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Hurricanes keep title ambitions alive

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Hurricanes consign Chiefs to eighth Super Rugby Aotearoa defeat

 

The Hurricanes claimed a bonus-point victory against the Chiefs to keep their title ambitions alive. The home side scored five tries as they powered their way to victory against bottom-of-the-table Chiefs. The 31-18 win also sees Warren Gatland’s team consigned to a winless Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign.

 

First half

Despite a bright start from the Chiefs they soon found themselves behind as the Hurricanes scored after just eight minutes.

They made the most of their hold on the ball and a fizzing pass from TJ Perenara helped Peter Umaga-Jensen to power over from close range. Jordie Barrett converted and the Chiefs were already behind.

The Chiefs continued to concede penalties but managed to pull some points back with a Damian McKenzie penalty.

After a long stoppage to treat the unconscious Sam Cane, the Hurricanes scored again through some good work by the backs. Johan Goosen’s offload found Umaga-Jensen who was able to finish in the corner.

The Chiefs nearly made them pay for the missed conversion as Brad Weber almost scored after Kobus van Wyk was yellow-carded. Unfortunately for the visitors, they were called back for a foot in touch.

The Hurricanes have not lost at home at all during Super Rugby Aotearoa.

Second half

The Chiefs came out of the changing rooms a different side for the first ten minutes of the half.

They set up a good maul and scored through Sean Wainui in the corner. McKenzie even converted the difficult kick and they were right back in contention at 12-10.

This was as close as they got, however, because some great play by Barrett and Perenara gave the Hurricanes momentum, allowing Dane Coles to score out wide.

McKenzie narrowed the gap once more with a penalty after Barrett missed the conversion to make it 17-13.

Then came a beautiful bit of play by the Hurricanes. Dummying a maul from the lineout, they passed out to Jackson Garden-Bachop. His raking cross-field kick found the returning van Wyk in acres of space and he scored with ease.

Barrett’s conversion widened the gap to 11 points and the game looked as if it was getting away from the Chiefs.

Just as you thought they were out of it, the Chiefs hit back through a powerful maul that carried Mitch Karpik over at a rate of knots.

With the tide of penalties in their favour, the visitors came close to stealing a result. The problem was that none of their passes would stick and they disrupted their own momentum.

Instead, the Hurricanes put the game to bed with just over five minutes remaining. Barrett made a half break to put them on the front foot. Then, Jamie Booth sniped round the side and offloaded off the floor to Billy Proctor for the bonus-point try.

Try as they might, the Chiefs could not score, and come away without even a losing bonus point.

 

What next?

This was the Chiefs’ last game of the competition, meaning they failed to win a single one. They are in serious need of a regroup but they will have to do without Warren Gatland for now. He is taking a break from coaching them in preparation for his role with the Lions.

A bonus-point victory keeps the Hurricanes’ slim title ambitions alive and they have one more game against the Highlanders next week. If the Crusaders win tomorrow, the Canes’ hopes are extinguished, but they have given a good account of themselves after a shaky start.

 

We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Hurricanes keep slim title hopes alive’. Can the Hurricanes edge their way to the title? 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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