 59 metres from 12 runs, defeating a defender, and making three offloads. He was also dependable on kickoffs, contributing 15 points with three penalties and the same number of conversions.
Waratahs : The 18-year-old made his Waratahs debut against the Brumbies in Sydney, and although the home team lost the game, Jorgensen put in a valiant effort.
The kid made a remarkable debut, constantly posing a threat on offense, and was rewarded with two tries. He finished the game with 90 meters gained from six runs, four clean breaks, and three defenders overpowered, totaling six runs for six yards.
Blues : In the Blues’ lopsided victory over the Highlanders, the New Zealand tighthead prop made his 100th Super Rugby appearance and stood out with a strong performance at the center of his team’s forward thrust.
The 31-year-old was a willing ball carrier and held his own effectively in the scrums against fellow All Black Ethan de Groot. Elsewhere, Allan Alaalatoa also had a good game for the Brumbies.
Fijian Drua : The second Drua player to be selected for our team turned up a strong showing when his team narrowly defeated Moana Pasifika in Auckland.
Ikanivere was a walking, talking, attacking wrecking ball who concluded with a commendable 41 metres gained from five carries, two defenders overpowered, one clean break, and two tries. Hurricanes replacement Asafo Aumua was next best.
Western Force : With a superb all-around effort in the Force’s thrilling victory over the Melbourne Rebels in Perth, the Wallabies front row got things going quickly.
Robertson stood out for his strong scrummaging, but he also showed a lot of energy when carrying the ball, earning him a well-taken try. Abraham Pole from Moana Pasifika, who excelled in a losing effort, loses to him.