Rookie Watch: Crusaders wings shine

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019    Getty Images

Here are our three standout rookies from round nine:

3: Sevu Reece (Crusaders)

No one in Super Rugby is averaging more metres per-game than 22-year-old Crusaders flyer Sevu Reece. In just four appearances, Reece has ran 403 metres, including a game high of 99 metres in the round nine clash against the Highlanders. While his electric pace has caught the eye of fans, Reece showed great work off the ball to touch down against the Highlanders. Coming all the way from the right wing, Reece was on the shoulder of left wing Braydon Ennor to score following a Richie Mo’unga cross kick. Late in the game, Reece showed incredible to skill to float an offload into the arms of Mitchell Drummond to score.

Games: 4
Tries: 4
Defenders beaten: 18
Run metres: 403

2: Will Jordan (Crusaders)
Although he only came on late in the match, Will Jordan showed his danger with a brilliant solo try in the 75th minute against the Highlanders. Getting the ball 40 metres out, Jordan laid on an incredible piece of footwork to skip through the defensive line and speed all the way to the line. It took Jordan’s tally for the year to eight tries, equal top on the ladder with Rieko Ioane from the Blues and Jack Maddocks of the Rebels.

Games: 7
Tries: 8
Carries: 55
Run metres: 416
Defenders beaten: 18

1: Folau Fakatava (Highlanders)
Losing a world class player like Aaron Smith to injury has been a huge blow for the Highlanders. But the silver lining is the opportunity provided to 19-year-old halfback Folau Fakatava. After slicing the Hurricanes open last week with a couple of searing line breaks, Fakatava showed his deft skills against the Crusaders with a chip kick for first five-eighth Josh Ioane to score. It was a visionary moment that belied Fakatava’s relative inexperience. Although only on the field for the final quarter, Fakatava’s 43 run metres were more than all three of the other halfbacks combined.

Games: 3
Run metres: 111
Defenders beaten: 3
Average minutes: 15.3


Tom Robinson: 11
Will Jordan: 7
Sevu Reece: 7
Liam Mitchell: 5
Etene Nanai-Seturo: 3
Du’Plessis Kirifi: 3
Folau Fakatava 3
Richard Judd: 2
Bailyn Sullivan: 2
Tanielu Tele’a: 2
Tumua Manu: 1
Josh Iosefa-Scott: 1
Harry Plummer: 1

NOTE: The qualification for rookies is players that are either playing in their first season of Super Rugby or who are playing their first season as a contracted player and have played less than five games prior to 2019.