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Rookie Watch: The leader board tightens

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019    allblacks.com    Getty Images

Here are our top three performing rookies from round fourteen:

3: Harry Plummer (Blues)
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for first five-eighth Harry Plummer in his debut season for the Blues but he will take plenty of confidence from leading the Blues to their first victory over the Chiefs since 2011. Plummer was superb in leading the Blues around the park in their bonus point 23-8 win at Eden Park and dotted down for his first Super Rugby try to cap off a fine all-round performance. With a tough run of four games to the playoffs, the Blues will be hoping Plummer can continue to improve as they chase an elusive spot in the top eight.

Games: 12
Points: 35 (1 try, 6 pen, 6 con)
Carries: 46
Run metres: 180

QUICK TAP: CHIEFS INJURY TOLL GROWS

2: Etene Nanai-Seturo (Chiefs)
Rookie Chiefs wing Etene Nanai-Seturo is a player with undoubted x-factor who can create try scoring moments out of thin air. He proved that early on in the Chiefs clash against the Blues when Mitchell Karpik scored. Nanai-Seturo didn’t have much room to work with when he received the ball from prop Angus Ta’avao on the halfway line but showed his class with a quick turn of pace then well weighted chip towards the Blues line. It looked like Rieko Ioane had the ball covered before a heavy shot from Nanai-Seturo bumped the ball free and into the arms of Mitchell Karpik for the surprise try.

Games: 10
Tries: 4
Run metres: 371
Defenders beaten: 21

1: Kane Leaupepe (Hurricanes)
Un-signed at the start of 2019, Kane Leaupepe has made huge strides since being called into the Hurricanes squad as injury cover. The Hurricanes were engaged in a torrid forward battle against the Jaguares when the powerful second rower joined the fray in the 60th minute. Using all of his 2.01cm, 118kg frame to full effect, Leaupepe hit the rucks hard and carried strongly as the Hurricanes muscled up in the final quarter. With time up on the clock, Leaupepe was rewarded for all his endeavour when he barged over the line for a well-deserved meat pie.

Games: 6
Tries: 2
Carries: 20
Defenders beaten: 3

Leaderboard:

Tom Robinson: 17
Sevu Reece: 13
Will Jordan: 9
Liam Mitchell: 7
Harry Plummer: 6
Etene Nanai-Seturo: 5
Richard Judd: 5
Du'Plessis Kirifi: 4
Folau Fakatava: 3
Bailyn Sullivan: 2
Tanielu Tele'a: 2
Tumua Manu: 2
Kane Leaupepe: 2
Josh Iosefa-Scott: 1

NOTE: The qualification for rookies is players that are either playing in their first season of Super Rugby or who are playing their first season as a contracted player and have played less than five games prior to 2019.