Beau­den bril­liance saves Hur­ri­canes

The Rugby Paper - - Super Rugby - ■ By SAM JACK­SON

BEAU­DEN BAR­RETT pro­duced a mas­ter­class per­for­mance, al­beit with another yel­low card, to get the Hur­ri­canes home 2824 against the Blues in Auck­land yes­ter­day.

Bar­rett was in­stru­men­tal in three of the four Hur­ri­canes tries in the fast but scrappy en­counter where missed tack­les and turnovers were rife.

The Blues, who have not beaten a New Zealand side at home since they downed the High­landers in the first round of 2016, hit the front with 15 min­utes re­main­ing but they could not stop Bar­rett en­gi­neer­ing a late match-win­ning try.

The Blues were press­ing to ex­tend their lead when Bar­rett chipped ahead and re­gath­ered to spark a move that swept the length of the field. It ended with the fly­half an­gling a kick to­wards the cor­ner where lock Mark Ab­bott, who scored the first try, was on hand to score the de­cider.

“It took a pretty spe­cial play from Beau­den to get them down their end,” Blues cap­tain James Par­sons said. “That was the big play that we were look­ing for to win, and they won it un­for­tu­nately.”

Canes cap­tain TJ Per­e­nara said it typ­i­fied their never-say-die at­ti­tude. “We were un­der the pump for a big part of that sec­ond half and for us not to con­cede too much and to be able to get up and over the line, I’m proud of that.”

The Hur­ri­canes led 21-14 — three tries to two — at half­time be­fore the Blues closed it to 21-17 with a penalty on de­but from fly­half Bryn Gat­land — son of Lions coach War­ren. They then seized the lead with a try to Scott Scrafton be­fore Ab­bott’s win­ning try.

Winger Toni Pulu scored two tries as the Chiefs came back from 24-0 down to earn a bonus-point vic­tory over the Chee­tahs.

Tries by winger Ray­mond Rhule, prop Torsten van Jaarsveld and cen­tre Fran­cois Venter had put the home side in con­trol with a 24-point lead af­ter 22 min­utes, but the vis­i­tors re­gained their com­po­sure and Pulu’s dou­ble added to ef­forts from Taw­era Ker­rBar­low, James Lowe, Shaun Steven­son and Hika El­liot sealed vic­tory.

The Mel­bourne Rebels pro­duced a fight­ing re­sponse to a tu­mul­tuous week with a tense 19-17 vic­tory over the Brumbies for their first win of the sea­son.

The Rebels, stung by at­tempts to cut them from next sea­son's com­pe­ti­tion, fought back to win with a penalty goal by Reece Hodge in the fi­nal min­utes.

The Aus­tralian con­fer­ence-lead­ing Brumbies, who outscored the home side three tries to one, led for most of the sec­ond half be­fore Hodge’s win­ner.

The Storm­ers’ win­ning streak came to an abrupt end as they went down 16-29 to the Lions at New­lands.

The Johannesburg-based side made a blis­ter­ing start and scored four tries to one to earn a bonus point. Sub­sti­tute wing Syl­vian

Mahuza scored the vi­tal try which fly-half El­ton Jan­tjies con­verted.

Queens­land Reds ended a run of six de­feats with a free-scor­ing 47-34 win over the South­ern Kings in Bris­bane. The Reds scored seven tries to five with Quade Cooper re­turn­ing from sus­pen­sion to kick six con­ver­sions.

For­mer Wal­laby flanker Ge­orge Smith cel­e­brated his 150th Su­per Rugby ap­pear­ance with a try while Eto Nab­uli, Karmichael Hunt and Izaia Perese all scored twice for the Reds.

Cru­saders cel­e­brated Wy­att Crockett’s record 176th Su­per Rugby ap­pear­ance with a 50-3 an­ni­hi­la­tion of the Sun­wolves to main­tain their win­ning record.

Manasa Mataele scored a first-half hat-trick while Ben Fun­nell, Pete Samu, Ge­orge Bridge, Whetu Douglas and Kiwi cap­tain Kieran Read, mak­ing his come­back fol­low­ing a wrist surgery, also crossed as Crockett sur­passed the num­ber of games by ex-All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu. The Cru­saders dom­i­nated up front against a lim­ited Ja­panese side, who were re­stricted to a Yu Ta­mura penalty.

PIC­TURES: Getty Images

Run­ning the show: Beau­den Bar­rett breaks through

Try dou­ble: Toni Pulu

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