Hurricanes fight back to beat Queensland Reds 30-17 in a tasty Super Rugby Pacific Super Round clash at AAMI Park, Melbourne.
Bailyn Sullivan and Tyrel Lomax bagged braces as the Hurricanes fought back from three scores down to beat the Queensland Reds under the lights in Victoria.
A fourth win in a row – and eighth on the trot versus the Reds – sees the New Zealanders climb the Super Rugby table.
This hard-fought win also gives the Wellington-based franchise their 20th victory in 22 against Australian opposition.
This was the proverbial “game of two halves” if there ever was one.
The Reds will be disappointed at throwing away a commanding 17-point lead, especially after the Hurricanes had two players yellow-carded before the half-hour.
The Hurricanes, instead, scored 30 unanswered points as the momentum shifted from maroon to black.
Jason Holland’s side, so good, managed to keep the Reds scoreless after the break.
In fact, the Aussies did not score after the 29th-minute as their attack flatlined in the face of strong defending and poor handling.
Hamish Stewart and Fraser McReight crossed for the Reds, while Lawson Creighton added seven points from the tee.
Yellow cards proved costly for the Reds as the Hurricanes get away with poor officiating
Queensland did not score while Sullivan was in the sin-bin, and they only scored a converted try while Pouri Rakete-Stones was on the naughty step.
Brad Thorn’s men could feel well aggrieved that the officials failed to send both players off for dangerous hits.
Instead, referee Angus Gardner and TMO James Leckie conspired to botch both calls, and it cost the Australian outfit.
Waratahs’ prop Angus Bell was rightly red-carded on Friday night for a similar tip-tackle made by Sullivan, but the inept officials decided – for the first time this season – not to send the centre off.
Rakete-Stones should have been off for a direct hit to Hunter Paisami’s head, which again, has been red since the beginning of last season.
The Reds, however, only have themselves to blame for not punishing the undermanned Hurricanes.
Moreover, the Wellington-based franchise, who navigated their two cards expertly, also made the opposition pay.
Holland’s charges scored twice in a late blitz before the break and soon after the restart, to suck the life out of their opponents.
This disparaging defeat means the Queensland Reds have won only two of their last 23 Super Rugby games against teams from New Zealand.
The Kiwis, on the other hand, make it 16 wins from 18 against the Super Rugby AU champions – ouch!
Queensland Reds start strong, but poor game-management, and officiating, allow the Hurricanes back into the contest
The Queensland Reds took a deserved 17-nil lead after two converted tries and the boot of Creighton.
Creighton, starting at standoff for the injured James O’Connor, landed a penalty and two conversions in an assured display at first receiver.
The Hurricanes, however, struck twice in six minutes, either side of the halftime hooter.
Vest – rightly – went to the bin for a high tackle on Ardie Savea, and Holland’s men made the Thorn’s side pay.
The Kiwis clawed back the deficit to three points as the teams went into the shed with the Canes in the ascendency.
To make matters worse, while Vest was off the field, the Canes scored 12 points to take the lead, one they never relinquished.
Creighton opened the scoring with an early penalty before Sullivan went to the bin. Barrett missed a chance to level minutes later.
McReight broke into the opposition’s 22, which led to a sustained 11-phase attack ending with a TMO review for a Reds try, but Taniela Tupou propelled his body forward in a double movement.
The Reds could make their numerical advantage count; however, they did increase their lead to 10 in 24 minutes.
Paisami, at first receiver from a ruck, broke through Blake Gibson with a dummy and raced into the 22.
Tupou, in support, carried before being brought down under the posts. The flying prop managed to offload to Stewart to score.
The Reds looked in command, especially when Rakete-Stones went off.
Thorn’s side could make their numbers count, scoring once through McReight after the flanker burst through a rolling maul.
Creighton landed the conversion but the game turned four minutes before the interval.
McReight’s 29th-minute score is the last points for Queensland as the Hurricanes blow the Reds away
Sullivan scored against the run of play after a poor pass from Creighton got knocked down by Julian Savea.
The ball bounced back to the centre, who collected the loose ball, shirked Filipo Daugunu’s weak tackle, and sped away to put his team on the board.
Vest went to the bin for the hit on Ardie Savea. The skipper opted to go for the corner instead of taking the points, and it was the right call.
The Hurricanes found a way over after a powerful driving maul. The captain and TJ Perenara both went close before Lomax crashes over after the siren.
Things went from bad to worse when a seven-phase attack after the restart ended with Lomax crashing over for his second of the game.
Barrett missed the conversion, but he did slot two second-half goals to increase the lead to 25-17 after 63 minutes.
The Reds showed nothing and surrendered meekly to their neighbours across the ditch.
The Canes pushed for more scores.
A beautiful little grubber from Jackson Garden-Bachop behind the Red wall got chased down by Sullivan to end the game as a contest.
Final Score: Hurricanes 30 (14) Reds 17 (17)
Tries – Sullivan (2), Lomax (2)
Pen – J. Barrett (2)
Con – J. Barrett (2)
Cards – Sullivan (Red, 9′), Rakete-Stones (Yellow, 26′)
Tries – Stewart, McReight
Pen – Creighton
Con – Creighton (2)
Cards – Vest (Yellow, 40′)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1: James Doleman
Assistant Ref 2: Graham Cooper
TMO: James Leckie
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Bailyn Sullivan, 12 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Aidan Morgan, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Blake Gibson, 6 TK Howden, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Kianu Kereru-Symes, 1 Pouri Rakete-Stones.
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Tevita Mafileo, 19 Justin Sangster, 20 Caleb Delany, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Billy Proctor.
Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Suliasi Vunivalu, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 Lawson Creighton, 9 Tate McDermott (captain), 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Connor Vest, 5 Angus Blyth, 4 Ryan Smith, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Richie Asiata, 1 Harry Hoopert.
Replacements: 16 Matt Faessler, 17 Dane Zander, 18 Feao Fotuaika, 19 Lopeti Faifua, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Kalani Thomas, 22 Josh Flook, 23 Mac Grealy.