All Blacks back Jordie Barrett helped the Hurricanes to a much-needed 30-19 win over the Highlanders in their Super Rugby Aotearoa clash in Dunedin on Friday.
AS IT HAPPENED | Hurricanes v Highlanders
Barrett scored all of the Hurricanes' points - three tries, three conversions, three penalties - to post their first win of the 2021 season.
The Wellingtonians blew a big lead against Chiefs last week, but managed to hold on against the Highlanders after backing Barrett's point-scoring exploits with strong defence.
"We had to stay mentally strong, not just for periods of the game but for the full 80 minutes," Hurricanes captain Ardie Savea said.
"When results are going like that you need to bring the love, bring a positive vibe, the boys came out and did the job."
Super Rugby Aotearoa | Highlanders v Hurricanes - Rd 5 Highlights— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) March 26, 2021
A supreme display by Jordie Barrett helped the @Hurricanesrugby hold off the @Highlanders for their first win of Super Rugby Aotearoa.#SuperRugby #SkySuperRugbyAotearoa #HIGvHUR pic.twitter.com/UPGPdHAwrO
Barrett, playing at fullback, put the Hurricanes on the board with a booming, 50-metre penalty kick after six minutes.
He then crossed for the opening try of the match, evading a tackle to cross the line before clinically converting.
The Hurricanes came under pressure after prop Tyrel Lomax was sin-binned for collapsing a scrum, allowing Highlanders lock Bryn Evans to capitalise with a try.
But Barrett hit back with the Hurricanes' second try to make it 17-7 for the visitors on the stroke of half-time after latching on to a Salesi Rayasi pass.
He completed the hat-trick when Ngani Laumape put him though with a sharp offload shortly after the restart, converting then adding another long-range penalty to his tally to make it 27-7.
The Hurricanes gave away an almost identical 26-7 lead against Chiefs last week, and a similar collapse looked possible as the Highlanders staged a late charge.
Connor Garden-Bachop and Thomas Umaga-Jensen both scored tries to narrow the gap to 27-19 but the Hurricanes held on and Barrett booted his final penalty to seal the win.
Tries: Bryn Evans, Connor Garden-Bachop, Thomas Umaga-Jensen
Conversions: Josh Ioane (2)
Tries: Jordie Barrett (3)
Conversions: Barrett (3)
Penalties: Barrett (3)
15 Josh Ioane, 14 Freedom Vahaakolo, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Patelesio Tomkinson, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith (co-captain), 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Pari Pari Parkinson, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 1 Ethan de Groot
Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Ayden Johnstone, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Kazuki Himeno, 21 Folau Fakatava, 22 Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 23 Connor Garden-Bachop.
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Orbyn Leger, 9 Luke Campbell, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Du'Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 Scott Scrafton, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Xavier Numia
Substitutes: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Tevita Mafileo, 19 Liam Mitchell, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 23 Ruben Love.