You never know with those TMOs
Hooker Dane Coles is adamant he did score the controversial try that secured the Hurricanes an upset 28-25 Super Rugby win over the table-topping Chiefs on Friday.
Coles' try four minutes after the full-time siren not only keep alive the Hurricanes' their slim hopes of a top six play-off berth, but it also dented the Chiefs' chances of ending the regular season in top spot and guaranteeing themselves home advantage through the finals series.
While the Chiefs are already guaranteed a finals spot after winning the New Zealand Conference, South Africa's Stormers can now overtake them with a win over the Rebels in Cape Town ion Saturday.
After a frantic first half, which included two tries to winger Julian Savea, the Hurricanes looked to have faded against their New Zealand rivals before launching a last-ditch attack after being awarded a penalty.
Desperately keeping possession after the siren sounded, they laid siege to the Chiefs' line, Coles forcing his way across a jumble of bodies for a try that the television referee ruled legitimate after an agonising delay.
Coles, who started all 16 of the Hurricanes' regular season games this year, was adamant he forced the ball legitimately but said there were a few worrying moments as Fraser continued to look at the footage.
"I was nervous, but I definitely got it down," Coles said after the game.
"But you never know with those TMOs so I'm just glad he made the right call and made the right decision.
"I thought the ball hit the chalk, but the call's been made and I'll have a `T' next to my name."
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie answered "nah" when asked if he saw the ball grounded by Coles when watching the replays.
"I don't know. I had as many looks as everyone else and it looked like [the TMO] had about 15 cracks at it. But he made a decision and in the end, whether I thought it was a try or not probably doesn't matter. But the point is we shouldn't have put ourselves in that situation so we've only got ourselves to blame."
While the win sparked wild celebrations among the Hurricanes players, there are six teams vying for four play-off spots in this weekend's round and they still need results elsewhere to go their way to make the cut.
Captain Conrad Smith said the Hurricanes, written off at the start of the season after a clear-out of high-profile players such as Ma'a Nonu and Piri Weepu, had proved a point regardless.
"We threw everything at each other and we somehow crawled over the line to take it," he said.
"I'm proud of the way we played whether we make the play-offs or not, it's been a heck of a year considering where we've come from."