Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has signed on for another two more years at the Wellington-based franchise.
The 58 year-old’s decision to extend his stay at the ‘Canes caps off a memorable week for the team after their 20-3 triumph over the Lions on Friday gave them a first ever Super 18 title.
The triumph erases last year’s 14-21 home loss to the Highlanders and finally saw the franchise ditch its ‘nearly men’ tag. In wet conditions, a virtuoso display from Beauden Barrett allied with a solid defensive performance helped them beat a gutsy Lions side.
A clearly relieved Boyd has this to say, ‘
“I couldn’t have faced another loss at home. It took me, personally, months to get over losing last year’s final”.
What makes his achievement all the more impressive is that he achieved it without stars such as Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, and All Blacks Lock Jeremy Thrush.
His excellent work has not gone unnoticed with NZ rugby critics touting him as a possible candidate to replace Steve Hansen when he steps down after the 2019 World Cup.
His team ran in 72 tries, the third top try scorers behind the Chiefs with 76, and the Lions with 81. Beauden Barrett finished as the tournament’s top points scorers, bagging 223 points, ahead of the Chiefs’ Damian Mackenzie and the Lions’ Elton Jantijies.
But the modest former Sharks assistant coach refused to take the plaudits, instead choosing to praise his team:
“This side developed a great character and a great attitude amongst themselves. We’ve had good self belief and good self trust and it’s carried us a long way.”
With Boyd at the helm and so much quality talent, you wouldn’t bet against the ‘Canes repeating their success next year.