17 v 28
The Hurricanes stayed in touch with the Australasian Conference leaders after claiming a crucial 28-17 win over the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
In a thrilling match, in which both sides gave the ball plenty of air, the Hurricanes made better use of their pointscoring opportunites and eventually outscored their hosts by three tries two.
Both sides played with 14 men for 10-minute periods, after having players sent to the sin bin, with Taqele Naiyaravoro’s yellow card in the 56th minute – for playing Barrett in the air – proving costly for the home side as the Hurricanes scored 10 points during this period.
The win means the men from Wellington are still third in the New Zealand Conference on 48 points, two behind the Crusaders who are in second-place, while the Waratahs missed a golden opportunity to move to the top of the Australian Conference table on their own – they are in joint first place with the Brumbies with 39 points from 14 matches.
The Hurricanes were fastest out of the blocks and although Beauden Barrett missed an early shot at goal, he soon made up for it from the kicking tee after Wycliff Palu was penalised for a high tackle on Michael Fatialofa.
Barrett made it 6-0 with another penalty before crossing for the game’s opening try in the 18th minute after gathering a beautifuly-weighted chip kick from Cory Jane close to the Waratahs’ try-line.
The Waratahs didn’t panic and reduced the deficit in the 25th minute via a try by Taqele Naiyaravoro, who dived over from close quarters after shrugging off the attentions of three defenders.
Just before half-time Nick Phipps was caught behind his try-line and threw a dangerous pass to Bernard Foley who fumled the offload before TJ Perenara dived onto the ball.
The Hurricanes thought they had they had their second try but referee Chris Pollock disallowed Perenara’s effort after television replays showed he had knocked on in the build-up.
Just before half-time, the visitors were dealt a blow when Willis Halaholo was sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle on Foley and the pivot soon slotted the resulting penalty which meant the Hurricanes held a slender 11-10 lead as the teams changed sides at half-time.
The Waratahs made their numerical advantage count and three minutes after the restart Israel Folau left his stamp on the match when he powered his way past four defenders before crashing over for his side’s second try.
Foley’s converted to give the Waratahs the lead for the first time but that was short-lived as the visitors struck backfive monutes later when Cory Jane rounded off in the right-hand corner. This after Fatialofa and Ardie Savea did well in the build-up, and the Hurricanes gained further control of proceedings when Barrett slotted a penalty in the 56th minute.
Things went from bad to worse for the Waratahs when Naiyaravoro received his marching orders shortly afterwards and the Hurricanes extended their lead on the hour-mark via a Julian Savea try which Barrett converted.
The Waratahs upped the ante in the final quarter as they tried to get something from this match but the Hurricanes did well to keep them at bay with a solid defensive effort.
WARATAHS – 17
Tries: Taqele Naiyaravoro (26), Israel Folau (42)
Penalties: Bernard Foley (40)
Cons: Bernard Foley (27,43)
HURRICANES – 28
Tries: Beauden Barrett (16) , Cory Jane (48), Julian Savea (60)
Penalties: Beauden Barrett (8,12,56)
Cons: Beauden Barrett (49,61)
Waratahs: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Rob Horne, 11 Matt Carraro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Will Skelton, 4 David Dennis, 3 Tom Robertson, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Paddy Ryan
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Reece Robinson
Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Chris Eves, 2 Dane Coles (c), 1 Reg Goodes
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Ben May, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Ngani Laumape, 23 Jason Woodward
Date: Saturday, July 9
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant Referees: Andrew Lees, James Leckie
TMO: Ian Smith