WATCH: Hurricanes flyer Salesi Rayasi with superb offload in loss to Blues
Hurricanes flyer Salesi Rayasi caught the eye with an outstanding offload in his team’s 25-19 defeat to the Blues in their Super Rugby Pacific derby in Wellington on Saturday.
Rayasi came to the fore with his moment of magic in the build-up to a try scored by full-back Josh Moorby.
With the Hurricanes on the attack inside the Blues‘ 22 in the 50th minute, Rayasi gathered a pass from Cam Roigard before being tackled by AJ Lam.
Despite that hit, Rayasi did brilliantly to get a pass out of the back of his hand to Devan Flanders out wide and the back-row cut infield before offloading to Moorby, who barged over from close quarters.
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Jordie Barrett slotted the difficult place-kick from close to the touchline which meant the Blues were holding a narrow 22-19 lead at the time. That was the last time the Hurricanes would score points, however, as a penalty from Stephen Perofeta would secure the visitors’ victory.
Earlier, the Blues made an excellent start as they raced into a 10-0 lead inside the opening quarter after Perofeta landed a penalty and converted a Patrick Tuipulotu five-pointer.
The home side struck back when Tyrel Lomax crossed the whitewash in the 26th minute but their joy was short-lived as they suffered a setback shortly afterwards when Isaia Walker-Leawere was yellow-carded for a cynical defensive foul at a ruck.
The Blues made full use of their numerical advantage as Caleb Clarke and Hoskins Sotutu crossed for tries while Walker-Leawere was in the sin bin, with Perofeta succeeding with one conversion to give his side a 22-5 half-time lead.
The Hurricanes were fastest out of the blocks after the restart with Rayasi crossing for their second try after running onto a pass from Roigard. The Blues were then reduced to 14 men after Cameron Suafoa was also sent to the sin bin for a high tackle on Flanders in the build-up to Rayasi’s score.
Although the hosts were soon rewarded with Moorby’s try, they would not haul in their opponents as the Blues held on for victory despite a tense finish.
Video credit: Super Rugby Pacific
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