Super rugby Aotearoa

Laumape stars as Hurricanes edge Blues in thriller

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The Hurricanes edged the Blues 29-27 in a thrilling Super Rugby Aotearoa clash at Sky Stadium, Wellington.

The Hurricanes overturned an eight-point first-half deficit and fought back late in the second stanza to edge the Blues in a classic Kiwi derby.

The victory takes Jason Holland’s men above Leon McDonald’s charges, who have lost their last two games and dropped to third on the Super Rugby Aotearoa log.

The irrepressible Ngani Laumape, Reed Prinsep and Dane Coles all touched down as the Canes led 22-15 early in the second half.

The inside centre made three linebreaks, beat five defenders (seemed like more), and carried for 133 metres.

He tormented a porous Blues defence as he ran riot in his Man of the Match display inside the Cake Tin.

Tries from Beauden Barrett – on a hostile return to his old stomping ground – Dalton Papali’i and Akira Ioane saw the Blues stay in touch before taking a five-point lead in the 64th-minute when Kurt Eklund crossed.

Asafo Aumua levelled with less than five minutes remaining after a crushing driving maul.

Jordie Barrett landed the tricky conversion which was enough as the hosts hung on to win a thriller.

A quickfire start to the game sees the Hurricanes level at the break despite having the better of the half.

Black opened the scoring in the second minute before the game burst into life after the restart.

The Hurricanes built patiently through the phases before shifting the ball wide to Laumape, hanging around on the sideline.

Laumape, who had a barnstorming match, tormenting Beauden Barrett, raced 40 metres down the touchline, rounding Barrett and beating the two cover defenders to score in the corner.

The Canes made five linebreaks to one in the first stanza as the Blues struggled with their first-time tackling.

Jordie Barrett slotted the wide conversion.

Super Rugby Aotearoa Round Six Video Highlights: Hurricanes versus Blues at Sky Stadium, Wellington

Five minutes later, the Blues marched straight down the field and scored when Beauden Barrett, silencing the boos, threw a dummy and darted through a gap to score.

Black added the extras.

Hurricanes keep coming, but Blues keep them at bay.

A minute later, Laumape was at it again, running over Beauden Barrett before being stopped on the line.

Du’Plessis Kirifi had put the centre away with a sublime dummy and break into the 22, but the 27-year-old centre was kept out by some superb cover-defending by Emoni Narawa and Co.

However, the Blues lost a man in the ensuing melee when Narawa was sin-binned for cynical play after not rolling away after making the tackle on Laumape.

Jordie Barrett thought he had scored, but Jackson Garden-Bachop’s pop-pass went forward out the first-five’s hands in the build-up.

The Canes did not capitalise on their numerical advantage; instead, they conceded the next two tries.

The home team kept coming, Kobus van Wyk and Peter Umaga-Jensen combining, although, nothing came of the attack.

Jordie Barrett hit the post from in front in the 28th-minute.

The Blues went down the field, won an attacking lineout before mauling their way over the whitewash. Papali’i got up with the ball.

Black’s conversion also hit the post and was no good, but the Blues had a two-score lead out of nothing.

With five minutes remaining in the first half, the Hurricanes scored a driving maul of their own.

Jordie Barrett’s conversion went wide, but he did land a last-ditch penalty to level proceedings as the teams went into the shed.

Canes start second-half as they did the first with Laumape running rampant.

Another sustained attack, this time nine phases, ended with Coles scoring under the posts four minutes after the restart.

Papali’i missed Laumape which started the attack. TJ Perenara’s pass to the hooker on the angle capped the move.

Barrett couldn’t miss from in front and Holland’s men, who had overturned an eight-point deficit to lead by seven.

Leon McDonald’s men managed to weather the third-quarter storm.

As the game went on, their set-piece grew more robust, and their rolling maul wreaked havoc with the opposition pack.

A series of attacks finished with Akira Ioane flopping over the chalk following a series of driving mauls, which the Hurricanes had no answer.

Beauden Barrett, taking over from the injured Black – who left the field for an HIA early after halftime and never returned – blocked out the boos and levelled the scores form the touchline on the hour.

Three minutes later, the Blues powered over from another dominant driving maul.

Eklund, with his last play of the game for up with the ball as the Blues’ pack, landed their third driving maul score.

Barrett missed the conversion attempt, but the Blues led 22-27 with 15 to play.

Laumape went close again after the two teams shared 20 phases in an unbroken three-minute attack that ended with a Hurricanes knock-on near the visitors’ 22.

Asafo Aumua dotted down at the death after the Hurricanes’ forwards exacted revenge on their opponents with a driving maul score of their own.

Jordie Barrett stepped up, kept his composure and won the game with his third conversion of the game as the Hurricanes lept the Blues in the Super Rugby Aotearoa table.

Final Score: Hurricanes 29 (15) Blues 27 (15)

Scorers

Hurricanes
Tries – Laumape, Prinsep, Coles, Aumua
Pen – J. Barrett
Con – J. Barrett (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Blues
Tries – B. Barrett, Papali’i, A. Ioane, Eklund
Pen – Black
Con – Black, B. Barrett
Drop –
Cards – Narawa (Yellow, 12′)

 

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

Teams

Hurricanes

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Thomas Perenara (co-captain), 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Dane Coles (co-captain), 1 Ben May

Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Vaea Fifita, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Billy Proctor, 23 Wes Goosen

Blues

15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Emoni Narawa, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Harry Plummer, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Finlay Christie; 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papali’i, 6 Aaron Carroll, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman

Replacements: 16 Tolai Luteru, 17 Marcel Renata, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Thomas Faiane, 23 Matt Duffie

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