Hurricanes scrumhalf TJ Perenara scored a try as part of a losing effort against the Chiefs, but one of the more memorable moments of the game came a few minutes later, as he showed great courage to make a tackle despite receiving a nasty knock.
The battle of the number nines, between Perenara and Chiefs counterpart Tawera Kerr-Barlow, was tipped as one to watch in terms of who could impress and push for higher honours.
While Perenara did score a try, he made a few errors too so perhaps didn’t put in the performance he’d hoped for, with the Rugby Championship coming up for the All Blacks.
Ironically it was Kerr-Barlow that was involved in the injury he suffered, albeit unintentionally.
His legs swung around as he made a tackle on Julian Savea, catching Perenara who getting in position to clear the ball. He dropped immediately and it looked quite painful, but when the turnover occurred, he made a courageous effort to get up and not only chase back half way across the field, but make an important tackle.
He ran it off for a while but was later replaced so they could treat the ankle with an icepack.
Yes, some cynics may say that the story would have been better if the injury was more severe, but thankfully it wasn’t, and regardless of the long term seriousness, it was brilliant to see that level of dedication in the moment, and it was one of our highlights of the weekend.