It was another strong showing from the Hurricanes in the 2017 Super Rugby season although they could not defend their title.
Winning 12 of their 15 Round robin matches, the Wellington outfit finished second on the New Zealand conference with 58 points, five behind the Crusaders.
This ensured they qualified for the playoffs, where they easily dispatched the Brumbies in the quarter-finals. They then faced the Lions in the semi-finals in a repeat of last year’s final in which the Hurricanes won 20-3 which was the last time the sides met.
However, this time around, the men from Johannesburg were able to exact their revenge, emerging 44-29 victors and eliminating the defending champions from the competition.
Along the way, the Hurricanes scored the most tries in this year’s competition and in Super Rugby history. They racked up 97 tries, breaking the previous record set by the Lions last year of 81.
In Ngani Laumape and Vince Aso, they had the competition’s top try-scorers, with the centre pairing scoring 15 and 14 respectively.
They lost only to the Chiefs (twice), the Crusaders (once) and Lions. However, they were the only side in this year’s competition to beat the Crusaders, which will surely be the highlight of their season.
2017 saw the rise of Jordie Barrett and the fall of Julian Savea. The younger Barrett was so good he often stole the limelight from older brother Beauden while Savea was dropped for the semi-final in which Nehe Milner-Skudder and Wes Goosen were the preffered. wings
TJ Perenara had an excellent season and thrived in the captaincy role, deputising for Dane Coles, who was sidelined for four months with concussion issues.