2021 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman – Hurricanes vs Reds Live Stream, How To Watch Online.
Hurricanes lost their first match of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman season last Saturday at Brumbies in a surprising result considering both teams’ form so far had suggested otherwise. They should be able to turn it on again for this visit by Queensland Reds who travel off a tough 24-31 defeat to current leaders Blues. Hurricanes have won the last five encounters with Reds and look set for a bounce back victory here as they attempt to at least maintain their winning streak at home. Take the hosts to cover -12 here and claim a fifth-straight bonus point.
This weekend’s final round of Super Rugby trans-Tasman series represents the last time local fans will see the five Australian sides in action in 2021.
Sadly, their only role to play in proceedings at the top of the table is to impact the ability of aspiring New Zealand sides to finish in the top two.
Certainly, it appears a three-way battle between the Blues on 19 points, and the Highlanders and Crusaders, both on 18, to secure a top-two finish. With the Highlanders facing the Brumbies in Canberra, the Blues and Crusaders look to be in the box seat, playing the Western Force and Melbourne Rebels, respectively.
No doubt after the Hurricanes tripped up in Canberra last weekend, the Highlanders will similarly find the Brumbies hard to overcome in the nation’s Capital. But, they have done it before.
It was the Highlanders who found an 83rd minute try to pip the Brumbies in Canberra in early 2020, only weeks before the world came to halt due to the pandemic, killing off the old Super Rugby format in the process. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Brumbies that ended a 10-game winning streak at Canberra Stadium, and they tend to have long memories about this sort of thing.
Behind the unbeaten trio, the Hurricanes would need a big win over the Queensland Reds in Wellington, and would still need some results above them to go their way, to be any chance of sneaking into next Saturday’s Final.
The Chiefs sit two points further back, and do face the winless and defensively worrying Waratahs, but hold too low a points differential to gain ground even if the rugby gods smile upon them.
So while Australian teams will be looking to go out on a high this weekend, and may even win a couple of games, rugby fans on this side of the Tasman will be looking beyond the results this weekend for some glimmers of hope.
While overall, our teams have taken too long to come up to speed with the intensity needed to match the Kiwi sides in a five-week sprint competition, some of the brightest moments for Australia rugby have come from young players shining on the biggest stage of their rugby lives.
Some of them are only just staking their infant steps in professional rugby too, making their performances all the more impressive.
Things haven’t gone well for the Melbourne Rebels this year, missing the AU finals after finishing third last season, and resulting in Dave Wessels stepping down as head coach before the trans-Tasman series kicked off. His long-term assistant Kevin Foote took over, and one of the early changes he made to the side was to install highly regarded young flyhalf Carter Gordon at no.10.
The move has given the Rebels attack a bit more width, with captain Matt To’omua shuffling out to inside centre straightening up the attack, which in turn has brought a lot more of Stacy Ili at outside centre and the backfield. Marika Koroibete went tryless all through Super Rugby AU, but he now has looked far from dangerous in recent games.
Gordon was a schoolboy prodigy in Brisbane, and his signing with the Rebels at the end of last season still irks Queensland fans now, particularly with James O’Connor currently out of action. Now relishing his chance at this level, he’s got better with each outing and produced a number of entries for the growing highlights reel against the Chiefs last weekend, in particular.
There’s still a lot of uncertainty around the Rebels next season, but it seems obvious on a couple of outings that Gordon is going to be a player to build a team and a gameplan around.
He’s been struck down with a groin strain in the last week or so, but Waratahs flyhalf Ben Donaldson stood up in the injury-enforced absence of Will Harrison toward the end of Super Rugby AU and enjoyed some strong showings through trans-Tasman to the point that Harrison returned on the bench initially, and then at fullback.