Blues implode to hand Hurricanes victory
Cape Town - A second-string Hurricanes side showed their depth in overturning a 19-point half-time deficit to beat the Blues in their all-New Zealand Super Rugby derby in Wellington on Saturday.
As it happened: Hurricanes v Blues
The Hurricanes won 29-24 after trailing 24-5 at the break.
The Hurricanes who rested a number of first-choice All Blacks - most notably the Barrett brothers, Beauden and Jordie - scored four tries by centre Peter Umaga-Jensen (2), lock Isaia Walker-Leawere and replacement back Fletcher Smith. Flyhalf Jackson Garden-Bachop added three conversions and a penalty.
The Blues, who imploded badly in the second half after a strong opening stanza, scored three tries through centre Tanielu Tele’a, wing Caleb Clarke and fullback Melani Nanai. Flyhalf Otere Black added all three conversions as well as penalty.
The Hurricanes picked up four points for their victory, but remained second in the New Zealand Conference and fourth in the Overall log.
The Blues picked up a single point for losing by seven of fewer points, but finished bottom of the New Zealand Conference and 13th - at present - in the Overall standings.
In next weekend's quarter-final action, the Hurricanes, champions in 2016, will face the fifth-place overall finishers - possibly the Bulls - while the Blues have been eliminated from contention.
15 James Marshall,
14 Ben Lam, 13 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 12 Danny Toala, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10
Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Richard Judd, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du’Plessis
Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 Kane Le’aupepe, 3 Ross
Geldenhuys, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Fraser Armstrong.
16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Liam Mitchell, 20
Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Jonah Lowe
Melani Nanai, 14 Caleb Clarke, 13 Tanielu Tele’a, 12 Sonny Bill
Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Otere Black, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Akira
Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson (captain), 6 Dalton Papali’i, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4
Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Marcel Renata, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman
16 Leni Apisai, 17 Hisa Sasagi, 18 Lua Li, 19 Tom Robinson, 20 Josh
Goodhue, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Ma’a Nonu