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Perenara equals Super Rugby record as Hurricanes beat Chiefs

SATURDAY WRAP: Scrumhalf TJ Perenara moved level as the most prolific try-scorer in Super Rugby history as his competition-leading Hurricanes beat the Chiefs 36-23 on Saturday.

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The Hurricanes maintained their perfect seven-from-seven start to the season, out-scoring the visitors five tries to two in Wellington, including a brace to veteran All Black Perenara.

The 32-year-old crossed once in each half to take his Super Rugby career tally to 62 tries.

It’s the same figure as his former Hurricanes team-mate Julian Savea, who scored a try on Friday for the victorious Moana Pasifika against the Queensland Reds.

A bonus point win pushes the Hurricanes five points clear of the second-placed Blues and Brumbies as they continued the high-speed style that has created 38 tries.

Wet conditions didn’t slow them, going 10-0 up in the first quarter after Perenara bagged his opening try.

Impressive loose forward Brayden Iose crossed to put his team 17-7 ahead but the Chiefs dominated the middle section of the game, scoring 16 unanswered points.

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With his team trailing by six, Perenara’s second try sparked a storming Hurricanes finish, including five-pointers to winger Kini Naholo and powerhouse hooker Asafo Aumua.

Hurricanes captain Brad Shields said his team’s depth swung the contest their way over the closing stages.

“It’s not often you can roll a bench on that changes a game like that,” he said.

“Each week now, our impact players are taking our game to another level.”

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Backs Cortez Ratima and Emoni Narawa crossed for the Chiefs while flyhalf Damian McKenzie landed 13 points with the boot.

Last year’s beaten finalists suffered their third loss from eight games and skipper Luke Jacobson said they gave the competition leaders too many opportunities.

“The Hurricanes played some really good footy and put a lot of pressure on us,” he said.

“There were a few errors in our own half that they ended up scoring from. In the end, that really hurt us.”

*A hat-trick from exciting youngster Darby Lancaster has helped Rebels march into the Super Rugby Pacific top four after a 47-31 bonus-point victory over the Highlanders.

The Rebels have never played finals in a full competition but have a maiden series in sight after scoring seven tries to four on Saturday night to book their third successive win.

Carter Gordon bagged two tries, his combination with South African Ryan Louwrens key to the crucial win while Melbourne’s pack continued to dominate.

Lancaster may have the luxury of choosing between the Wallabies and the Olympics if he continues his trajectory, with the 20-year-old a stand-out in just his third Super game.

The Kempsey product signed a two-year deal with the Rebels but has a clause that allows him to play sevens in the Paris Games if selected, having been a regular member of the national team before switching to the 15-player game.

He scored the opening and closing tries of the first half to set up a 26-10 lead heading into the break, showing off his explosive pace and skills.

Lancaster grubbered ahead, beating star Highlanders fullback Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens to the ball.

His second was equally impressive, bursting on to a tip-on pass from fullback Andrew Kellaway and racing to the line – although he appeared to knock-on when he released and regathered after a would-be tackle.

The Rebels’ first-half haul included a penalty try when a pass to Lachie Anderson, who had a clear run to the line, was deliberately knocked-on by Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens, who also got a yellow card.

Looking to break into the finals-bound top eight themselves, the Highlanders kept coming, Folau Fakatava crossing in the 56th minute followed by Ricky Jackson 12 minutes later.

But Gordon’s double, helped by the hard-running Kellaway and Louwrens, kept the Rebels on top.

Ethan de Groot scored for the Highlanders with six minutes remaining but Lancaster capped the win when he scooped up a loose ball and dashed 55 metres for his third of the night.

All Saturday’s scores and scorers:

Hurricanes 36-23 Chiefs

Scorers:

For Hurricanes:
Tries: Perenara 2, Iose, Naholo, Aumua
Cons: Cameron 4
Pen: Cameron

For Chiefs:
Tries: Ratima, Narawa
Cons: McKenzie 2
Pens: McKenzie 3

Teams:

Hurricanes: 15 Ruben Love, 14 Josh Moorby, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Kini Naholo, 10 Brett Cameron, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Brayden Iose, 7 Peter Lakai, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 Caleb Delany, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Xavier Numia.
Replacements: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Pasilio Tosi, 19 Justin Sangster, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Devan Flanders, 22 Richard Judd, 23 Peter Umaga-Jensen.

Chiefs: 15 Shaun Stevenson, 14 Emoni Narawa, 13 Daniel Rona, 12 Anton Leinert-Brown, 11 Etene Nanai Seturo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Cortez Ratima, 8 Wallace Sititi, 7 Luke Jacobson (captain), 6 Samipeni Finau, 5 Tupou Vaa’I, 4 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 3 Reuben O’Neill, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements: 16 Bradley Slater, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 George Dyer, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Kaylum Boshier, 21 Xavier Roe, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Rameka Poihipi.

Referee: James Doleman
Assistant referees: Jono Bredin, Fraser Hannon
TMO: Chris Hart

Rebels 47-31 Highlanders

Scorers:

For Rebels:
Tries: Louwrens, Lancaster 3, Gordon 2, Penalty Try
Cons: Gordon 5

For Highlanders:
Tries: Withy, Fakatava, Jackson, De Groot
Cons: Gilbert 4
Pens: Gilbert

Teams:

Rebels: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Lachie Anderson, 13 Filipo Daugunu, 12 David Feliuai, 11 Darby Lancaster, 10 Carter Gordon, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Vaiolini Ekuasi, 7 Maciu Nabolakasi, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 3 Sam Talakai (captain), 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Matt Gibbon.
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Isaac Kailea, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Angelo Smith, 20 Daniel Maiava, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Matt Proctor, 23 Nick Jooste.

Highlanders: 15 Jacob Ratumaitavuku-Kneepkens, 14 Timoci Tavatavanawai, 13 Taniela Tele’a, 12 Sam Gilbert, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Ajay Faleafaga, 9 Folau Fakatava, 8 Nikora Broughton, 7 Billy Harmon (captain), 6 Sean Withy, Pari Pari Parkinson, 4 Oliver Haig 3 Saula Ma’u, 2 Henry Bell, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Ricky Jackson, 17 Ethan de Groot, 18 Rohan Wingham, 19 Hugo Plummer, 20 Will Stodart, 21 James Arscott, 22 Matt Whaanga, 23 Connor Garden-Bachop.

Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant referees: Dan Waenga, Mike Winter
TMO: Richard Kelly

Additional source @AAP

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