Over 43 000 fans packed the ground in the largest turnout at a Super Rugby match in New Zealand for 15 years on Sunday to watch the Blues take on the Hurricanes in the second match of the weekend. The hosts won 30-20 and will travel to play the Chiefs on Saturday next weekend.
Beauden Barrett’s debut for his new hue went down a treat and the Auckland-side top the Super Rugby Aotearoa table on points difference. The Highlanders are second, level on points with the Blues, after squeaking a one-point win over the Chiefs in the weekend’s opening fixture.
The Crusaders had a bye in the first round, but will travel to play the Hurricanes in their opening match of the season on Sunday.
No player scored more than a single try on the opening weekend, but three out of the four teams scored thrice. The only team not to was the Chiefs.
The Highlanders, though, were perhaps one of the less aesthetically appealing sides, often opting for maul power rather than a bit of free-flowing fun. Evidenced, perhaps, by the stark difference in the defenders beaten column.
Notable and to their credit, though, the Highlanders squeezed out their win despite having two men sent to the sin bin at different intervals. They’re the only team whose players earned a noted in the ref’s book.
Super Rugby Aotearoa stats: Round 1
Note to mobile users: This table might not display correctly, please view the static version here.
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