Don't expect Hawke's Bay Magpies rugby winger Jonah Lowe to be among the Hurricanes non-players again this Super season.
Lowe, 21, who was unlucky not to make a first-class appearance for the Canes last year, proved how hungry he is for some this year with a hattrick in their 43-22 pre-season win against the defending champions Crusaders in Greymouth last night. Lowe scored all three of his tries in the first half before he was replaced by former All Black Julian Savea.
Magpies first five-eighth and former Blues pivot Ihaia West celebrated his first outing in Canes colours with two conversions. Crusaders coach Scott Robertson took the opportunity to blood 18 newcomers and it showed.
The Hurricanes scored 17 unanswered point early and led 24-5 at halftime. Early in the second half the visitors led 36-5 before the Crusaders gained some respect with a three-try burst.
Fears the wild weather which hit the West Coast town the previous day might impact on the occasion were blown away. The match was played in ideal conditions and no All Blacks who toured Europe last year were involved.
Magpies first five-eighth Tiaan Falcon scored a try and kicked two conversions for the Chiefs during their 45-19 loss to the Blues in Te Kuiti yesterday. His Magpies teammates, halfback Brad Weber and lock Michael Allardice, co-captained the Chiefs.
Before the match Chiefs assistant coach Neil Barnes said Falcon was rated highly by the franchise's staff.
"His pre-season's gone really well, got himself in great nick and starting to show voice when we have team runs," assistant coach Neil Barnes said.
"He's got a good mindset for a No 10 — he's quick, got a good kicking game, understands the game, has all the skills a good No 10 should.
"It's not like we picked him to develop him — he's here to play."
Former Magpies first five-eighth Daniel Kirkpatrick and former Magpies halfback Jonathan Ruru both kicked conversions for the Blues. The game was played in four 20-minute quarters and the score was 14-all after the first and that's how it remained until halftime.
A leaky defence and several errors proved costly for the Chiefs in the third quarter when the Blues established a 31-14 lead.
Hurricanes 43 (Jonah Lowe 3, Ben Lam, Julian Savea, Finlay Christie, Vince Aso tries; Jackson Garden-Bachop 2, Ihaia West 2 cons), Crusaders 22 (Billy Harmon, Jack Stratham, Tima Faingaanuku, Manasa Mataele tries; Brett Cameron con). HT: 24-5.
Blues 45 (Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa 2, TJ Faiane, Glenn Preston, Antonio Kiri Kiri, Marcel Renata, Dalton Papali'i tries; Bryn Gatland 2, Stephen Perofeta, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Jonathan Ruru cons), Chiefs 19 (Tiaan Falcon, Tim Nanai-Williams, Samisoni Taukei'aho tries; Tiaan Falcon 2 cons). HT: 14-all.