Chiefs edge Hurricanes in thriller
MATCH REPORT: The Chiefs have held off a storming comeback from the Hurricanes to win their Super Rugby Pacific thriller 30-29.
Playmaker Josh Ioane excelled for the visiting Chiefs, who scored 17 unanswered points after going to halftime trailing by 15-13 in Wellington on Sunday.
Beaten by newcomers Moana Pasifika last week, the Hurricanes were desperate and mounted a mighty comeback, starting when wing Julian Savea crossed in the corner in the 67th minute.
All Blacks ace Ardie Savea caught the Chiefs napping when he took a quick tap penalty and drove through to score, with Jordie Barrett converting to close the gap to one point.
However, the Hurricanes were unable to summon up any more points in the final five minutes as the Chiefs hung on to go 4-2 for the season while the Canes are now 2-3.
Earlier, the Hurricanes got off to a flying start when veteran scrumhalf TJ Perenara nabbed an intercept and raced 50 metres to score in the second minute.
All Blacks centre Anton Lienert-Brown answered with a try just two minutes later but the Hurricanes were back on top when wing Wes Goosen crossed after nine minutes.
The Chiefs made their winning run after halftime as some slick play put Kaylum Boshier over in the corner before mercurial fullback Chase Tiatia produced some individual brilliance to score.
Former Highlanders flyhalf Ioane, who played one Test for the All Blacks in 2019, kicked three penalties and two conversions while also proving a frequent threat to the Hurricanes with his sharp running and passing.
Tries: Perenara, Goosen, J Savea, A. Savea
Cons: Barrett 3
Tries: Lienert-Brown, Boshier, Tiatia; Cons: Ioane 2, Gatland
Pens: Ioane 3
Hurricanes: 15 Ruben Love, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1Pouri Rakete-Stones.
Replacements: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Tevita Mafileo, 19 Caleb Delany, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Bailyn Sullivan, 23 Josh Moorby.
Chiefs: 15 Emoni Narawa, 14 Alex Nankivell, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Quinn Tupaea, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Brad Weber (captain), 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Kaylum Boshier, 5 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 4 Tupou Vaa’i, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements: 16 Tyrone Thompson, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Laghlan McWhannell, 20 Luke Jacobson, 21 Cortez Ratima, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Chase Tiatia.
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant referees: Paul Williams & Angus Mabey
TMO: Glenn Newman