Rookies seize their moment as hurricanes sweep away Fijian Drua
Rookies Josh Moorby and Tyler Laubscher gave their coach a hard time after leading the Hurricanes to their biggest win in more than five years.
Fullback Moorby scored a hat-trick and No.8 Laubscher had two tries on his Super Rugby Pacific debut to remember as the Hurricanes beat Fijian Drua 67-5 to record their third-biggest win in history of the franchise at Sky Stadium on Sunday.
Moorby and Laubscher have been promoted to the starting XV for Drua’s first visit to New Zealand with Jordie Barrett and Ardie Savea enjoying a week off as part of NZ Rugby’s All Blacks rest policy, and the pair took their opportunity.
Moorby and Laubscher were both instrumental as the Hurricanes ran in 11 tries, giving coach Jason Holland some tough decisions ahead of their next game, against the Waratahs next Saturday.
* Hurricanes came through 11 tries to secure a whopping 67-5 win over Fijian Drua
* New Zealand Super Rugby Pacific teams are even better, admits Waratahs coach Darren Coleman
* Rieko Ioane says the Blues have embraced their identity in 11 Super Rugby Pacific tries
“It’s the way you want it,” Holland said. “Continuity is important, but it’s also important for the guys to compete and know they have to get the job done every week.”
Moorby scored his three tries finishing from set pieces with the Hurricanes slick backs, exposing the Drua’s poor defense in lineouts and scrums.
“I think it’s well known that we have plenty of time for Moorbs,” Holland said.
“Since he arrived in our environment, whether he plays as a winger or a full-back, wherever he is needed, his work rate is so good.
“He gets his hands on the ball and he’s one of those players who is always in the game. There’s no luck in that.
“He’s been working hard enough to get involved and he’s been rewarded a bit for being at the end of some things tonight.”
Laubscher, born in South Africa, averaged 5.75 meters per run, but Holland said his barnstorming performance came as no surprise after finally having the chance to show his potential after an injury plagued in the last 12 months.
“We expected it to be honest. It probably should have happened 14 months ago if there were no injuries. He was ready to go, but he was patient.
“He had a tough time not knowing if he was going to come back or when he was going to come back, so I’m really happy for him.
“He is a powerful athlete. He’s still learning a bit about what’s going on in Super football but it’s a great prospect.
The 67-5 victory was the third most in Hurricanes history, beaten only by their 83-17 win over the Sunwolves and their 71-6 victory over the Rebels, both of the 2017 season.
Holland said the 62-point rout was the perfect way to bounce back from last weekend’s loss to the Brumbies.
“To be honest, we were quite disappointed with last week,” he said.
“I felt like we could have won this game if we had acquired our skills and discipline.
“But we were pretty good at those things tonight. We kept the ball and put pressure on the Fijians and they couldn’t hold us back once we kept the ball and did the simple things right.