Cape Town - The Hurricanes have booked their place in the Super Rugby semi-finals after beating the Brumbies 35-16 in Canberra on Friday.
The Brumbies were competitive throughout although the Hurricanes
gradually took control of proceedings and eventually outscored their
hosts four tries to two with Jordie Barrett leading the way with a
20-point haul courtesy of a try, three penalties and three conversions.
The home side held a 16-15 lead at half-time thanks to tries from
James Dargaville and Josh Mann-Rea but five-pointers from Wes Goosen and
Jordie Barrett during that period kept the Hurricanes in the match.
The Brumbies held the upper hand during the early exchanges and were
soon camped inside the Hurricanes' half. That early dominance reaped
reward as early as the fifth minute when James Dargaville gathered a
pass from Andrew Smith deep inside the visitors' 22 before crossing for
the opening try.
It did not take long for the Hurricanes to respond though and they
did it in style when Goosen collected a long throw-in at the back of a
lineout on the edge of the Brumbies' 22 and stepped past three defenders
before diving over.
Both those tries were not converted but the Brumbies regained the
lead in the 12th minute courtesy of a penalty from Wharenui Hawera after
the Hurricanes were blown up for illegal scrummaging.
And the hosts soon went further ahead when Josh Mann-Rea scored their
second try from a lineout drive deep close to the Hurricanes' try-line.
With the score at 13-5, the home side had their tails up but the
Hurricanes narrowed the gap in the 26th minute in bizarre fashion. This,
when a pass from TJ Perenara, deep inside the hosts' 22, bounced off
the head of Ben May. Jordie Barrett was quickest to react and dived on
the loose ball behind the Brumbies' tryline.
Barrett converted his own try before trading penalties with Hawera
which meant the game was evenly poised as the half drew to a close.
Just before half-time, the Hurricanes were reduced to 14 men when
Jeffery Toomaga-Allen was yellow carded for a shoulder charge to the
head of Hawera.
The offence was similar to the one committed by Sonny Bill Williams
on Anthony Watson during the All Blacks' recent series against the
British and Irish Lions but referee Glen Jackson ruled that there was
mitigation for Toomaga-Allen's indiscretion as Hawera was going down
towards the ground after being tackled by another Hurricanes player.
But the Brumbies could not capitalise on their numerical advantage
and it was the the visitors who scored the only points during
Toomaga-Allen's 10 minute spell on the sidelines - Barrett slotting his
second penalty in the 49th minute.
The next 15 minutes was a measured affair as both sides tried to gain
the ascendancy although the Hurricanes pushed further ahead thanks to
another penalty from Barrett in the 65th minute.
Five minutes later, Dane Coles showed his class and set off on a
barnstorming run before offloading to Perenara who outpaced the cover
defence before crossing for his side's third try.
And just before the end, Jordie Barrett intercepted a wayward pass
from Robbie Abel inside the Brumbies' 22 and got a pass out to Goosen
who crossed for his second try which sealed the win for the defending
Tries: James Dargaville, Josh Mann-Rea
Penalties: Wharenui Hawera (2)
Tries: Wes Goosen (2), Jordie Barrett, TJ Perenara
Conversions: Jordie Barrett (2)
Penalties: Jordie Barrett (3)
15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani,12 Andrew Smith,11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Christian
15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Jordie Barrett, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Mark Abbott,3 Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Ben May
Substitutes: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Cory Jane