Super Rugby

Chiefs hold off late Hurricanes surge to edge Super Rugby Pacific thriller

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Hurricanes fullback Jordie Barrett kicks during the Round 6 Super Rugby Aotearoa match against the Blues in Wellington on 18 July 2020.
Hurricanes fullback Jordie Barrett kicks during the Round 6 Super Rugby Aotearoa match against the Blues in Wellington on 18 July 2020.
Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

The Chiefs pipped the Hurricanes to a 30-29 victory in Super Rugby Pacific action at Sky Stadium on Sunday.

The Hurricanes made a dream start. The Chiefs had worked over halfway with good intent, but Josh Ioane then fired a pass into midfield which TJ Perenara picked off before running 50 metres untouched to score.

The Chiefs hit back in excellent fashion. After the Hurricanes had exited following the restart, Ioane had a huge hand in atoning for his intercept pass. The Chiefs flyhalf popped up on the left, jinking and busting through from 20m out. Sam Cane was there in support off his left shoulder, with Lienert-Brown then looming up to finish things off.

It was a frantic opening to the match as Wes Goosen restored the 'Canes lead in the 12th minute. Ardie Savea picked off the back and fed Jackson Garden-Bachop on the short left hand side and quick hands released Goosen for the try.

Ioane and Jordie Barrett traded penalties before Ioane got another after the hooter to ensure the Chiefs went into half-time trailing by just two points at 15-13.

The 'Canes were penalised for holding on straight from the restart and Ioane popped it over for the Chiefs to lead 16-15.

The Waikato side increased the advantage in the 47th minute. After ten phases, Will Tupaea broke the line looping around the back on the left and catching Julian Savea pushing out his line. Taupeua hit the hole, found Pita Gus Sowakula with the offload and quick hands then put Kaylum Boshier away down the touchline for the finish.

The lead was further extended to 28-15 on the hour mark. After a long, long passage of play, the Chiefs earned themselves a penalty advantage for the Hurricanes leaving their feet. They came to the left hand short side, with Tiatia able to slice clean through from 25 metres out.

The Hurricanes got one back in the 68th minute. They attacked wide off the lineout, with Love looping in behind the play as they worked to the right. He pushed away from two defenders to feed Julian Savea, who charged to the corner to dot down despite Nankivell's best covering effort.

In the 73rd minute, the Canes' reduced the deficit to just one to set up a thrilling last seven or so minutes. A penalty would have closed the gap to five points, but Ardie Savea decided to take the quick tap from some 12 metres out, goes charging through the unsuspecting Chiefs and barged over for the finish. Jordie Barrett's conversion made it 30-29 with the Chiefs just in front.

The Hurricanes threw everything at the Chiefs in the final passages but the latter were able to hold on for the win.

The scorers:

For Chiefs - Tries: Lienert-Brown, Boshier, Tiatia. Cons: Ioane (2). Pens: Ioane (2), Gatland.

For Hurricanes - Tries: Perenara, Goosen, J Savea, A Savea. Cons: J Barrett (3). Pen: J Barrett.

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