The Hurricanes beat the Waratahs 38-28 after a first half master-class at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, claiming their fifth win of the campaign.
Ngani Laumape scored a double as the home team blew away the visiting Australian side to lead 21-0 inside 11 minutes.
Beauden Barrett’s excellent display was soured when he was sent off – for two yellow cards – late in the second half. Him and brother Jordie, who scored 13 points, both got on the scoreboard with a try apiece.
The Waratahs had no answers to the Barretts as Beauden pulled the strings and Jordie executed the attacks with precision, to give the Kiwis a five tries to one, 33-7 halftime lead.
The Aussies hit back in the second stanza, scoring three tries to one, but the home team would not be denied, claiming a 10-point victory at the Cake Tin, stopping the Tah’s from getting a last-ditch losing bonus-point.
The game started at a ferocious pace by the home team as they ran in three tries in quick succession. the Sydney team did not know what had hit them; they were all over the place as the Canes spread the ball all over the park, running the visitors ragged.
It started when Reed Prinsep collected a pass from Beauden Barrett in the second minute. The All black standoff drew in three defenders as he ran across the field.
Barrett took the ball from brother Jordie Barrett after the Tahs failed to clear into touch. Prinsep took the ball to the ground, where TJ Perenara picked up, broke to the short side, drew the last defender and sent Luamape in the corner.
On six minutes Laumape intercepted Michael Wells’ poor floated pass inside the visitors’ half after Wes Goosen’s initial break.
The Waratahs saved the try the first time but not the next. The centre drew the cover defence and sent the Kiwi first-five-eight away to score.
Before the Waratahs could gather their breath, the Wellington side had crossed for their third.
From a lineout, the Hurricanes set up a driving maul. TJ Perenara threw a double-skip pass to Beauden Barrett.
He took the ball to the gain line and sent a wide pass to his brother, on the run, who rounded Taqele Naiyaravoro with ease to score near the posts. Naiyaravoro was caught in no man’s land, 21-0 up in a flash.
The Tahs managed to pull a try back of their own at the end of the first quarter.
It all came from a botched lineout by the Hurricanes after the sin-binning of Beauden Barrett.
The Waratahs took a quick tap and set up a maul. Sekope Kepu’s final offload to Ned Hanigan saw the flanker barge over from close range to get the visitors on the board.
On the half hour, Naiyaravoro was, again, caught in no man’s land. Another skip pass from Beauden Barrett, who was back on the field, cut out two players and led to another score, this time Wes Goosen, going over in the corner.
TJ Perenara missed the conversion after Jordie Barrett was off for a head injury assessment.
Things went from bad to worse. The Waratahs had an attacking scrum on the hosts’ five-metre line. They were pushed off the ball and the Canes counter-attacked. Prinsep made another break and was tackled into touch near the goal line.
The Waratahs botched their line-out. Dean Mumm dropping the ball which Jake Gordon could not collect.
Mark Abbott gathered the bouncing ball to score and the Hurricanes took a 26-point halftime lead into the shed.
Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson must have given his charges the hair-dryer in the change room because the visitors came out firing in the second period, running in two quick tries inside eight minutes.
First, Bryce Hegarty crossed the whitewash after some wayward kicking saw Jake Gordon collect, make a break and set up the fullback, who brushed aside Jordie Barrett in the corner.
The Scrumhalf took a flat pass from Naiyaravoro, made the break and got his pass away, in the tackle. The fullback threw a little dummy to help get him over.
Five minutes later, it was Gordon’s turn to get in on the act. The scrummy broke to the openside and side-stepped Perenara and ran in untouched under the sticks.
Bernard Foley did not miss from right in front and the visitors had reduced the deficit to 12 points.
The good start did not last. Laumape scored his second after a wonderful break in midfield by Beauden Barrett.
The first-five-eight stepped through a gap and drew Cam Clark, threw a long wide pass to his left for the supporting Laumape. The second-five-eight went outside and beat Foley’s tackle to dot down in the corner.
The game meandered for a while before a final flurry from the Aussies saw them claw back to within range of the hosts.
With 10 minutes remaining, Israel Folau beat Jordie Barrett and puts Kellaway in the space to score. The move came from a scrum inside the Hurricanes’ 22 and the deficit was only 10 points.
The New Zealand side had another chance to score but it was the Waratahs who finished strong. Barrett received his marching orders after he was sent off for another deliberate infringement.
Michael hooper asked for a penalty try but the referee deemed the red card sufficient punishment.
Otere Black made a last gasp try-saving tackle to deny the visitors a losing bonus-point, rendering the comeback redundant as the Hurricanes made it 15 wins on the bounce against Australian teams.
Final score: Hurricanes 38 (33) Waratahs 28 (7)
Tries – Laumape (2), B. Barrett, J. Barrett, Goosen, Abbott
Con – J. Barrett (4)
Cards – Yellow – B. Barrett (2) (18th minute and 79th minute = RED CARD)
Tries – Hanigan, Hegarty, Gordon, Kellaway
Con – Foley (4)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1: Shuhei Kubo
Assistant Ref 2: Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Glenn Newman
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeffery To’omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 Vaea Fifita; 20 Toa Halafihi, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Vince Aso
15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Israel Folau, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Cam Clark, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Paddy Ryan.
Replacement: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Sam Needs, 18 David Lolohea, 19 David McDuling, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Irae Simone, 23 Andrew Kellaway