Super Rugby

Hurricanes beat Sunwolves in Wellington




The first Super Rugby match of the eleventh round is in Wellington where the Hurricanes return from a bye to host the Sunwolves.

The Hurricanes have only played the Sunwolves once before in Super Rugby.

  • The Hurricanes piled on an 83-17 defeat against the Sunwolves in their only previous encounter; the Canes’ biggest ever Super Rugby victory.
  • The Hurricanes have won their last six games on the bounce; the last time they won more was a 10-game streak across the 2016 and 2017 campaigns, which saw them lift the trophy in 2016.
  • They have won their last 14 home games against teams from outside New Zealand, those victories coming by an average margin of 26 points.
  • The Sunwolves have conceded just 19 first-half points in their last two games, their fewest ever in any two consecutive Super Rugby fixtures.
  • The Sunwolves will again be searching for their maiden Super Rugby win away from home (L18), having lost their last five away fixtures by an average margin of 35 points per game.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Wellington. 

3.00: Vince Aso beats William Tupou and dots down for the game’s first score, but TMO Ben Skeen confers with referee Jamie Nutbrown and informs him that Julian Savea had passed forward in the build-up. No try.

6.00: The Sunwolves win the penalty after a Hurricanes player is caught offsides. They kick to the home team’s 22.

8.00: The Sunwolves have gone eight phases, camped on the Hurricanes try-line. They have the penalty advantage.

9.00: TRY! Pieter Labuschagne gets around Ardie Savea, with a right-hand fend, and is over after 14 phases. 0-5

10.00: CONVERSION! Hayden Parker adds the extras. 0-7

12.00: Craig Millar is caught offsides. Beauden Barrett licks to the corner.

13.00: Timothy Lafaele wins the ball from Ben Lam and the Sunwolves clear. It started with a poor throw from Ricky Riccitelli, who missed his jumper. Ardie Savea won the turnover and Barrett sent the ball wide to Lam.

15.00: TRY! Julian Savea is over. The Hurricanes go several phases before Matt Proctor throws a chicken-wing pass to Savea for the score. 5-7

16.00: CONVERSION! Beauden Barrett levels the scores. 7-all

17.00: The Hurricanes are caught offsides. Labuschagne points to the sticks.

18.00: PENALTY! Parker slots the long-range kick to give his team the lead. 7-10

20.00: James Moore has failed his HIA, so Wimpie van der Walt will remain on the field.

23.00: The Japanese side has started well. They are playing with purpose, carrying with conviction and testing the Hurricanes defence around the ruck and in the wide channels.

26.00: The Hurricanes get some momentum from a scrum inside their own half, eventually, winning a penalty for offsides. Brad Shields opts for a scrum inside the opposition’s 22.

28.00: TRY! Finlay Christie is in for the score. It came from some dancing feet by Beauden Barrett, who beat Fumiaka Tanaka and offloaded to the Scottish-born halfback for the try. 12-10

29.00: CONVERSION! Barrett won’t miss from there. 14-10

32.00: Beauden Barrett clears a penalty to the halfway. Another poor throw from Riccitelli gives possession to the visitors.

33.00: The Sunwolves go close, but the ball is lost forward. From the mistake, the Hurricanes counter-attack through Aso and Julian Savea before the ball is out, into touch. Phew!

35.00: The Hurricanes win the penalty at the scrum, and then Barrett kicks to the corner.

37.00: “Too many bodies on the ground,” says the referee, awarding the home team a scrum because they were going forward.

38.00: Takuma Asahara is pinged for collapsing. Shields wants another scrum.

39.00; TRY! Reed Prinsep breaks blind, runs over Kenki Fukuoka and stretches over for the ‘Canes third five-pointer of the evening. 19-10

40.00: CONVERSION! Barrett slots the wide kick to keep up his 100% record form the tee. 21-10

The halftime score was Hurricanes 21 Sunwolves 10

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

42.00: The Sunwolves had the better of the territory (54%) and possession (55%) in the first 40 minutes.

42.00: TRY! Jordie Barrett breaks the line and races 50 metres to score in the corner. Shades of Christian Cullen by the younger Barrett. 26-10

44.00: MISS! Beauden Barrett cannot bring his kick around. 26-10

45.00: Parker kicks a penalty to the corner. The Sunwolves have an attacking lineout.

46.00: The Sunwolves drive for the goal-line but they are held-up. The referee blows for a double movement which seems harsh because the visitors looked to be held-up, but over the try-line.

48.00: Parker tackled Beauden Barrett high, but it was not malicious or dangerous; penalty to the home side.

50.00: Julian Savea bursts through the Japanese defence, he runs 30 metres before sending the centre away, under the posts. However, the TMO calls the ref and over-rules the score for a dangerous cleanout. That is another try chalked off for Aso.

54.00: Murray Douglas is caught offsides, then subbed off after Parker kicks to the corner. The Sunwolves’ lineout has been good, their scrum, not so good.

55.00: Good defending by the Hurricanes, holding the Sunwolves short of the line. Scrum to the visitors.

57.00: Hosea Saumaki drives for the line, but is held-up by Jeff Toomaga-Allen. That’s another close call.

58.00: The Sunwolves give away a free-kick because Jaba Bregvadze did not hook the ball.

58.00: Huge cheers for Nehe Milner-Skudder, who replaces Lam.

61.00: The Hurricanes try to run the ball out from their goal-line, however, the move breaks down. Barrett kicks the penalty to the halfway line.

67.00: The Sunwolves are camped inside the Hurricanes’ 22. But yet again after several phases, they cannot make the pressure count, losing possession after a knock on.

69.00: TRY! Yutaka Nagare’s superb grubber-kick is gathered by Kenki Fukuoka, who beats Jackson Garden-Bachop to the bouncing ball and scores in the corner. 26-15

71.00: MISS! The conversion is wide. 26-15

74.00: TRY! Vince Aso – finally – gets his try. The Hurricanes went eight phases before sending the ball wide. Aso, who has been denied two tries already, would not be this time, celebrating with a spike. 31-15

75.00: MISS! Jordie Barrett’s conversion attempt is wide. 31-15

77.00: TRY! Shields is over in the corner after taking Julian Savea’s back-door pass. The Sunwolves have crumbled. 36-15

78.00: CONVERSION! Jordie Barrett adds the touchline kick. 38-15

79.00: TRY! Aso has his second after Jordie Barrett’s break and the “Bus'” bulldozing run. Aso had to go to the acrobatics to dot down. 43-15

80.00: MISS! The kick is wide. 43-15


In the meantime why not have a look at the match preview.

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The final score: Hurricanes 43 (21) Sunwolves 15 (10)


Tries – J. Savea, Christie, Prinsep, J. Barrett, Aso (2), Shields
Pen –
Con – B. Barrett (3), J. Barrett
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Labuschagne, Fukuoka
Pen – Parker
Con – Parker
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2: Nick Briant
TMO: Ben Skeen



15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Vince Aso, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Murray Douglas, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith.

Replacements: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 23 Jackson Garden-Bachop.


15 William Tupou, 14 Hosea Saumaki, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Michael Little, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Fumiaka Tanaka, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Pieter Labuschagne (captain), 6 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 James Moore, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Craig Millar.

Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Shintaro Ishihara, 18 Nikoloz Khataishvili, 19 Wimpie van der Walt, 20 Edward Quirk, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Semisi Masirewa.

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