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Hurricanes end Crusaders’ unbeaten run

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Hurricanes extend winning run to four in a row

Today saw the Hurricanes end the Crusaders’ unbeaten run in Super Rugby Aotearoa with a fine away victory. The visitors edged out an exciting game by just two points thanks to two Wes Goosen tries and one from Peter Umaga-Jensen.

Defeat for the Crusaders ends their unbeaten home run that stretched back to 2016, when they lost to the Hurricanes again. It also signifies the Hurricane’s fourth win on the bounce and the re-ignition of the competition.

The last time anybody beat the Crusaders in Christchurch it was the Hurricanes in 2016.

First half

Both sides took time to settle into their rhythm and traded penalties for the first quarter. The Crusaders then won a couple of penalties in quick succession and kicked to touch.

A hard line by Jack Goodhue sucked in defenders and he offloaded to Richie Mo’unga to score the first try. The All Black flyhalf converted his own try to put his team 10-3 ahead.

Just five minutes later, the Hurricanes responded. Will Jordan dropped a snow-covered high ball and teammate Sevu Reece got turned over by the onrushing defence.

Some good running by Umaga-Jensen got his team on the front foot and he then set up Wes Goosen for his side’s first try. With Jordie Barrett’s conversion the game was once again in the balance.

The up-and-under tactic proved effective as Barrett converted another penalty for his side. They found themselves behind again, however, following a stunning try by George Bridge.

His wing partner Reece made a good break and threw a big pass out to Bridge. The All Black international then volleyed the ball forward and got a lucky bounce to pounce on the ball. Mo’unga continued his impressive kicking by converting the try.

Soon after, Asafo Aumua and the departing Ben Lam connected on the wing and made good ground. Their work set up the field position for Wes Goosen to dummy and score his second of the half. The try went unconverted, giving them a one-point advantage.

Despite missing, Barrett was undeterred and converted a penalty at the end of the half.

 

Second half

Both sides once again traded penalties at the start of the half. It was the away side who took the second period by the scruff of its neck. The impressive Umaga-Jensen got his reward for a good performance by scoring in the corner.

He had to go off injured, but he had given his team a good foothold, especially with Barrett’s conversion.

Mo’unga’s brilliance then started to really shine. He made a fantastic break with a chip and chase and earnt his team a 5m scrum.

From the scrum Quinten Strange powered over and Mo’unga added the extras.

With five minutes remaining, Jordie Barrett’s boot put his side seven points ahead of the reigning Super Rugby champions.

Another brilliant break by the Crusader’s playmaker, however, put Reece away in the corner and gave them a chance to draw level. Mo’unga, unfortunately, could not keep his kick the right side of the post, leaving them two points off the mark.

As the Crusaders searched for a chink in the armour, the clock ticked down. Jordan dragged his side up to the right half, but the Hurricanes won a significant penalty and tempers flared. Strange went from hero to zero as he pushed a fist into Barrett’s face, earning himself a yellow card with the clock in the red.

Final score, 32-34.

 

 

What next?

The Hurricanes move up to second in the table, at least until the Blues play, and are just three points behind their hosts. They take a well-deserved rest next week, before taking on bottom-of-the-table Chiefs back in Wellington. This was a good result for the Hurricanes, who put an end to the Crusaders’ 36-game home unbeaten run.

The Crusaders, on the other hand, will visit the Chiefs next week as they look to recover from their first home loss in years. They are still top, but now the Blues and the Hurricanes are back in touch. Things just got exciting.

 

We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Hurricanes end Crusaders’ unbeaten run’. Do you think the Hurricanes can win Super Rugby Aotearoa? Let us know!

 

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Eddie is currently studying for his BA in French at Bristol University. He has played rugby since a young age, playing a variety of positions in the back line. His passionate interest in sport, especially rugby, has encouraged him to transfer it to journalism, working with his university paper, Epigram, in addition to his role with Sporting Ferret.

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