Super Rugby Aotearoa

Kobus van Wyk leads 14-man Hurricanes to win over Chiefs

Kobus van Wyk for the Hurricanes
Kobus van Wyk for the Hurricanes
Phil Walter/Getty Images

The Hurricanes registered their first Super Rugby Aotearoa win as they defeated the Chiefs at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Sunday.

The visitors won 25-18 after leading 20-3 at halftime.

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Jordie Barrett highlighted a fine performance on his return from injury with a booming 60-metre penalty.

It was a morale-boosting victory for the 'Canes in New Zealand's revived Super Rugby competition even though they finished with only 14 players after Scott Scrafton was shown a red card after receiving two yellows. 

But it added to a disappointing return to New Zealand for the Waikato-born and former Wales coach Warren Gatland as his side slumped to a fourth loss.

In a much-improved second half for the Chiefs they improved from a 20-3 deficit at the turn to be one converted try from drawing level, and Hurricanes skipper TJ Perenara was relieved to hear the final whistle.

"It was awesome for us to get that win. It's been a tough couple of weeks for us," he said.

"For us to be able to close that one out, even though the Chiefs put us under a lot of pressure at the end, was good for the boys."

A dejected Chiefs captain Sam Cane said it was "hugely disappointing" to have lost four from four.

"It's not like we're not giving ourselves chances to win the game, we're just not quite clinical enough to take them."

Barrett, who had been sidelined by a shoulder injury through the early rounds of the competition, made his presence felt from the start with a long cut-out pass that allowed Kobus Van Wyk to stroll over unmarked for the opening try in the fourth minute.

The Chiefs stayed in the hunt for most of the first half, and trailed 7-3 five minutes before half-time when Barrett led a 13-point burst to give the Hurricanes a 20-3 lead at the break. 

The 22-year-old All Blacks utility punished the Chiefs with two penalties, including the monster from 10 metres inside his own half, and also converted a try by Du Plessis Kirifi. 

Barrett, who brought a calming influence to the Hurricanes backline, was also instrumental after the break with a deft flick pass to put Van Wyk into space for his second try.

The Chiefs dominated possession but for much of the game they struggled to make headway against a staunch Hurricanes defence. 

Their points came from two Damian McKenzie penalties, a penalty try and a try to Lachlan Boshier.

Scorers:

Chiefs

Tries: Penalty try, Lachlan Boshier

Penalties: Damian McKenzie (2)

Hurricanes

Tries: Kobus van Wyk (2), Du'Plessis Kirifi

Conversions: Jordie Barrett (2)

Penalties: Barrett (2)

Teams:

Chiefs

15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Quinn Tupaea, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 4 Mitchell Brown, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Aidan Ross

Substitutes: 16 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 17 Reuben O’Neill, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Dylan Nel, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Kaleb Trask, 23 Solomon Alaimalo

Hurricanes

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 TJ Perenara (co-captain), 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Dane Coles (co-captain), 1 Fraser Armstrong

Substitutes: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Ben May, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Liam Mitchell, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Billy Proctor, 23 Wes Goosen