Super Rugby 2013 Team Preview – HurricanesAuthor: Nick | Filed under: Team Previews
The Hurricanes scored more tries than any other side last season by some distance and still only managed to finish mid-table. Conrad Smith, Andre Taylor, Julian Smith and co delighted fans with their exceptional running from anywhere they felt like. They were so good at times it made us wonder what they could do if they ever got go-forward ball from their pack. This year the Canes have recruited the services of powerhouse scrummager Ben Franks to sure up their rickety tight five and if it works they’ll be a handful this season.
Watch out! The Canes have another Savea, Julian’s younger brother Ardie
The Hurricanes will be captained again this season by Conrad Smith with Beauden Barrett calling the shots at Fly Half. TJ Perenara safely negotiated a warm up game against the Crusaders on the weekend and should be fully fit for the opening round after recovering from a broken ankle. They were struck a pre-season blow on Friday with the news that Cory Jane ruptured his ACL in training and will be out for the entire season. There is plenty of fire power elsewhere on the field with the emerging Ardie Savea, the bruising Brad Shields and All Black Victor Vito a potentially explosive backrow.
Players to watch
Andre Taylor (12m) topped the Super Rugby try scoring table last year with 10 tries, he doesn’t come cheap though.
Beauden Barrett (12m) was arguably the most influential newcomer last season scoring buckets of points and creating 9 tries for his teammates. Starting the 2012 season at 8 million he was the best bargain around but adjustments have been made and his shares have rocketed.
Conrad Smith(11.5m) scored 7 tries and created 5 assists in 2012 Super Rugby. Smith is arguably the best centre in the world and definitely fantasy gold.
Julian Savea (11.5m): in a debut season managed to score 9 tries and force himself into a very strong All Black side. If that was just a sign of things to come then fantasy managers will be in for a treat.
Ardie Savea (6.5m) Julian’s younger brother was the second highest try scorer in ITM Cup crossing the line 7 times, not bad for a forward. A prodigious talent, it’s hard to see him not being a regular starter and becoming fantasy gold at bronze prices.
Lost out in the hotly fought battle for playoffs and ended in 8th just 2 points behind the 3rd placed Reds.
They’re an exciting prospect that will be hard to defend against. Despite the addition of Ben Franks they still look a bit shy in the tight five. They will find themselves in the scrap for the playoffs again and may be on the right side but will battle against the stronger packs come the knock out stages.
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Check out our other Super Rugby Team Previews