Super rugby Aotearoa

Hurricanes end Crusaders’ unbeaten run in seven-try thriller

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The Hurricanes beat the Crusaders 32-34 in a thrilling round seven Super Rugby Aotearoa clash at Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch.

The Hurricanes broke the Crusaders’ long-standing 36-match unbeaten run at home with a sublime performance against the three-time defending Super Rugby champions.

Wes Goosen grabbed a brace and Peter Umaga-Jensen – who set-up Goosen’s second – crossed for the Hurricanes.

Richie Mo’unga’s was almost flawless from the tee. His only miss was the late touchline conversion that would have sent the game into Super Time.

Jordie Barrett kicked 19 points and sealed the deal with a turnover at the death.

Scott Robertson’s team outscored the visitors four tries to three, but too many uncharacteristic errors, poor set-pieces and a leaky defence put paid to the five-game winning streak against the Canes.

The victory is the visitors’ fourth on the trot and their first win in Christchurch since 2016, breaking a four-year drought.

The win also keeps the Wellington side in contention for the Super Rugby Aotearoa title.

Goosen scored a first-half brace, and Jordie Barrett kicked 14 points as the Canes took control of the first stanza.

The Crusaders countered through the irrepressible Richie Mo’unga and George Bridge, who scored a stunning try.

Mo’unga converted both tries and added a penalty as the Saders trailed.

Both kickers shared a penalty apiece in the third quarter as Scott Robertson’s men started to take control of the contest.

However, the home team could not cross the blue wall. Umaga-Jensen crossed before the hour mark, and Barrett converted to make it 20-31.

But some magic from Mo’unga set-up a 5m scrum and Quinten Strange’s try with 12 minutes to play.

Barrett landed another long-range penalty, but Mo’unga set-up Sevu Reece for a score with minutes remaining.

The flyhalf – who was outstanding – could not, however, level from the sideline, and Jason Holland’s men held out for a famous victory.

Hurricanes take a slender four-point lead into the break after a stunning first-half display.

Jordie Barrett opened the scoring with a ninth-minute penalty after the Hurricanes’ first foray into the Crusaders’ 22.

Richie Mo’unga levelled three minutes later after Scott Scrafton spoiled a Saders’ attack following the restart.

The home team set-up an attacking lineout drive after a penalty for a shoulder charge. Mo’unga kicked to the corner to set-up the driving maul.

The maul went nowhere, but Mo’unga crashed over after Jack Goodhue sucked in two defenders and offloads to the first-five in support on his right shoulder to score.

Super Rugby Aotearoa Round Seven Video Highlights: Crusaders versus Hurricanes at Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch

The 26-year-old converted his 21st Crusaders try to make it 10-3; however, the lead did not last long.

Will Jordan let a Gary Owen free-kick bounce on his 22. Reece turned possession over, and several phases later Umaga-Jensen set up Goosen for the score.

Jordie Barrett levelled.

It was end-to-end by now, with both sides punishing mistakes and turning pressure into points.

Crusaders captain Codie Taylor was having a nightmare with his lineout throwing, losing two throws in quick succession that led to Mo’unga giving away a penalty.

Jordie Barrett landed the three points to give the visitors the lead on the half-hour.

On 32 minutes, Bridge scored a sensational, as well as unlikely try.

Reece broke from midfield, bursting to the Hurricanes’ 22. The winger ran infield and launched a long cut-out pass to Bridge on the touchline.

The ball bounced in front of the winger, but he booted the ball forward over the goal-line, raced past the defender, who was beaten by the bounce, scoring a stunning try.

Mo’unga added the extras, but the Hurricanes hit back after the restart.

Two minutes later, Goosen had a double. The South African flyer sliced open the Crusaders defence following a free-flowing move from right to left and back again.

Goosen sent Bridge away with a dummy and beat Fetuli Paea’s ankle-tap to slide over the chalk.

Barrett could not convert the wide kick, but he did add his third penalty on the stroke of halftime to give his side a 17-21 lead as the teams went into the shed.

Crusaders dominate the third quarter but cannot find a way through some stubborn defence, while Hurricanes, however, take their limited chances.

A 12 phase attack led to a penalty and Mo’unga cutting the deficit to one, seven minutes after the interval.

Robertson’s charges had 90% possession and 87% territory in the 20 minutes after halftime, but they could not convert pressure into points.

Barrett kicked a 59th-minute penalty following a series of superb counter-rucking by the visitors.

Umaga-Jensen finished off a sustained attack after a lineout move after the hour mark. Strong ball-carrying, a superb cross-kick and spin out of a tackle by Barrett, had a massive role in the try.

The fullback slotted the touchline conversion to open up an 11-point advantage with 17 minutes remaining.

The Crusaders were reeling. Mo’unga’s break set-up a five-metre scrum after the ball was carried back over the goal-line by the Hurricanes.

A series of pick and drives ended with Strange burrowing over with the help of Sione Havili. Mo’unga closed the gap with his third conversion.

Barrett made it 27-34 late in the game before some Mo’unga burst through the defence and put Reece away to set-up a nail-biting finish.

The Crusaders’ flyhalf could not level from the sideline, but the defending champs looked for a winner.

An attack down the sideline saw Strange get a yellow for foul play after Barrett won the game-winning turnover.

Final Score: Crusaders 32 (17) Hurricanes 34 (21)

Scorers

Crusaders
Tries – Mo’unga, Bridge, Strange, Reece
Pen – Mo’unga (2)
Con – Mo’unga (3)
Drop –
Cards – Strange (Yellow, 81′)

Hurricanes
Tries – Goosen (2), Umaga-Jensen
Pen – J. Barrett (5)
Con – J. Barrett (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: James Doleman
Assistant Ref 1: Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 2: Mike Fraser
TMO: Ben O’Keeffe

Teams

Crusaders

15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Fetuli Paea, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor (captain), 1 Joe Moody

Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 George Bower, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Sione Havili, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Leicester Fainga’anuku

Hurricanes

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Thomas Perenara (captain), 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Fraser Armstrong

Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Vaea Fifita, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Vince Aso, 23 Chase Tiatia

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