Hurricanes vs Brumbies: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Brumbies have gone down to the Hurricanes in Palmerston North.

What are we talking about after that 43-13 loss?

1. Reality check in New Zealand

The Brumbies were handed a brutal reminder of the need for consistency in Palmerston North on Friday night. They fought hard but passes that stuck in Canberra six days ago were intercepted against the Hurricanes and immediately punished. The Brumbies still have an exciting feel to them but they have to ensure they can string their pieces together on more weeks than not if they want to progress in Super Rugby. The loss was also a reminder of how tough the trip across the ditch is, with that loss the 38th from the past 39 games for Australian teams in New Zealand and the Hurricanes 14th win from their past 15th win against Aussies as well.

2. Turnovers a killer for Brumbies

The Brumbies and Hurricanes finished with 16 turnovers a piece on Friday night but it was the ‘Canes who were able to make the Brumbies pay for their mistakes. Their first two tries came almost directly from Brumbies turnovers and by then the hosts had opened up a big lead. They had some coach killers in the second half as well, though they stayed true to their expansive philosophy, with a Christian Lealiifano pass intercepted and leading to a third turnover try. 

3. Laumape dominates midfield battle

Ngani Laumape was impressive. Photo: Getty ImagesThe midfield was a battle the Hurricanes won easily on Friday night, thanks in large part to inside centre Ngani Laumape. Laumape had a hat-trick and beat seven defenders on his way to a dominant performance. Tevita Kuridrani was kept especially quiet and while Irae Simone had some good touches, the new Brumby had some kicking moments to forget in the final stages of the game.

4. Welcome back, Dane Coles

Look out, Dane Coles is back. That was the message the hooker sent with his epic two-try performance on Friday night. Some injury-riddled seasons have whittled away at his reputation but he sounded a deafening reminder of his weaponry in his outing against the Brumbies. A worrying sign for the All Blacks' Test opponents with a World Cup on the horizon.

5. Brumbies back row the envy of many 

It wasn’t the best night for the Brumbies but it is hard to fault their back row’s performances in most weekends on the field. Pete Samu stood out in his first start for the Brumbies, in place of Rob Valetini, while David Pocock and Lockie McCaffrey were at their industrious best as well. Tom Cusack was solid on the bench, not to mention that rising star Valetini was watching on from home.