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Hurricanes earn fifth straight win over Blues

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Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes earned their fifth straight victory over the Blues by beating the Auckland side 24-28 at Eden Park.

The Blues have now lost their last ten home matches against New Zealand Super Rugby sides and this season they have played 8 and won three.

The Hurricanes have now played 7 matches this season and won six and they provisionally remain second in the New Zealand conference.

Hurricanes star Beauden Barrett was shown his third yellow card in two weeks for charging down a ball. Although it was his third yellow card which would be an automatic citing he attended a hearing earlier this week so should not be cited for this offence.

Although Barrett missed 10 minutes of the match in the sin bin the game was a masterclass from the playmaker as he was instrumental in three of four of the Hurricanes tries.

The Blues went into the lead with 15 minutes remaining and it looked like the Auckland side might end their losing run against New Zealand sides but Barrett created the late match winning try for the Super rugby champions.

The Blues were pressing the Hurricanes line looking to extend their lead when Barrett chipped ahead and regathered to spark a move that swept the length of the field. It ended with the fly-half angling a kick towards the corner where lock Mark Abbott, who scored the first try, was on hand to score the decider.

Both sides traded tries through the first quarter with Abbott scoring in the third minute and Augustine Pulu replying for the Blues from the restart.

Barrett sent Ngani Laumape for the Hurricanes second try with Melani Nanai equalising for the Blues. Sonny Bill Williams fumbled a short pass to gift Barrett a try in the 27th minute which put the Hurricanes ahead 21-14.

But as much as Barrett starred with his ability to read the game and shred the defence, he again found himself in hot water with his third yellow card in two weeks. He received two last week for deliberate knock downs against the Waratahs, and he was sent off late in the first half against the Blues for knocking the ball out of the hands of scrum-half Pulu.

The Blues gained nothing from their one-man advantage but went into the lead midway through the second half when Bryn Gatland, the son of Wales coach Warren Gatland, took the field. The replacement flyhalf landed a penalty and converted a try by Scott Scrafton to have the Blues up 24-21 before Abbott sealed the outcome for the Hurricanes.

Next week in Round 9 the Hurricanes host the Brumbies in Napier while the Blues have a bye before they take on the Brumbies in Canberra in Round 10.

Final Score Blues 24 (14) Hurricanes 28 (21)

Scorers

Blues
Tries – A.Pulu, M.Nanai, S.Scrafton,
Pen -B.Gatland
Con – P.Francis 2, B.Gatland
Drop –
Cards –

Hurricanes
Tries – M.Abbott 2, N.Laumape,B.Barrett
Pen –
Con – J.Barrett 4
Drop –
Cards – B.Barrett (yellow 30th min)

Match Officials
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 1: Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant Ref 2:Paul Williams
TMO : Ben Skeen

Teams

Blues

1 Pauliasi Manu, 2 James Parsons (c), 3 Charlie Faumuina, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 5 Scott Scrafton, 6 Jerome Kaino, 7 Blake Gibson, 8 Steven Luatua; 9 Augustine Pulu, 10 Piers Francis, 11 Melani Nanai, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 13. Rieko Ioane, 14 Matt Duffie, 15 Michael Collins.

Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 George Moala.

Hurricanes

15 Jordie Barrett , 14 Wes Goosen , 13 Vince Aso , 12 Ngani Laumape , 11 Julian Savea , 10 Beauden Barrett , 9 TJ Perenara (c) , 8 Ardie Savea , 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 Reed Prinsep, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Cory Jane

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