CityPress - - Sport -

The deep, long, frus­trated sigh from coach Chris Boyd was more than enough to sum­marise ex­actly how an en­tire city felt af­ter the Welling­ton Hur­ri­canes were beaten 21-14 by the Otago High­landers in the Su­per Rugby fi­nal yesterday. The home town Hur­ri­canes had set the pace for the en­tire Su­per Rugby sea­son with a clin­i­cal, yet breath­tak­ingly ex­cit­ing style of play that pro­pelled them to 14 reg­u­lar sea­son wins and a home fi­nal in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 36 000.

On sev­eral oc­ca­sions, the Hur­ri­canes won games they prob­a­bly should not have, but some­how did.

But in the fi­nal, only their sec­ond in 20 sea­sons of Su­per Rugby and the game that counted most, they lost a match they prob­a­bly should have won given the num­ber of op­por­tu­ni­ties to score at cru­cial times, which they squan­dered.

Passes out of tack­les that went to hand dur­ing the sea­son, yesterday went in­stead to a High­landers player or were spilled for­ward.

The cleanout and de­liv­ery of quick ball at the break­down, so ef­fi­cient for much of the sea­son, was lack­ing.

Time and again yesterday the High­landers turned the ball over or the Hur­ri­canes were pe­nalised by ref­eree Jaco Peyper for not re­leas­ing, or other in­fringe­ments.

In the end, the to­tal­ity of those er­rors was what counted, and the rea­son Hur­ri­canes coach Boyd could only sigh with a slight shrug and a shake of his head.

“We have played pretty rea­son­able rugby for most of the year, but prob­a­bly didn’t get the game that we wanted to get go­ing, made too many mis­takes and didn’t re­spect the ball,” Boyd told re­porters.

“The num­ber of mis­takes we made, some un­der pres­sure from the High­landers – but mostly the num­ber of ex­e­cu­tion er­rors we made – was un­char­ac­ter­is­tic.”

While the Hur­ri­canes failed to ex­ert any score­board pres­sure in the first half due to some way­ward goal kick­ing from fly half Beau­den Bar­rett and a missed try by winger Ju­lian Savea in the sec­ond half was a mi­cro­cosm of their en­tire per­for­mance.

Savea was in the clear with the line open in the 62nd

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