The Hurricanes beat the Sharks 17-30 in a see-sawing Super Rugby contest on a warm winter’s afternoon at Kings Park, Durban.
Beauden Barrett was again the catalyst for his side’s victory, setting up his team’s first and third scores while kicking 15 points.
Victory for the Canes makes it three in a row versus the Sharks and five wins from previous seven matches.
Vaea Fifita was rightly red-carded late five minutes from time for a dangerous tackle, but it did not affect the outcome.
The Hurricanes took the lead by 10-point halftime lead after tries by Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape.
But the Sharks struck with the last play of the first half when Aphelele Fassi dotted down in the corner.
Beauden Barrett had a hand in brother Jordie’s try, his boot kept the scoreboard ticking, despite missing a penalty from close-range and in front.
The Sharks struck again soon after the break when Juan Schoeman crashed over from close range.
Bosch added the extras to make it 17-20.
Barrett extended his side’s advantage at the beginning of the final quarter.
Wes Goosen won the game for the Hurricanes with a superb individual finish in the corner with less than 13 minutes remaining.
The loss is bad news for Robert du Preez’s men’s chances of making the playoff after the Jaguares dispatched the Reds, earlier in the day.
It would take a massive collapse by the Argentinians in their last two Super rugby matches, as well as two bonus-point victories for the South Africans to reach the post-season.
Hurricanes start hot, blowing the Sharks away, early
Beauden Barrett combined with brother Jordie for the Hurricanes’ opening score in the sixth minute.
Beuaden converted from in front.
The try came from the first scrum. The Canes broke quickly into enemy territory.
Some quick recycling had the sharks back-peddling.
The older Barrett’s broke into the 22, stood firm in Dan du Preez’s cover-tackle before putting his younger brother though for the score.
It was vintage Barrett(s).
Super Rugby Video Highlights, Round 16: Sharks versus Hurricanes, Kings Park, Durban
Bosch, who missed an earlier attempt, kicked a penalty to put the sharks on the board, four minutes later.
Beauden Barrett then kicked two three-pointers in quick succession.
One from a distance after Ruan Botha was isolated at the breakdown.
Some good work by TJ Perenara won the penalty.
Another infringement allowed the Hurricanes to stretch their lead to 10.
There was lots of niggle between the two teams.
Three scuffles had broken out inside the first quarter, and referee Nic Berry made his displeasure known to the two skippers.
The home side’s ill-discipline was hurting them
Lukhanyo Am’s high tackle allowed Beauden Barrett to extend from a chip-shot in front of the poles, but the errant kicker pulled his kick past the left-hand upright.
The Sharks struggled to get their driving maul going, squandering two opportunities from five metres out because of mistakes.
Matt Proctor was adjudged to have tackled Fassi dangerously and high, but the resulting maul was defended expertly before the home team ceded possession.
The scuffles continued, this time after another attacking chance for the Sharks went begging because of a knock on inside the Canes’ 22.
Perenara and Louis Schreuder, the two captains, continued the sparring, although verbally while the All Blacks scrumhalf waited to feed a scrum.
Coenie Oosthuizen collapsed the resulting scrum, Barrett cleared.
Another penalty after the lineout and line-break by the Canes results in Barrett kicking to the corner.
Former Sharks legend and Hurricanes coach, John Plumtree would have been happy the way his team performed in the tight phases against one of Super Rugby’s most physical packs.
Laumape scored from a Route One run from the lineout.
The Kiwis had gone 90 metres thanks to three penalties and scored. Easy, hey.
Robert du Preez Snr, Plumtree’s old team-mate, must have been livid with his charges.
They were being outplayed, outsmarted and outshone by the opposition.
Sharks strike late in the opening stanza to stay in touching distance
The home team landed a blow on the stroke of halftime.
Fassi started an attack from inside his half and finished in the corner.
The men in black protected the ball better, were patient in the build-up before Dan and Jean-Luc du Preez combined in midfield to set-up the fullback’s try in the corner.
Andre Esterhuizen and Am straightened the line, sucking in defenders before Am sent Fassi away.
Bosch slotted the touchline kick to reduce the gap to 10 at halftime.
Sharks come out firing
The home team must have got some choice words from their coach because they came out all guns blazing.
Their first attack ended with a weak kick, but the second came from halfway.
Bosch’s deft pass sent Jacques Vermeulen away. The ball was recycled through Esterhuizen, Fassi to Makazole Mapimpi on the wing.
Mapimpi sped away, popped inside to Fassi, who played his skipper.
Schreuder was tackled short when a dive might have seen him score, but it was no matter.
Schoeman picked up and burrowed his way over the chalk.
Bosch landed the conversion.
The Durban franchise had two excellent opportunities to take the lead; however, their poor handling and core skills deserted them.
A third five-metre attacking lineout – after winning a scrum-penalty – was lost because of another poor lineout.
The next time they entered the opposition’s 22, they knocked on.
The Hurricanes did not make them pay, though.
Mapimpi went close, but the flyer was tackled into touch by Wes Goosen following a decent driving maul.
Barrett extended with a 63rd-minute penalty after Ardie Savea won a second penalty at the breakdown in quick succession when Am was isolated inside his 22.
Goosen rounded off when he took Beauden Barrett’s pass, bumped off Kobus van Wyk and slipped past Fassi to dot down in the corner.
Fifita received his marching orders on 75 minutes, but it was academic.
A mass brawl erupted after the final whistle, so expect the citing commissioner to be busy, this week.
Final Score: Sharks 17 (3) Hurricanes 30 (20)
Tries – Fassi, Schoeman
Pen – Bosch
Con – Bosch (2)
Tries – J. Barrett, Laumape, Goosen
Pen – B. Barrett (3)
Con – B. Barrett (3)
Cards – Fifita (Red, 75′)
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Ref 2: Divan Uys
TMO: Willie Vos
15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Mzamo Majola.
Replacements: 16 Cullen Collopy, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Tyler Paul, 21 Mthokozisi Mkhabela, 22 Robert du Preez, 23. Kobus van Wyk.
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Thomas Perenara (captain), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Kane Le’aupepe, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Gareth Evans, 22 Richard Judd, 23 James Marshall.