VIDEO: Hurricanes give Laumape a fitting farewell
MATCH REPORT: It was the perfect send-off for fifteen-Test All Black Ngani Laumape as Hurricanes secured a 43-14 win over the Reds on Friday.
The match was Laumape final outing in front of his home support at the Wellington Regional Stadium.
*As it happened: Hurricanes v Reds
The centre made his debut for the Hurricanes in 2016 and featured eleven times in that title-winning season.
The All Blacks midfielder capped off six successful years in Wellington with the Canes with the sublime performance – scoring his team’s opening try and creating a couple of five-pointers.
Laumape will head to France at the end of the Super Rugby season to link up with Top 14 club Stade Francais.
The bonus-point win kept the Hurricanes in the hunt for an unlikely top-two finals berth, with that decider set for Saturday week.
Despite the scoreline, there was little to split the teams for much of the match, although the Reds were guilty of missed tackles and failed to make the most of their attacking opportunities.
The contest didn’t get the tight finish it deserved with the Reds going down to 13 men after two yellow cards.
Trailing 22-14, Queensland’s Bryce Hegarty and first-half tryscorer Ngani Laumape raced to the ball in the in-goal.
Despite Laumape being very unlikely to score, the TMO and Doleman ruled that Hegarty deliberately knocked the ball dead and awarded a penalty try as well as yellow-carding the five-eighth.
It turned the match and left commentators scratching their heads.
It was the second time the Reds were down to 14 with wing Filipo Daugunu given a yellow card early in the second half for tackling from an offside position.
And both times the Hurricanes took advantage, with fullback Ruben Love and flank Devan Flanders both crossing.
Test hooker Dane Coles finished with two tries among the six-try haul.
The Reds, who won Super Rugby AU, were down 10-7 at halftime, with McDermott scoring their only try when the Hurricanes were also short with prop Tyrel Lomax yellow-carded when his shoulder collected Taniela Tupou.
Collecting the ball from the back of the scrum, Tate McDermott darted across the line untouched in the 27th minute.
Laumape had opened the scoring in the fourth minute, making a statement to New Zealand Rugby.
Man of the match: Reds scrumhalf Tate McDermott was a standout performer for his team. However, our nod goes to Ngani Laumape, who was a vital cog for his team. The centre made a huge statement scoring a try and setting up a couple with lethal runs and breaks.
Tries: Laumape, Love, Coles 2, Penalty try, Flanders
Cons: Barrett 4
Tries: McDermott. Paenga-Amosa
Cons: Hegarty 2
Yellow cards: Tyrel Lomax (Hurricanes, 25 – High and Dangerous tackle) Filipo Daugunu (Reds, 43 – deliberate foul play), Bryce Hegarty (Reds, 63 – Delibarate knockdown)
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Ruben Love, 9 Cam Roigard, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Xavier Numia.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Ben May, 19 Liam Mitchell, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Luke Campbell, 22 Danny Toala, 23 Salesi Rayasi.
Queensland Reds: 15 Mac Grealy, 14 Josh Flook, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Isaac Henry, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Liam Wright (captain), 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Feao Fotuaika.
Replacements: 16 Richie Asiata, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Kalani Thomas, 22 Hudson Creighton, 23 Moses Sorovi.
Referee: James Doleman
Assistant referees: Angus Mabey, Dan Waenga
TMO: Aaron Paterson