Hurricanes 31 Chiefs 18
Achieving their bonus-point win when beating the Chiefs 31-18 in Wellington on Saturday, the Hurricanes kept their hopes alive of taking out the Super Rugby Aotearoa title.
The Chiefs finished the competition without a win, but they were in the game well into the final quarter.
Fullback Jordie Barrett had an outstanding display in setting the base for the home team to launch their attacking game while the Chiefs had to do without captain Sam Cane who was forced to leave the field 26 minutes into the game after being injured attempting to make a tackle on Barrett.
Their coaching staff may have played down the pursuit of a try-scoring bonus point but the Hurricanes players looked like they were desperate to get as many as possible from the outset.
That was demonstrated when Barrett twice unleashed long cross-field passes, the second of which landed in flanker Ardie Savea’s hands. He put his speed to use before linking outside to wing Wes Goosen, playing his 50thgame, to take the ball deep into the 22m area.
The Hurricanes pack arrived en masse and after a couple of attempts to carry the ball forward it was released for the backs where halfback TJ Perenara spotted second five-eighths Peter Umaga-Jensen running a tight angle towards the line. Perenara fed him the ball and Umaga-Jensen scored beneath the cross bar.
Moments after Cane left the field a scrum produced a 26th minute try. Perenara cleared ball from the scrum and it was moved with Umaga-Jensen taking a gap on the outside. Outside him again it was Goosen who slipped the ball back inside and Umaga-Jensen had his second for the night.
The Chiefs went close near the end of the first half after Hurricanes wing Kobus van Wyk was sin-binned for a dangerous, and late, tackle of Chiefs halfback Brad Weber.
Twice they had lineout drives at the line, but the Hurricanes defence held. Weber had got over from the first but a TMO check showed an in-pass had been from over the touchline.
Into the second half, the Chiefs got themselves back in the game on the end of another long pass, this time from first five-eighths Kaleb Trask, who found wing Sean Wainui who cross in the 44th minute.
But the Hurricanes fashioned a quick response after Barrett secured a midfield high ball. He took play forward, linked with second five-eighths Vince Aso. He had Perenara inside and the captain headed for the goal-line only to be hauled in. From the ruck first five-eighths Jackson Garden-Bachop put another long pass through to hooker Dane Coles who scored.
Chiefs fullback Damian McKenzie landed a penalty goal but again the Hurricanes fired back when from a lineout, resulting from a penalty kick to the corner, the Hurricanes moved the ball rather than mauling it and Garden-Bachop’s cross-kick found van Wyk with a wide expanse of real estate to choose where he put the ball down for the try.
Seven minutes later, after 63mins, the Chiefs had their own chance from a penalty lineout and they poured into their maul with replacement flanker Mitchell Karpik getting the try.
Barrett’s influence was evident again when breaking through the Chiefs’ backline defence. Replacement halfback Jamie Booth was able to break from the base of the breakdown and almost get through. But when tackled, he slipped a pass to replacement back Billy Proctor in the 72nd minute.
Scorers: Hurricanes 31 (Peter Umaga-Jensen 2, Kobus van Wyk, Dane Coles, Billy Proctor tries; Jordie Barrett 3 con) Chiefs 18 (Sean Wainui, Mitch Karpik tries; Damian McKenzie con, 2 pen). HT: 12-3
The teams were:
Hurricanes: 1.Ben May (replaced by Pouri Rakete-Stones, 55 mins), 2.Dane Coles (captain – replaced by Asafo Aumua, 50 mins), 3.Tyrel Lomax (replaced by Tevita Mafileo, 62 mins), 4.James Blackwell (replaced by Kane Le’aupepe, 60 mins), 5.Scott Scrafton, 6.Reed Prinsep, 7.Du’Plessis Kirifi, 8.Ardie Savea (replaced by Devan Flanders, 74 mins), 9.TJ Perenara (captain), 10.Jackson Garden-Bachop (replaced by Jamie Booth, 68 mins), 11.Wes Goosen, 12.Vince Aso (replaced by Billy Proctor 71 mins), 13.Peter Umaga-Jensen, 14.Kobus van Wyk (replaced by Jonah Lowe, 66mins), 15.Jordie Barrett.
Substitutes: 16.Asafo Aumua, 17.Tevita Mafileo, 18.Pouri Rakete-Stones, 19.Kane Le’aupepe, 20.Devan Flanders, 21.Jamie Booth, 22.Billy Proctor, 23.Jonah Lowe.
Chiefs: 1.Ollie Norris (replaced by Rob Cobb, 70 mins), 2.Samisoni Taukei’aho (replaced by Brad Slater, 60 mins), 3.Nepo Laulala (replaced by Angus Ta’avao, 53mins), 4.Naitoa Ah Kuoi (replaced by Tupou Vaa’i, 53mins), 5.Mitchell Brown, 6.Luke Jacobson, 7.Sam Cane (captain – replaced by Mitch Karpik, 26mins), 8.Pita Gus Sowakula, 9.Brad Weber (replaced by Lisati Milo-Harris, 66mins), 10.Kaleb Trask, 11.Sean Wainui, 12.Alex Nankivell (replaced by Quinn Tupaea, 53mins), 13.Anton Lienert-Brown, 14.Shaun Stevenson (replaced by Kini Naholo, 41mins), 15.Damian McKenzie.
Substitutes not required: 16.Bradley Slater, 17.Robb Cobb, 18.Angus Ta’avao, 19.Tupou Vaa’i, 20.Mitchell Karpik, 21.Lisati Milo-Harris, 22.Quinn Tupaea, 23.Kini Naholo.
© 2020 Lynn McConnell