The most impressive rookie and the player who has exceeded expectations in Super Rugby Pacific

Midway through Super Rugby Pacific, the New Zealand and Australian RugbyPass roundtable editors: Alex McLeod (AM), Jordan King (JK), Nick Turnbull (NT), Ben Smith (BS), Jack O’ Rourke (JO) and Tom Vinicombe (TV) – review their preseason predictions and deliver their verdicts for the rest of the season.

Which player has exceeded your pre-season expectations the most?

AM: Pita Gus Sowakula and Julian Savea They are the two players who have performed better than I imagined they would have in preseason. In Sowakula, the bosses has a powerful No 8 with a touch of finesse about it, while Julian Savea looks like his old blockbuster self for the hurricanes while also showing a more complete game with elegant layout and kicking abilities. Both players are certainly fine on the hunt for All the black people selection this year.

JK: I’m going to say Ardie Savea And before you start fucking your face off, I need you to listen to me. I am fully aware that Savea was world class before this season, however I did not think that before the first round he could be more impressed with her performance. Boy, was he wrong. Can you imagine how frustrating it must be for him to work so hard for 80 minutes every week and have to be on camera after losing most of the time?

NEW TESTAMENT: Jed Hollaway of the Waratahs of New South Wales. He had a breakout season in 2016 and the Wallaby colors seemed within his grasp, but a shoulder injury cruelly robbed him of contention. Since then, he has been a mainstay of the Tahs, but was never really in the national honors frame. However, with stints abroad in Ireland Y Japan has come into the 2022 season reinvigorated and has been a true leader in the Waratahs Renaissance. Unexpected but it’s wonderful to see him play to his potential. It could be a real utility weapon for the Wallabies.

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bachelor’s degree: Pita Gus Sowakula has been the player who has exceeded expectations the most. He has broken into the discussion for international considerations with a dynamic ball carry. the other is mitch hunt, who has been orchestrating the Highlanders’ attack very efficiently, making tries in almost every game. The lack of results has hidden how well he has taken it super rugby Pacific this year. Julian Savea could be in that discussion as many would not have had high expectations of the former All Black. There are other emerging players who have put on impressive displays: sam gilbert, Baileyn Sullivan, Cortes RatimaLeicester Fainga’anuku and, in the last two weeks, Etene Nanai-Seturo.

JO: will harris It has been exceptional in the Waratahs. He has secured the No. 8 starting job and hasn’t shied away from tough runs and tough defense. He has also bagged more than his fair share of tries.

TELEVISION: blues runner finlay christie he was a creditable All Blacks selection last year after good form all season, but really struggled to make it in the national team. Against Italy, in the only mildly competitive game in which he had a decent run of minutes, Christie was a major factor in the All Blacks’ slow start with his passing inaccurate at best and forcing many players to check. his career This year, however, Christie has looked as good as a tack and has been a major factor in his strong form to date. There will be no case of season two syndrome for the young running back and it’s going to be a very interesting time when the selection for the All Blacks’ July series arrives when one of aaron smith, T. J. Perenara, brad weber and Christie will inevitably lose the cut.

Which newcomer has impressed you the most this season? How has your rookie to watch at the preseason roundtable fared this year?

AM: Few rookies have actually starred Pacific Super Rugby this year, but the one who has probably impressed the most is Waratahs flanker Charlie Gamble. The best way to reflect his impact on the Waratahs is the fact that he didn’t lose his place in the starting lineup despite the return of the Wallabies captain. Michael Hopper, which is a direct competitor to Gamble as an open flanker. On this side of Tasman, the Hurricanes duo Aidan Morgan Y joseph moorby both have caught the attention of Wellingtonians, while the former NRL star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck he has done the same with limited playing time for the Blues. My preseason pick was Blues loose forward anton segnerwho, as he predicted, has also stood out in the few games he has played.

JK: I went with Thomas Umaga-Jensen in the preseason (I know, I know, he’s not a rookie) and I’m pleased with myself with that prognosis considering how well he’s played when he’s healthy. However, outside of the midfielder, I would point out Cortes Ratima as someone who has made the most of the opportunities that have been given to him.

NEW TESTAMENT: charlie bet of the NSW Waratahs has been outstanding. His rise to professional rugby has not followed the traditional path. Originally from Christchurch, it is understood that he was on the radar of the crusaders but moving to Sydney followed by a season of rugby in the park isn’t exactly the journey most take on their way to professional rugby. In Michael Hooper’s absence, he provided the Waratah with some steel in the breakdown. A future Wallaby perhaps? The rookie I picked earlier in the season was Tom Lynagh, who has yet to appear, but rest assured he is a coil spring!

bachelor’s degree: My preseason pick for the Hurricanes, Aidan MorganHe has had two promising matches against moana pasifika and scored the winning try against Highlanders off the bench He has shown he deserves more playing time in the Hurricanes’ 10 jersey, offering more spark in attack than Jackson Garden-Bachop. My Blues picks, anton segner Y Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens they have also impressed in their first games at the Blues. in the crusaders, chai fihaki Y Isaiah Punivai I don’t have much of a look, neither does Gideon wrapped in the Chiefs.

JO: so edmed has emerged from nowhere to run the cutter on Waratahs in the absence of ben donaldson and Will Harrison. His calm demeanor and silky ball-handling skills have attracted the attention of rival clubs and the Tahs will have a fight on their hands to keep the three young playmakers in Sydney. Unfortunately, carter gordon hasn’t had the same opportunities on the Rebels, stuck behind matt toomua in the lead role of playmakers. Every time he comes off the bench you see the potential, but he needs to fight for a starting job.

TELEVISION: Tyrone Thompson has been strong for the Chiefs when given opportunities off the bench, but he’s another guy on the team. Waikato He has made the most of his chances. Running back Cortez Ratima started the season as the No. 9 third option with the Chiefs behind Brad Weber and Javier Roe, but thanks to injuries and illnesses he has been accumulating minutes. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ratima stick to his reserve jersey later in the season, even with Roe back on deck and a starting spot won’t be too far out of reach either. My other two picks for rookie of the season, Pasilio Tosi and Tom Lynagh, have had few opportunities this year.


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