Cape Town - The Waratahs were in control for most of the match but the Hurricanes rallied for a 20-19 victory at the Brookvale Oval in New South Wales on Saturday.
The opening stanza saw little opportunity for either team as the battle of the boot ensued, with the Hurricanes surviving with precious little ball.
The visitors would finally dot down the first five pointer of the match in the 35th minute. Camped on the Waratahs line after several pick and drives, the powerful Ardie Savea finally bundled over and the subsequent conversion saw them take the lead.
But a late penalty and and a converted try in the opening minutes of the second half saw the hosts surge to a 19-10 lead. Perpetual linebreaker Israel Folau broke the Hurricanes defence to set up a try for winger Curtis Rona.
But the Hurricanes showed class to create clear cut opportunities late in the game. Substitute Isaia Walker-Leawere crashed over the line with some help from his teammates, but the try was disallowed due to a high elbow from the lock in the lead up.
Minutes later, the visitors crossed the whitewash again, with Ben Lam taking what little opportunity he had. But again the men from Wellington were denied, with the wingers’ arm ruled to be in touch.
But with five minutes to go and the pressure telling, Hurricanes debutante Du Plessis Kirifi smashed his way over the line after a line-out maul for his maiden Super Rugby try. Jordi Barrett then popped over a clutch kick for a 20-19 lead.
Waratahs Fly-half Bernard Foley then had a chance to win the game for the home side, but his penalty attempt from just 30m out would narrowly miss the left hand upright, cuing growns from the Tahs faithful.
Try: Curtis Rona
Conversion: Bernard Foley
Penalties: Foley (4)
Tries: Ardie Savea, Du Plessis Kirifi
Conversion: Jordie Barrett
Penalties: Barrett (2)
15 Israel Folau, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes
Substitutes: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Rory O’Connor, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Lachlan Swinton, 20 Will Miller, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Mack Mason, 23 Cam Clark
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Vince Aso, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Liam Mitchell, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves
Substitutes: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Ben May, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 James Marshall, 23 Billy Proctor