VIDEO: Hurricanes end Blues' title dreams
SUPER RUGBY AOTEAROA MATCH REPORT: The Hurricanes almost certainly ended the Blues’ title hopes with a hard-earned 29-27 win in Wellington on Saturday.
The teams scored four tries each in an entertaining encounter, but the boot of fullback Jordie Barrett (three conversions and a penalty) sealed the win.
* Did you miss the action? Recap all the drama HERE!
Jump on the RT button for this one @Hurricanesrugby fans!
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) July 18, 2020
A late conversion by Jordie Barrett saw the Hurricanes snatch the victory and gave him bragging rights over big brother Beauden in a dramatic clash.
The match was billed as a battle of the All Blacks Barrett brothers, with Beauden at fullback for the Blues making his mark with a sensational first-half try.
But when the Hurricanes scored an equalising try two minutes from full-time, it was Jordie’s sideline conversion that determined the outcome.
It gave the Hurricanes a third consecutive win while the Blues suffered their second loss after falling to the unbeaten Canterbury Crusaders last week.
Hurricanes captain Dane Coles said his side went off the boil after taking the lead early in the second half and it was a relief when the final conversion sailed between the posts.
“We lost our way for abut 15-20 minutes, then we got a turnover and scored. It was a tight finish,” he said, adding that Jordie had won the battle of the Barretts.
“He’s pretty special, Jordie. Baz [Beauden] kept putting up those high bombs to get in his head and Jordie kept taking them.”
🔥 Laumape with the step and PACE! What a start from @HurricanesRugby.
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) July 18, 2020
Ngani Laumape, the standout performer for the Hurricanes, went from villain to hero in quick succession at the start of the game.
Just 13 seconds from the kick off he gave away a penalty allowing Otere Black to land a simple three points for the Blues.
But three minutes later he stepped around Beauden Barrett and crashed through an ineffectual Black tackle to score in the corner to put the Hurricanes in front.
Beauden, in his first appearance wearing Blues colours in Wellington since he defected to Auckland, regained the lead for the Blues with an outrageous dummy to open up the Hurricanes backline and a 35-metre sprint.
The Hurricanes were guilty of several unforced errors and squandered a further scoring opportunity when a handy Jordie Barrett penalty hit the uprights, while a try from a line-out drive to Dalton Papali’i pushed the Blues out to a 15-7 lead.
The Hurricanes hit back with a similar try to Reed Prinsep and on the stroke of half-time a Jordie Barrett penalty levelled the score.
They opened up a 22-15 lead with a Dane Coles try soon after the restart but the Blues hit the front again with tries from line-out drives to Akira Ioane and Kurt Eklund, before the Aumua-Jordie Barrett combination handed the game to the Hurricanes.
Man of the match: The Ioane brothers Akira and Rieko were impressive, as always. Mark Telea had a few good runs and Beauden Barrett did his best to win it for the Blues. Jordie Barrett was equally impressive, with plenty of run-metres and a bag full of points – including the match-winning conversion. However, our award goes to hard-running Hurricanes centre Ngani Laumape – who collected 130-odd metres in 15 runs and scored the match’s opening try with one of many powerful bursts.
For the Hurricanes:
Tries: Laumape, Prinsep, Coles, Aumua
Cons: J Barrett 3
Pen: J Barrett
For the Blues:
Tries: B Barrett, Papalii, A Ioane, Eklund
Cons: Black, B Barrett
Yellow card: Emoni Narawa (Blues, 12 – cynical foul, killing the ball on his own tryline)
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Thomas Perenara, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Vaea Fifita, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Billy Proctor, 23 Wes Goosen.
Blues: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Emoni Narawa, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Harry Plummer, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Finlay Christie; 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Aaron Carroll, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16 Tolai Luteru, 17 Marcel Renata, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Thomas Faiane, 23 Matt Duffie.
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill, Paul Williams
TMO: James Doleman
— The Blues (@BluesRugbyTeam) July 18, 2020