VIDEO: Hurricanes power back to the top

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 07:05

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Hurricanes moved back to the top of the standings on Friday.

The 2016 champions powered past the Chiefs, winning 25-13 in Wellington, to reclaim the top spot previously held by their compatriots, the defending champion Crusaders.

The Hurricanes outscored the Chiefs by three tries to one in a hard-fought battle.

It was another red-hot display from wing Ben Lam in his break-out Super Rugby season.

Lam scored one of his team's three five-pointers to extend his tally for the season to a competition-leading nine.

The home side were also bolstered by the return of the 2016 and 2017 World Player of the Year Beauden Barrett, who put his name on the scoresheet as the Hurricanes led throughout.

Lam, formerly an injury-plagued Sevens player, pressed his claim for All-Black selection as national coach Steve Hansen watched from the stands.

The result took the Hurricanes' home record to 17 wins from 18 games and ended a two-match losing streak against the Chiefs.

Captain Brad Shields admitted it was not a dominant performance but said the Hurricanes were satisfied as the season enters the halfway mark.

"All in all it was a pretty rough performance but I'm glad we came out with a win," he said.

"But we're building slowly. We've got a bye this week and we're looking forward to putting the feet up."

Chiefs skipper Sam Cane, whose team suffered their first defeat in six matches, paid tribute to the Hurricanes' scrambling defence.

"They took their opportunities and they created plenty of them," he said.

"We did too but the Hurricanes scramble was just too good for us."

Both sides had early chances as pivot Damien McKenzie fired the Chiefs' attack and Ben Lam was bundled into touch as he tried to cross in the corner for the Hurricanes.

The big wing made no mistake in the seventh minute, brushing off three defenders to score the opening try.

Barrett, returning from a thigh strain, ankle-tapped Solomona Alaimalo to stop an almost certain try.

The game's tempo was disrupted by a long delay as Chiefs prop Aiden Ross was stretchered off, seemingly with a serious ankle injury.

It roared back to life with a double strike for the Hurricanes early in the second half, taking their lead to 22-6.

Barrett swooped on the ball after Lam dislodged it from Chiefs wing Sean Wainui, then narrowly beat Brodie Retallick in a footrace to the line.

He then sent a perfectly weighted cross-field kick to Ngani Laumape, who beat Anton Lienert Brown in the air and scampered away for a five-pointer.

Lachlan Boshier clawed a try back for the Chiefs but Jordie Barrett sealed the win with a penalty after the siren.

Man of the match: Damien McKenzie kept the Hurricanes defence honest. Solomon Alaimalo broke tackles almost at will and Brodie Retallick was an ever-present physical force. Ben Lam and Jordie Barrett, the latter with some momentous try-saving tackles, played significantly influential roles. However, our award goes to Hurricanes flyhalf Beauden Barrett - who no only directed traffic brilliantly, but scored the match-defining try.

The scorers:

For the Hurricanes:
Tries:
Lam, B Barrett, Laumape
Cons: J Barrett 2
Pens: J Barrett 2

For the Chiefs:
Try:
Boshier
Con: D McKenzie
Pens: D McKenzie 2

Teams:

Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Vince Aso, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 James O'Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Murray Douglas, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Wes Goosen.

Chiefs: 15 Charlie Ngatai, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta'avao-Matau, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Luke Jacobson, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Alex Nankivell.

Referee: Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe & Cam Stone
TMO: Glenn Newman

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14