Beauden Barrett Super Rugby: Hurricanes pass muster despite season finishing a week early

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Beauden Barrett Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara appeals to referee Nic Berry to no avail in Christchurch on Saturday night.

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Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara appeals to referee Nic Berry to no avail in Christchurch on Saturday night.

OPINION: To use NCEA parlance, the Hurricanes can be assessed a merit grade for their 2019 Super Rugby season.

They undoubtedly get a pass mark, but to get the gold-standard of excellence, they would need to be playing in the final this weekend.

These days, kids even get a secondary mark within their overall mark to show how close they were to either going up or down the spectrum. In this context, they deserve an upper merit to highlight how close they came to excellence this year.

They ended the regular season with the most wins of any team with 12, one more than the Crusaders. They missed out on winning the New Zealand conference due to having five fewer bonus points than the Crusaders.

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Their untimely loss to the Jaguares in round 14 didn’t help. The Argentinians and the Crusaders were the only two teams to beat the Hurricanes this season, and they’ll contest Saturday’s final in Christchurch.

Beauden Barrett TJ Perenara embraces Beauden Barrett after the Hurricanes' narrow loss in the Super Rugby semifinal.

PHOTOSPORT

TJ Perenara embraces Beauden Barrett after the Hurricanes’ narrow loss in the Super Rugby semifinal.

More than just the record on paper, the Hurricanes have developed a culture of resilience under new head coach John Plumtree which the franchise has never really had.

Seven of their regular season wins came by seven points or fewer. Those with a glass half empty would say they failed to put teams away, hence the lack of bonus points. A glass half full

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