Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

Hurricanes snatch Super thriller with late Jordie conversion


WELLINGTON AFP July 18, 2020: A late conversion by Jordie Barrett saw the Wellington Hurricanes snatch a 29-27 victory over the Auckland Blues and gave him bragging rights over big brother Beauden in a dramatic Super Rugby clash in Wellington Saturday.

The match was billed as a battle of the All Blacks Barrett brothers, with Beauden at fullback for the Blues making his mark with a sensationa­l first-half try. But when the Hurricanes scored an equalising try two minutes from fulltime, it was Jordie's sideline conversion that determined the outcome.

It gave the Hurricanes a third consecutiv­e win while the Blues suffered their second loss after falling to the unbeaten Canterbury Crusaders last week. Hurricanes captain Dane Coles said his side went off the boil after taking the lead early in the second half and it was a relief when the final conversion sailed between the posts.

“We lost our way for abut 15-20 minutes, then we got a turnover and scored. It was a tight finish,” he said, adding that Jordie had won the battle of the Barretts.

“He's pretty special, Jordie. Baz ( Beauden) kept putting up those high bombs to get in his head and Jordie kept taking them.” Ngani Laumape, the standout performer for the Hurricanes, went from villain to hero in quick succession at the start of the game.

Just 13 seconds from the kick off he gave away a penalty allowing Otere Black to land a simple three points for the Blues. But three minutes later he stepped around Beauden Barrett and crashed through an ineffectua­l Black tackle to score in the corner to put the Hurricanes in front.

Beauden, in his first appearance wearing Blues colours in Wellington since he defected to Auckland, regained the lead for the Blues with an outrageous dummy to open up the Hurricanes backline and a 35-metre sprint. The Hurricanes were guilty of several unforced errors and squandered a further scoring opportunit­y when a handy Jordie Barrett penalty hit the uprights, while a try from a lineout drive to Dalton Papali'i pushed the Blues out to a 15-7 lead.

The Hurricanes hit back with a similar try to Reed Prinsep and on the stroke of half-time a Jordie Barrett penalty levelled the score. They opened up a 22-15 lead with a Dane Coles try soon after the restart but the Blues hit the front again with tries from lineout drives to Akira Ioane and Kurt Eklund, before the Aumua-Jordie Barrett combinatio­n handed the game to the Hurricanes.

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