Super Rugby Pacific Heats Up: Standout Performances Ahead of All Blacks Selection

The penultimate round of the Super Rugby Pacific competition was packed with thrilling tries and drama, providing a final chance for players to impress All Blacks head coach Scott Robertson ahead of the national squad selection. Standout performances from the likes of Brett Cameron, Jordie Barrett, Xavier Numia, and Codie Taylor have players vying for a spot on the prestigious All Blacks team.

BBC Rugby Union: Super Rugby Pacific Heats Up as Regular Season Nears Conclusion

The penultimate round of the Super Rugby Pacific competition was packed with thrilling tries and drama, providing a final chance for players to impress All Blacks head coach Scott Robertson ahead of the national squad selection.

In a Hamilton thriller, the Hurricanes emerged victorious over the Chiefs, with several standout performances. Fly-half Brett Cameron was the hero, kicking the winning penalty late in the game. He was ably supported by the ever-impressive inside centre Jordie Barrett, whose class is well-established.

The Hurricanes’ forward pack also shone, with loosehead prop Xavier Numia putting in a sensational display, even running 30 meters to score a stunning solo try. Numia’s scintillating form in his position makes him a near-certainty for the All Blacks squad. Elsewhere, the talented Peter Lakai and hardworking back-rower Brayden Iose were also superb in the pack.

For the Chiefs, hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho continued his consistently excellent season, while utility back Anton Lienert-Brown has been in outstanding form over the last two rounds, positioning himself well for the upcoming Test season. Furthermore, one-cap All Black Emoni Narawa has been playing with a renewed sense of purpose, determined to make up for the injury that sidelined him last year.

The Crusaders welcomed back the influential Codie Taylor from a sabbatical, and the hooker has been a standout since his return, both as a dynamic ball-carrier and a leader within the squad. Ethan Blackadder also impressed, showcasing his quality despite his injury troubles.

In the Blues’ victory over the Crusaders, prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi scored a brace of tries, underlining his impressive try-scoring form that is sure to have caught Robertson’s attention. Teammate AJ Lam also crossed the line twice, but faces stiff competition in the All Blacks’ crowded back three.

Meanwhile, the Highlanders’ back three of Jona Nareki and Timoci Tavatavanawai shone in their triumph over the Fijian Drua, with Tavatavanawai’s powerful game potentially offering the All Blacks a different option to consider.

As the regular season concludes, players are making their final push for national selection, and the intensity promises to only increase as the race for the Super Rugby Pacific playoffs heats up.

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